On December 24, 2019, Ukraine set up a new public body for civil society under the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports. The State Agency for Development of Youth and Civil Society of Ukraine will focus on developing youth and children issues. Its main responsibilities are the following:
- implementation of youth mobility programs, including exchanges of student and youth between different regions of Ukraine;
- youth exchanges in partnership with other countries, including Ukrainian-Polish and Ukraine-Lithuania youth exchanges;
- promotion of healthy lifestyles of young people, organization their meaningful leisure time, outreach work to counteract the spread of socially dangerous diseases among the young;
- allocation of state support among youth and children’s public associations to carry out nationwide programs and activities for children and youth; and national patriotic education.
At the same time, the new State Agency also has other responsibilities connected with enabling the development of the broader civil society, such as:
- promoting the development of various forms of charity and sponsorship activities for the full support and improvement of the situation of young people and young families;
- creating the conditions for developing CSO capacity.
Local groups are seriously concerned about these broader capacities and responsibilities with which the new State Agency is endowed, because the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports has been demonstrating a negative approach towards civil society in the past.