Improve Youth Consultation and Public Participation (RO0037)
Action Plan: Romania Action Plan 2016-2018
Action Plan Cycle: 2016
Lead Institution: Ministry of Youth and Sport (MTS)
Support Institution(s): Ministry for Public Consultations and Civic Dialogue (MCPDC); Consiliul Tineretului din România Asociația Impact Bistrița Asociația Tinerilor Bucureșteni Asociația Altium Asociația Viitorul Tinerilor
Policy AreasCapacity Building, Local Commitments, Public Participation
Status quo or problem addressed by the commitment Currently, young people face numerous problems, especially at local level: - lack of local/ regional mechanisms to ensure a structured dialogue between youth and public authorities; - lack of promotion of a structured dialogue at national / regional / local level; - lack of specificity in implementation of youth related public policies. Main objective Achieve an open decision-making process in developing youth public policies at national level Brief description of commitment The commitment aims to implement a series of actions that will strengthen collaboration between public authorities, young people and organisations working with youth, to produce specifically targeted action plans, through dialogue and use of new technologies. The implemented actions and tools will lead to development of skills in both young people and public servants working in this field, contributing to an open, diverse, intercultural and connected society. OPG challenge addressed by the commitment Effectively managing public resources; Improving public services Relevance Civic participation Ambition Initiate structured dialogue for drafting and monitoring the implementation of youth related public policies, at local and county level; Setting up and operation of consultative councils for youth issues: 41 operating by the county councils, 41 operating by municipality councils, 1 operating by the General Council of the Bucharest municipality; Selection of at least 1000 benficiaries of MTS youth projects, on objective criteria and transparent methodologies, using online apps.
IRM End of Term Status Summary
8. Improve youth consultation and public participationCommitment Text:
The commitment aims to implement a series of actions that will strengthen collaboration between public authorities, young people and organizations working with youth, to produce specifically targeted action plans, through dialogue and use of new technologies. The implemented actions and tools will lead to development of skills in both young people and public servants working in this field, contributing to an open, diverse, intercultural and connected society.
Achieve an open decision-making process in developing youth public policies at national level.
- Hold public consultations initiated by the National Working Group and youth workers
- Setting up 83 local consultative councils for young people
- Selection of at least 1000 beneficiaries of MTS youth projects, on objective criteria and transparent methodologies, using online apps.
Responsible Institution: Ministry of Youth and Sport (MTS)
Supporting Institution(s): Ministry for Public Consultations and Civic Dialogue (MCPDC); Non-government: Consiliul Tineretului din Romania, Asociatia Impact Bistrita, Asociatia Tinerilor Bucuresteni, Asociatia Altium, Asociatia Viitorul Tinerilor
Start date: 2016 End date: December 2017
Editorial Note: The commitment text is abridged. The full text can be found in the 2016–2018 OGP national action plan.
This commitment aimed to improve government engagement with youth through consultations (Milestone 1) and by increasing their participation opportunities at the local and regional level (Milestones 2 and 3).
Through the EU cofunded projects Structured Dialogue and Youth Worker, several public consultations with youth and youth organizations were organized in 2016. In 2016, the Ministry of Youth and Sport implemented 22 projects at the national level, involving 1,488 participants that were selected using objective criteria and with transparent methodologies. Milestone 2 saw limited completion, as law 350/2006 did not mandate the establishment of local youth consultative councils. In December 2017, only 10 youth consultative councils were functioning in Arges, Bistrita Nasaud, Covasna, Neamt, and Suceava at the county level, and in Constanta, Targoviste, Deva, Ploiesti and Timisoara at the municipal level.
According to the government’s self-assessment report, no further progress was made. 
Did it Open Government?
Civic participation: Did not change
The IRM midterm report has been skeptical of the effectiveness of the public consultations.  This skepticism was reaffirmed by a representative of civil society who stated that consultations felt like a tick-the-box exercise, rather than a real effort to improve youth participation. Moreover, the civil society representative argued that the youth councils that existed prior to the action plan provided a theoretical exercise in civic participation for a very limited number of students and provided only limited practice in managing civic projects.  Finally, another civil society representative argued that the new consultative councils (Milestone 2) were not yet functional. 
This commitment will be continued in the 2018–2020 national action plan as Commitment 4: “Improve consultation and public participation for youth.”
 The IRM progress report noted that the effectiveness of the public consultations was brought into questioning, as they often were informational events, and did not constitute genuine participation or youth engagement. (See “Romania progress report 2016–2017”, IRM, 2017, page 48, available at https://bit.ly/2vvxoou.)
 Diana Moldovan, Asociatia Impact Bistrita, interview with IRM researcher on 7 November 2018.
 Marian Damoc, Romanian Youth Movement for Democracy, interview by IRM researcher on 8 November 2018.