A country-wide consultation on the establishment of a National Youth Council (NYC) in Macedonia has begun. The country has one of the youngest populations in Europe and it is one of the few countries in the region without a national youth council. Such a council would enable the platform to advocate on issues concerning young people across Macedonia.

Although one quarter of Macedonia’s population is aged 15-26 and with youth unemployment rate nearly double the average unemployment rate in the country, young people could be seen as a marginalised social group. The main aim of this consultation process is to gather coherent opinions from the youth on relevant topics that affect them and to formulate tools that can improve their position in society.
16 organisations that are members of the initiative board that formed a few months ago for the establishment of a NYC in Macedonia are leading this final step. An established NYC has several benefits for young people in Macedonia, including building the capacity of youth organisations and ensuring the development of appropriate systems to support young people, their interests, ideas and development. The conclusions from the consultation and debates with young people from various affiliations will be included in the final development of the NYC and lead to its formal establishment.

The European Youth Forum has supported the work towards establishing a Macedonian National Youth council and welcomes the final country-wide consultation on the creation of this. The Forum believes that for youth organisations, an independent youth platform is of paramount importance for the creation of an independent and strong voice on youth issues. As well as acting as a forum for discussion, a national youth council would advocate for the issues raised and, if effective, would have a political impact by communicating clear messages to political actors.

European Youth Forum