If you wonder what does local children’s and youth municipal councils mean, check it out!

The local children’s and youth municipal councils are age-group societies which established with the aim of advocating the interest of local youth who live or study there. Depending on the size of the settlements it consists of one or two deputy mayor and one mayor. The children’s and youth municipal councils are leaded by the council which is elected by the youngsters democratically thus it is not leaded by adults. Their aim is to acquire the responsibility for their cities about youth issues. It is important that children’s and youth municipal councils should be non-political thus it needs to stay independent from any parties.

The children’s and youth municipal councils organize connections within and between the age-groups. It represents the interest of its voters in any possible place and situation. The children’s and youth municipal council’s field of activity primarily focuses on the settlement, secondly it can be a bigger focus on the region, country and they can have different international relations. The children’s and youth municipal councils are not Hungarian inventions. The first children’s councils were established in 1992 based on a French model.

The children’s and youth’s municipal councils are created after the first successful general elections, its Ground Rules and Organizational and Operational Regulations will be accepted by the elected representatives on the first inaugural meeting. Before organizing the election its good if the initiators (e.g.: city council and their representatives, different groups of children and youngsters, teachers and educators etc.) trying to orientate towards those who have children’s and youth municipal councils for a while. It is possible to invite youngsters and adult helpers for a study visit in order to get to know their work, experiences, and successes. Once you like the things what they recommend and youngsters want it too,  you can only  start to organize the first general elections.

The children’s and youth municipal councils are elected secretly and directly by the youngsters who live or study in the town. During the election preparation meetings which are attended by the youngsters and adults as well it is necessary to discuss the age limits of who can be elected and who can elect, the borders of the voting areas (election districts) and the number of people in the council etc., in other words they need to write and accept the election regulations.

The preparation team does its job well if all of their decisions are temporarily made; it only regulates the first general election. The elected council can modify the regulations because the rules refer to them and the appropriate forms can be defined only by them. It is important to release the election regulation in a same time with the calling for children’s and youth municipal council election. In the same time with calling the election preparers need to form an election committee with youngsters who are not candidates. This temporary committee is responsible for managing all the things to do related to the elections, thus they create the list of the names about who can vote, and organize the campaign meetings till the elections and announce the results. Surely different types of committees can be created, for instance: event planner, vote counting or other sub-committees.

After the elections, inaugural meeting needs to be organized. The freshly elected council get together first time. Depending on the needs and interest of youth, different positions can be elected: deputy mayors, keeper, officers and committees.

At the first meeting they work out their Ground Rules, Organizational and Operational Regulations and Election Regulations, work plan and budget together leaded by the youth mayor. During the upcoming elections these regulations are not needed to be recreated but of course it is better to include rules in it about who can initiate changes in that and who can modify it. They also need to find an adult who would help their work (youth worker/animator) and they also need to agree with the city council about how they will work.

Unfortunately the children’s and youth municipal councils are mixed in lot cases and the worst case if it is identified  with the school student councils however the competence and the mandate of children’s and youth council not only apply for one institution like school student councils but for the whole town, city and the youngsters who live there. The school student councils only focus on the students in their schools but there are other youngsters who for some reason do not study, do not work or   they simply study in a different city.

In Hungary there is no legislation according to this organizational form that is the reason why the palette of children’s and youth municipal councils is so diverse and varied. Thanks to this they operate in the situation they created by considering their own and local needs.