Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Previous programme


Successor programme


Programme funding

EUR 25 million

Official Journal Reference

L 217 of 1991-08-06

Legislative Reference

91/395/CEE of 1991-07-29
To promote youth exchanges within the European Community for an increasing number of young people from all the Member States, to help improve the quality and diversification of such exchanges, and to support the pursuit of exchanges aimed at developing permanent links between young people.


On 16 June 1988 the Council of the European Communities adopted Decision 88/348/EEC establishing the 'Youth for Europe' action programme (Official Journal No L 158 of 25.6.1988) to promote youth exchanges in the Community. This is the second phase of that programme comprising a range of measures directly linked to the development of youth exchanges and mobility in the Community.

The term 'youth exchanges' in this context refers to project-centred bilateral exchanges and multilateral exchanges and encounters arranged on the basis of joint projects between groups of young people between the ages of 15 and 25 years residing in two or more Member States, excluding projects which take place in the context of formal education or vocational training. They are of a minimum duration of one week and are specifically planned so as to enable the young people to develop skills for active and working life by increasing their understanding of the economic, social and cultural life of other Member States, by establishing cooperative relationships between goups of young people resident in different Member States, by exchanging ideas and identifying common interests with young people from other countries taking part in the exchanges, and by strengthening their awareness of belonging to Europe. Activities supported under this programme are designed in particular to encourage the paticipation of young people who experience the most difficulties in being included in existing exchange programmes.


- Direct support for youth projects involving exchange and mobility;

- Study visits and professional development for youth workers;

- Accompanying measures:
. Promotion of the implementation of practical measures to encourage the mobility of young people;
. Measures to encourage the undertaking of collaborative activities in the field of youth work;
. Measures to provide technical expertise and support for the implementation of grant and subsidy schemes;
. Measures to identify ways and means of overcoming the various obstacles which may inhibit participation in, or the organization of, youth exchanges;
. Measures to define possible new actions to fill any gaps discovered in existing exchange programmes;

- Activiies concerned with the development of:
. Information to young people and youth workers about the activities supported under the programme and the application and grant systems relating to each activity;
. Consultation facilities;
. Coordination of activities and exchanges of information and experience between designated bodies in the Member States;
. Assessment of the qualitative effect of the programme.


The Commission implements the programme assisted by an advisory committee composed of two representatives from each Member State and chaired by the Commission representative. Members of the committee may be assisted by experts or advisers. A representative of the Council of Europe and a representative of the Youth Forum of the European Communities are invited to participate in the work of the committee as observers. Each Member State designates an existing body or sets up one or more competent bodies responsible for coordinating the implementation of the programme at national level. These bodies cooperate in the continuous evaluation of the programme.

The measures are directed at young people (from 15 to 25 years of age) as well as at bodies active in promoting youth exchanges or mobility. The projects to receive Community assistance are chosen on the basis of joint criteria of quality, impact and efficacy in line with the programme objectives.

The Commission ensures that there is consistency and complementarity between this programme and other activities of the Member States and of the Community affecting young people, in particular youth exchanges envisaged under the TEMPUS programme. Account is taken of the activities of the Council of Europe, inter alia in the field of information and training for youth workers. The Commission also maintains regular contacts with international organizations working in this field.

The Commission evaluates the programme continuously on the basis of statistical and other information provided by the designated bodies in the Member States and of other independently collected information and analyses. On the basis of the evaluation, the Commission will submit a report to the European Parliament and the Council on the implementation of the programme after the first year, taking into account the results of the first phase since 1 July 1988.
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