December 15, 2022 is a day of great success for youth communities. During Thursday’s 68th session of the Polish Parliament, 447 deputies voted in favor of a resolution establishing September 19 as the Day of Youth Councils and Councils at Local Government Units. It was 32 years ago (in 1990) that the first youth city council in Poland was established in Częstochowa, which was a manifestation of local authorities opening up to cooperation with the young generation of citizens.
The adoption of the resolution is an expression of appreciation of the efforts of all those involved in the creation of Polish youth policy. This is a huge step towards the development of not only civic attitudes in children and young people, but above all the real participation of young citizens in the local government community, and the shaping and building in them a sense of responsibility for the way the local community operates. Without the passion and commitment of young people, there can be no effective functioning of youth councils and assemblies, which thus contribute to the daily life of local government communities.
Last year’s amendment to the Law on Youth Councils greatly facilitated and accelerated the process of establishing the aforementioned bodies in cities, municipalities and counties, and gave them the needed proficiency. Thanks to it, youth councils, as a consultative and advisory body, have the opportunity to give opinions on draft resolutions concerning youth, take action on behalf of youth, and take part in the development of strategic measures for youth.
In addition, during the 68th session of the Parliament of the Republic of Poland, Government Plenipotentiary for Youth Policy Piotr Mazurek reminded of the preparation of the Youth Fund, through which young councils have the opportunity to obtain micro-grants for their projects.
The text of the resolution can be found below:
On September 19, 1990, the first youth city council in Poland was established. On that day, the Częstochowa City Council passed a resolution establishing the councils: Children’s and Youth Councils of the City of Czestochowa, thus involving the young generation in the construction of local government structures and shaping in them a sense of responsibility for the way the local community functions. After more than thirty years, the youth councils of municipalities were strengthened by the adoption by the Parliament of the Republic of Poland of the Act of April 20, 2021 amending the Act on Municipal Self-Government, the Act on County Self-Government, the Act on Provincial Self-Government and the Act on Public Benefit Activity and Volunteerism (Journal of Laws, item 1038), which regulated for the first time the activities of youth bodies also at the county and provincial levels.
Recognizing the dynamism of activity, spontaneity, modeling potential for peers and the real impact of youth councils and assemblies on the affairs of small homelands, the Sejm of the Republic of Poland would like to express its highest appreciation to all young Poles who are involved in the creation and operation of youth councils and assemblies at local government units and the promotion of their ideas. Without the determination and extraordinary passion of children and young people, there can be no effective operation of these institutions or their contribution to the daily life of our local government communities. We believe that the voice of young people will be listened to and taken into account in the implementation by local authorities of matters relevant from the perspective of youth, as well as in any matter important to the residents of local government units.
Underlining the importance of youth councils and assemblies for the development of civic attitudes of children and young people and the real participation of the younger generation in the local government community, appreciating the efforts of all those who have contributed to the creation of Polish youth policy, the Seym of the Republic of Poland establishes September 19 as the Day of Youth Councils and Assemblies at Local Government Units.