/ What Is Youth Policy
Estonia strives for an integrated youth policy, where decisions concerning young people are made in different areas via a holistic approach, based on the interests and needs of young people and involving youngsters (see Youth Work Strategy 2006-2013 and Youth Field
Development Plan 2014-2020).
The main areas of impact of youth policy, i.e. areas where decisions are made, aimed at young people and concerning young people’s lives, are youth work, education, employment, health, culture, social policy, environment, national defense, family policy, etc.
ENL wants Estonian youth policy to result in a high quality of life and good breakthrough ability for Estonian youngsters. ENL works to guarantee that the interests of young people and youth associations are taken into consideration when making decisions concerning young
people. It is important that young people are involved in decisions that affect them.
ENL’s youth policy is always depending on input from member organisations and young people. ENL is a network that gathers the opinions and experience of young people and stands for the interests of young people accordingly. Besides the members of the team and the
council, several member organisations and many volunteers are directly implicated in the implementation of the policy. To boot, anybody may turn to ENL with their thoughts, regardless of their organisational affiliation or membership status.
ENL operates independently of political parties, but cooperates equally with all political parties and their youth councils that are members of ENL, deriving from the interests of young people.
ENL has signed a memorandum of cooperation with the Estonian School Student Councils’s Union (EÕEL) and the Federation of Estonian Student Unions (EÜL), which focus on education policy and more broadly representing the interests of students. The aim of the
memorandum is to strengthen the cooperation of young umbrella organisations in shaping public policy, to promote participatory democracy and youth participation, plus to boost the capacity of guardianship organisations in Estonia. The unions then introduced the
abbreviation E3 for joint events and statements. Cooperation between the three national umbrella organisations representing young people began even before the establishment of ENL. EÜL was one of the main initiators of the creation of ENL, and EÕEL has previously been a member organisation of ENL. Cooperation has occurred at every level and on many issues, but mainly still in the interests of young people, i.e. in shaping youth policy. See also the press release on the Memorandum of Cooperation.
We also work closely with the Association of Estonian Open Youth Centres (Eesti ANK), the Estonian Association of Youth Workers (ENK), and the Estonian Association of Leaders of of Extracurricular Activities (EHJL). Within Estonia, ENL belongs to the Network of Estonian Nonprofit Organizations (EMSL). At European level, our umbrella organisation is the European Youth Forum, through which we, together with other representative associations, participate in shaping youth policy at European and global level.