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Youth in Action

Youth in Action 2007-2013

Introduction

Youth in Action is the Programme the European Union has set up for young people. It aims to inspire a sense of active European citizenship, solidarity and tolerance among young Europeans and to involve them in shaping the Union's future. It promotes mobility within and beyond the EU's borders, non-formal learning and intercultural dialogue, and encourages the inclusion of all young people, regardless of their educational, social and cultural background: Youth in Action is a Programme for all.

Every year, thousands of projects are submitted by promoters in order to get financial support from the Programme; a selection process aims at granting the best projects.

Objectives

The YOUTH IN ACTION programme is the EU’s mobility and non-formal education programme targeting young people aged between 13 and 30 years. Its general objectives are the following:

  • Promote young people’s active citizenship in general and their European citizenship in particular;
  • Develop solidarity and promote tolerance among young people, in particular in order to foster social cohesion in the European Union;
  • Foster mutual understanding between young people in different countries;
  • Contribute to developing the quality of support systems for youth activities and the capabilities of civil society organisations in the youth field;
  • Promote European cooperation in the youth field.

Actions

In order to achieve its objectives, the Youth in Action Programme foresees five operational Actions.

Depending on the Programme Action, the selection process of projects is initiated in one of the following ways:

  • for most Actions, the Programme Guide acts as a permanent call for proposals.

  • for some Actions, specific calls for proposals are published.

More information on who can participate? and How to apply?.

Responsible entities for the management of the Programme

DG Education and Culture is responsible for the running of the Youth in Action Programme. It manages the budget and sets priorities, targets and criteria for the Programme on an ongoing basis. Furthermore, it guides and monitors the general implementation, follow-up and evaluation of the Programme at European level.

The Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) is responsible notably for the implementation of the permanent and centralised actions of the Youth in Action Programme and for launching the specific calls for proposals. It is in charge of the complete life cycle of selected projects, from analysing the grant request to monitoring projects on the spot.

The National Agencies are responsible for the implementation of the permanent and decentralised actions of the Youth in Action Programme.

They are in charge of the complete life cycle of selected projects, from analysing the grant request to monitoring projects on the spot.

To know more about the roles of the Executive Agency and the National Agencies, please consult Part A of the Programme Guide.

Youth in Action Programme – Frequently Asked Questions

Applicants and beneficiaries are requested to refer to the following set of frequently asked questions, which provide answers to the large majority of requests for further information that we receive.

FAQ - Youth in action

 

Sub-Action 1.2

Objectives

This sub-Action supports projects where young people participate actively and directly in activities of their own devising in which they play the key roles, in order to develop their initiative, enterprise and creativity.

Youth initiatives enable a large number of young people to become inventive and creative in their daily life and to speak out on their local needs and interests but also on the main world issues. Young people can try out ideas by initiating, setting up and carrying out an own project affecting various areas of life. Youth Initiatives can also lead to the setting up of associations, NGOs or other bodies active in the area of social economy, no-profit and youth sectors.
What is a Youth Initiative?

A Youth Initiative is a project initiated, set up and carried out by young people themselves. It gives young people the chance to try out ideas through initiatives, which give them an opportunity to be directly and actively involved in planning and carrying out projects. Participation in a Youth Initiative is an important non-formal learning experience. It also provides young people with an opportunity to consider themselves as European citizens and to feel that they are contributing to the construction of Europe.

A Youth Initiative project has three phases:

  • planning and preparation
  • implementation of the Activity
  • evaluation (including reflection on a possible follow-up).

Non-formal learning principles and practice are reflected throughout the project.

A Youth Initiative can be:

  • national: designed at local, regional or national level and developed by a single group in its country of residence
  • trans-national: a networking of youth initiatives jointly carried out by two or more groups from different countries.

For detailed information about the criteria of a Youth Initiative, take a look at the Youth in Action Programme Guide

What else should you know about a Youth Initiative?

What is a coach?

A coach is a resource person who has youth work and/or Youth Initiatives experience to accompany groups of young people and support their participation. S/he plays different roles depending on the needs of a given group of young people. The coach remains outside the Youth Initiative but supports the group of young people in the implementation of their project or following their learning process as a group or as individuals. S/he works with the young people from time to time performing specific tasks based on the needs of the group. Coaches can be volunteers or professionals, youth leaders or leaders of youth organisations, workers of youth clubs or youth services, etc. Young people who have already participated in a Youth Initiative project can also be encouraged to use the competences gained during the process to support other groups of young people; they can therefore act as resource persons by taking over a peer coaching role. Peer coaching, that is, supporting peers or fellows of the same age, is an important tool to be used in a Youth Initiative in order to develop effective coaching systems at local level.

Coaches can also be advisers provided by the National Agencies who meet the group of young people several times during the development of the project, generally at the beginning, in the middle and at the end of the process.

The National Agencies may arrange meetings between potential and ex-beneficiaries of Youth Initiatives, to facilitate the development of peer coaching systems. For information on coaching within Youth Initiatives, please consult your National Agency.

What a coach is not:

  • A project leader
  • A member of the group carrying out the project
  • A professional trainer providing only a technical support in a specific field. This support can be supported through financing for Activity costs
  • The legal representative of an informal group of young people.

Multi-Measure projects - Action 1

Youth Initiatives can be part of a Multi-Measure project under Action 1. For further information, please consult section 'Multi-Measure projects' of this Action. Youthpass Every person who has taken part in a Youth in Action project under this Action is entitled to receive a Youthpass Certificate, which describes and validates the non-formal and informal learning experience and outcomes acquired during the project (learning outcomes). Furthermore, Youthpass is to be considered as a process of becoming aware, reflecting on and documenting the learning within the different phases of the project. For more information on Youthpass, please consult Part A of the Guide as well as the Youthpass guide and further relevant material presented at www.youthpass.eu.
Example of a Youth Initiative

12 Young people from Turkey developed a project aimed at giving basic computer skills to children who are obliged to work in the streets. The group cooperated with a local NGO that works regularly with these children. Based on discussion with the children, the group learned about their situation and asked them what they would like to do; the idea of the computer training was born there. The training in computers lasted three months and the project reached some 70 children. "Well, the most important thing at personal level was that the project enabled me to do what I wanted! You know, I felt moved by the situation of these street children. I wanted to do something! You can approach them and get to have an idea of their reality, but you need a frame to really work with them, and this is what the Youth Initiative project allowed us to achieve! The contact with the Youth Centre in the local area and the NGO cooperating with us were very helpful and important for the project. We organised different social activities, which gave the children the chance to feel less excluded. We had the impression that we succeeded in helping them, that they learnt something useful and enjoyed the experience too". (Turkish member of the group)

More information about Youth Initiatives can be obtained from the official Youth in Action Programme Guide

   

Multi-Measure Projects

What is a Multi-Measure project?

Through a Multi-Measure project, a promoter who aims to carry out several Activities under Action 1 over a period of up to 18 months can submit a single application combining:

  • either between two and five Activities of the same type (e.g. from two to five Youth Exchanges)
  • or between two and five Activities of different types (e.g. one Multilateral Youth Exchange, two Youth Initiatives and one Youth Democracy Project).

All Activities supported through Action 1 can be combined within a Multi-Measure agreement, except for Bilateral and Trilateral Youth Exchanges. Please note that Multi-Measure applications submitted under Action 1 to the Executive Agency should concern sub-actions 1.1 and 1.3 exclusively

The aims of a Multi-Measure project are specifically to:

  • reduce the administrative burden on promoters that have experience in managing grants under the Youth in Action Programme or other European Union Programmes
  • move the focus to quality aspects in project planning and implementation
  • enable the setting up of wider visibility and dissemination measures.

What else should you know about a Multi-Measure project Action 1?

Each Activity foreseen in a Multi-Measure project will be assessed separately according to the criteria set above. The National Agency or Executive Agency may reject one of more Activities included in the Multi-Measure project due to non-compliance with any of the criteria above. In such cases, the project may still be approved even though the number of Activities will be reduced. This will imply a consequent reduction of the grant awarded to the project.

More information about Multi-Measure projects in Action 1 can be obtained from the official Youth in Action Programme Guide

   

Sub-Action 1.1

 

Objectives

Youth Exchanges allow one or more groups of young people to be hosted by a group from another country in order to participate together in a joint programme of activities. These projects involve the active participation of young people and are designed to allow them to discover and become aware of different social and cultural realities, to learn from each other, to develop the entrepreneurial spirit and reinforce their feeling of being European citizens.

Youth Exchanges enable young people to go abroad, to meet peers from different countries with different social and cultural backgrounds and to learn from each other through an active participation in joint activities of common interest. Youth Exchanges allow young people to experience Europe and so to feel more European citizens.

What is a Youth Exchange?

A Youth Exchange is a project which brings together groups of young people from two or more countries, providing them with an opportunity to discuss and confront various themes, whilst learning about each other’s countries and cultures. A Youth Exchange is based on a trans-national partnership between two or more promoters from different countries. According to the number of countries involved, a Youth Exchange can be bilateral, trilateral or multilateral. A Bilateral Youth Exchange is justified especially when the promoters are at their first European project, or when the participants are small-scale or local groups without experience at European level.

A Youth Exchange can be itinerant, implying the movement of all participants at the same time, throughout one or more countries participating in the Exchange.

A Youth Exchange project has three phases:

  • planning and preparation
  • implementation of the Activity
  • evaluation (including reflection on a possible follow-up).

Non-formal learning principles and practice are reflected throughout the project.

For detailed information about the criteria of a Youth Exchange, take a look at the Youth in Action Programme Guideother languages.

What else should you know about a Youth Exchange?

What's a group leader?

A group leader is an adult who accompanies the young people participating in a Youth Exchange in order to ensure their effective learning, protection and safety.
Multi-Measure projects - Action 1

Youth Exchanges can be part of a Multi-Measure project under Action 1. For further information, please consult section 'Multi-Measure projects' of this Action.
Youthpass

Every person who has taken part in a Youth in Action project under this Action is entitled to receive a Youthpass Certificate, which describes and validates the non-formal and informal learning experience acquired during the project (learning outcomes). Furthermore, Youthpass is to be considered as a process of becoming aware, reflecting on and documenting the learning within the different phases of the project. For more information on Youthpass, please consult Part A of this Guide as well as the Youthpass guide and further relevant material presented at www.youthpass.eu.
Example of a Youth Exchange

A multilateral Youth Exchange titled "Slainte agus An Oige" took place in Omagh, Northern Ireland, and involved 40 young people from Ireland, Lithuania, Poland and United Kingdom. The exchange aimed at providing young people with a framework for a healthy lifestyle by focusing on the benefits of participating in outdoor activities. The programme was a combination of practical activities where young people worked in teams trying out different sports, complemented with a number of workshops centred on the debate around the advantages of sport on the body. The project also allowed for each country group of participants to make a presentation on their countries culture and history. The emphasis of the programme was to build self esteem, acceptance of other people, open their minds, learn about other cultures and value different countries.

More information about Youth Exchanges can be obtained from the official Youth in Action Programme Guide

   
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