Municipal and Prefectural Youth Councils have been operating in Greece since 1997, providing young people with an opportunity to actively participate and undertake initiatives in matters which are of concern to youth as well as of general interest. Participation in the councils extends to representatives of pupils’ communities, professional organisations, scientific associations, co-operatives and agricultural unions. The Municipal and Prefectural Councils plan and implement actions in fields such as education, vocational guidance, employment, information and leisure time.
The policy of the General Secretariat for Youth concerning the Councils is aimed at developing the administrative skills of young people through initiatives undertaken by the Councils, as well as identifying youth problems and formulating solutions at a local level.
In recent years the institution of Youth Councils has rapidly expanded. A total of 78 Municipal and 7 Prefectural Youth Councils have already been set up and are currently operating. Councils all over the country have formed a network in which the further development of the institution is being discussed with the support of the General Secretariat for Youth. This network recently acquired status as a distinct legal entity.
The General Secretariat for Youth has provided both moral support and material assistance for the efforts of young people to establish youth structures at a local level.
It should be noted that youth participation will be a priority during the Greek Presidency, while the Greek network of Municipal and Prefectural Youth Councils Network is considered a good model for similar initiatives at a European level.