Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Previous programme


Programme funding

EUR 600 million

Official Journal Reference

L 117 of 2000-05-18

Legislative Reference

of 2000-04-13
To allow young people to acquire knowledge and skills, and to exercise responsible citizenship to become an active part of society, notably by promoting the role of young women; to strengthen their sense of solidarity through more extensive participation by young people living legally in a Member State in transnational Community service activities; to promote an active contribution by young people to the building of Europe through their participation in transnational exchanges within the Community or with non-member countries; to encourage young peoples' sense of initiative, enterprise and creativity so that they can play an active role in society.


The introduction of this youth programme is part of a series for the implementation of the new generation of programmes in the field of education (SOCRATES), training (LEONARDO DA VINCI) and youth. All the programmes will start on 1 January 2000 and run until 31 December 2004.

The overall budget for the programmes will be ECU 3,000 million of which 1,400 would go to the second phase of the SOCRATES programme, ECU 1,000 would go to the second phase of the LEONARDO DA VINCI programme and ECU 600 million for the implementation of the Community Action Plan "Youth".

The proposals involve a genuine reshaping of the current programmes and the concentration of Community interventions around a limited number of objectives, as well as simplified procedures. In line with the communication "Towards a Europe of knowledge" and the recommendations contained in Agenda 2000, the focus of the proposal is on the necessity to ensure lifelong opportunities for every European citizen.


The aims of the programme will be carried out through the following five actions:

- Action 1: European voluntary service:

Where young volunteers participate, in a Member State other than the one in which they are living, or in a non-member country, in a non-profit-making and unpaid activity which is of value to the community and lasts for a limited period (maximum 12 months) as part of a project recognised by the Member State and the Community. There are two sub-categories of action:

. Intra-Community European voluntary service

Transnational projects, of between three weeks to one year, which involve young people, actively and personally, in activities designed to help most meet the needs of society in a wide range of fields (including social, sociocultural, environmental, cultural). They are designed to bring young people into contact with other cultures and other languages. Some preparation and mentoring arrangements may be supported.

. European voluntary service with non-member countries

Transnational projects with the same aims and duration as the intra-community actions but with non-member countries.

- Action 2: Youth for Europe:

. Intra-Community exchanges for young people

Mobility activities - based on transnational partnerships between groups of young people - lasting at least one week, carried out on the basis of joint projects within the Community and involving groups of young people aged between 15 and 25 years and legally resident in a Member State. Activities should make it possible for them to discover and become aware of different social and cultural realities and encourage them to participate in, or initiate, other activities at European level. Community support shall be focused primarily on multilateral group-mobility activities. Linguistic and intercultural preparation prior to the mobility may be supported.

. Exchanges of young people with non-member countries

Mobility activities with the same aims and duration as the intra-community exchanges but aimed at projects involving exchanges between young people from at least two Member States and a non-member country.

- Action 3: Opportunity for youth:

Funding will be provided for projects where young people actively and directly participate in innovative and creative schemes and in those which focus on the social commitment of young people at local, regional, national or European level. They are aimed at helping young volunteers to make the best possible use of the experience gained during their period of voluntary service. Initiatives designed to encourage tolerance and the acceptance of differences, the combating of exclusion and involving sporting or cultural activities are particularly encouraged in this category.

Under this action, support for 'Youth initiatives' will encourage the extension of the projects to include similar initiatives conducted in other Member States to strengthen their transnational nature and expand exchanges of experience and cooperation between young people.

- Action 4: joint actions:

Support for activities carried out jointly with other Community schemes in the field of knowledge policy, in particular Community programmes in the field of education and vocational training. Coordination may be implemented by means of calls for joint projects. The Commission intends to develop a common system of information and observation about good practice in the field of knowledge, alongside joint actions with regard to multimedia for educational and training purposes.

- Action 5: Support measures:

. Training and cooperation in relation to these involved in youth policy

Funding will be granted to activities: designed to give further training to those involved in youth work; designed to develop European training modules; designed to facilitate and promote the establishment of lasting transnational partnerships and/or multilateral networks between those active in the field of youth work; to implement new approaches and new forms cooperation; and to promote cooperation and the exchange of good practice such as conferences and seminars. The activities may be intra-Community in nature or involve non-member countries.

. Information for young people and youth studies

Where those active in the field of youth work will be encouraged to become involved in informing young people at European level, as well as boosting cooperation between the information and communication systems for young people established in the Member States and at Community level. Particular stress will be laid on broadening cooperation to include the fields of education and training. Funding will be provided for initiatives involving: the acquisition of the necessary expertise to carry out youth information projects; cooperative projects focusing on information dissemination, awareness; implementation, as part of the transnational cooperation projects of mechanisms permitting dialogue between and with young people, particularly through the use of media and new technologies.

. Support Measures

Community assistance may be provided to support the activities of the structures set up by Member States and the Commission may have recourse to technical assistance organisations.

The actions will be implemented, or positioned, within the following measures, in the form of operations which may be used in combination with each other:

- Support for mobility of young people;
- Promotion of virtual mobility;
- Support for the development of European level cooperation networks permitting mutual exchange of experience and good practice;
- Promotion of language skills and understanding of different cultures;
- Support for innovatory pilot projects based on transnational partnerships designed to develop innovation;
- Constant improvement of the Community terms of references with regard to youth systems and policies.


The Commission, with the Member States, will ensure the implementation of the actions covered by the programme and to make the best of what has been achieved through Community cooperative action in the field of youth. They will take action to develop structures at both Community and national level, to achieve the objectives of the programme, facilitate access to the programme for young people, evaluate and monitor actions under the programme and apply consultation and selection arrangements. They will also have to take measures designed to inform and raise awareness of young people moving to another country.

The Commission, in cooperation with the Member States, will ensure the transition between those actions developed in the framework of the previous community programmes in the field of youth (Youth for Europe III and European Voluntary Service) and the actions that will be implemented in the framework of the present programme. The programme's measures may be implemented as joint actions, with other Community actions forming part of the knowledge policy, particularly Community programmes in the area of education and training.

The Commission will be assisted by a committee made up of Member State representatives and chaired by a Commission representative. It will play a major role in assessing the arrangements for the implementation of the programme, the criteria applicable for establishing the breakdown of funds between the Member states under the decentralised measures and the arrangements for evaluating the programme. In carrying out the programme the Commission may use technical assistance organisations.

The Programme is aimed at young people, in principle between the ages of 15 and 25, who are legal residents of Member States, as well as those involved in youth work. Special efforts will be made to assist young people who, for cultural social, physical, economical or geographical reasons, find it more difficult to participate in existing action programmes.

Participation will be open to Central and Eastern European countries (CEEs), Cyprus, Malta, the countries of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), Turkey and Malta, subject to the existing, anticipated or yet to be agreed arrangements laid down for their participation in Community programmes.

The Commission will evaluate the programme periodically in cooperation with the Member States. The evaluation will aim to appraise the effectiveness of the implemented actions. The evaluation will also examine the 'complementarity' between actions under this programme and that pursued under other Community programmes, particularly supported by the European Social Fund.

The Commission and the Member States will continually monitor the programme. Member States will submit to the Commission by 31 December 2002 and 30 June 2005, respectively, reports on the implementation and impact of the programme.

The Commission will submit to the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee, and the Committee of the Regions an interim evaluation report on the implementation of the programme no later than 30 June 2003 and the final report by no later than 31 December 2005.
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