Voter turnout in Slovakia is low in the long-term perspective. First voters are the most active ones - 60% of the first-time voters 18-21 years of age took part in the last parliamentary elections in 2016. The topic to lower the voters ‘age periodically appears in debates but any official steps towards this measure have not been taken yet. Political parties usually do not have official ´youth wings´, but some youth organizations play currently a role of unofficial young supporters of some political parties (5.1).
Youth and their interests and opinions are represented by several official organizations, for example by the Youth Council of Slovakia and Regional Youth Councils as well as organizations representing university and secondary school students (5.3). The greatest opportunity for young people to influence the development of legislation is during preparation of strategic documents by the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sports of the Slovak Republic. It is also supported by the fact that the Ministry is responsible for preparation and creation of youth policy in Slovakia. Consultations with youth are held on regular basis although they are not designed as official system with approved methodology (5.4).
There is no separate national youth participation strategy but theme ´Participation´ is a part of the Strategy of the Slovak Republic for Youth for 2014 - 2020. Support for multiregional youth organizations is ensured in particular via Programmes for Youth (Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sports of the Slovak Republic) that ensure their sustainability by supporting their infrastructure and contributing to their activities with multi-annual grants (5.5).
In addition to compulsory subjects in formal education, e.g. Citizenship education, so called Students School Councils are established at secondary schools as a platform for the development of competences in active participation (5.7). Non-formal learning in the area of participation is the domain of non-governmental organizations that can use the Voice of Youth Programme (in particular, the activities of Regional Youth Councils). To support local youth policy, Community for Youth Programme operating within the Programme for Youth to support local youth policies, mainly for regional and local self-governing offices (5.8).