Before starting to fill in your application, remember to make sure you meet the required conditions to join that program, since some facts may change from one Action to another. The following is a schematic outline of the information found in the Users' Guide, so that it is easier to quickly check if you come up to the requirements or not.
If you just need a Sending Organization, try searching the list of organizations.
- The Program Youth has five Actions. Each one has a different aim and different "rules".
- The European Commission sets priorities every year to guide the approval of projects. After, every country sets additional national priorities that respect the main ones.
- Application deadlines are established for specific periods of time (for example, if a project will take place between the 1st of May and the 30th of September, you must apply before the 1st of February).
- You can join or create a project:
- as an individual (“participant” or “volunteer”’),
- as an organizer of a project (“hosting organization”),
- as an organization that joins a project (“sending organization”),
- by sending individuals to a project from your organization and being their responsible in their home country (“sending organization”).
If you want to join a project as an individual:
- You need to apply for an existing project to the responsible organization. You will find different kind of projects, in many countries, about many subjects and for different periods of time. Find the ones that interest you.
- If you already know what project you would like to join, contact the responsible organization (“hosting”) and apply.
- You will need also a sending organization; search for one in your town.
If your organization wants to join a project (sending):
- To join a project you have to receive an invitation from the responsible organization.
- If you don’t have an invitation, you can also try to contact an organization that is preparing a project before they apply.
If your organization wants to apply for a project (hosting):
- If you want to apply for a project, you have to completely design it first. The project must follow the rules of the Action you choose. Rules affect general aims, kind of activities, people involved, financing, etc.
Young people • Between 13 and 30,
Other countries (“third countries”): they can participate to a limited extend and under certain conditions in Actions 1, 2 and 5. The European Commission may also support projects of a pilot character or with high promotional value involving these countries.
Action 1 'Youth for Europe'
- Short-term program,
- Exchange of groups from different countries,
- Young people between 15 and 25.
Action 2 'European Voluntary Service'
- For individuals
- Aged between 18 and 25 when they start the program (or over 25 for young people with less opportunities, if justified, and judged on a case-by-case basis).
- Legally residents in a Program Country or in an eligible Third country (more about participation of Third Countries in EVS here).
- Organizations cannot specify that volunteers should be of a specific ethnic group, religion, sexual orientation or political opinion.
- For a period between 6 and 12 months.
- For a period between 3 weeks and 6 months for short-term projects (for people with less opportunities).
- A country other than where the volunteer lives.
- At least one EU Member State.
- Non-profit-making and unpaid (apart from the money received with the program).
- Must not involve job substitution, be a substitute for military service or alternative service formulas.
- It must show clear learning opportunities for the volunteer.
- The voluntary activity (training included) should take up between 30 and 35 hours per week.
- Young people with less opportunities (More information about EVS with special needs here).
- Create new partnerships. Involve organizations which have not yet participated in EVS.
- Involve a new area of activity, or have innovative features.
- Support the development of local communities.
Any type of non-governmental organization, an association, a local authority or any other non-profit-making local initiative can be a sending organization.
All host organizations must be approved by the European Commission. The first step is to submit the Host Expression of Interest to the National Agency (valid for a maximum of three years, not just for a project).
Action 3 'Youth Initiatives'
Group Initiatives and Networking projectsParticipants
- Groups of young people (at least four).
- Legally residents in one of the Program Countries.
- Aged between 15 and 25 (in principle).
- A group should consist of at least four individuals.
- Any of the Program Countries.
Between three months and one year. Note: A Group Initiative may include mobility activities at local, regional or national level and relevant travel costs may be funded.
Action 4 'Joint Actions'
Joint Actions are a new possibility. Every year there are calls for proposals published in the Official Journal of the European Communities. There they indicate the themes, objectives and context, types of project, support and budget available, eligibility and selection criteria, financial conditions, as well as the application procedure and deadlines.
Action 5 'Support Measures'
- Youth workers,
- support persons,
- project managers,
- youth leaders,
- groups of young people,
- other actors involved or interested in non-formal education,
- non-profit organizations and public authorities experienced in the field of youth and non-formal education.
- All activities must involve at least one EU Member State.
Any of the countries involved in the project.
In addition to the above-mentioned permanent priorities, annual priorities may be fixed for the Youth in Action Programme and communicated on the Commission, Executive Agency and National Agencies' websites.
For 2011, the annual priorities are the following:
- European Year of Volunteering
This priority is intended to encourage projects aimed at raising awareness of the value and importance of volunteering as a form of active engagement and as a tool to develop or improve competences for personal, social and professional development.
- Youth unemployment
This priority is intended to encourage projects promoting the access of unemployed young people to the Youth in Action Programme. Priority will also be assigned to projects tackling the issues of youth unemployment and/or aimed at stimulating unemployed young people's mobility and active participation in society.
- Inclusive growth
This priority is intended to encourage projects addressing the issue of poverty and marginalisation and encouraging young people's awareness and commitment to tackling these issues for a more inclusive society. In this context, special emphasis shall be placed in particular on the inclusion of young migrants, disabled young people, and where relevant Roma youth.
- Global environmental challenges and climate change
This priority is intended to encourage projects aimed at raising young people's awareness and mobilization around global environmental challenges and climate change as means to encourage the development of "green" skills and behaviors among young people and youth workers and their commitment to a more sustainable growth.
- Creativity and entrepreneurship
This priority is intended to encourage projects - especially youth initiatives - aimed at stimulating young people's spirit of initiative, their ability to think imaginatively and originally, their readiness to take risk and their ingenuity in order to achieve economic, political, social or environmental goals.
- EU-China Year of Youth (only for Action 2 and sub-Action 3.2)
Additionally, within the Actions open to cooperation with other Partner Countries of the World, special attention will be devoted to projects aimed at encouraging dialogue, cooperation and exchanges in the field of youth between the European Union and China as a means to contribute to the EU-China Year of Youth 2011.