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Youth action programme 2000-2006

Legal status of the document This summary has been archived and will not be updated, because the summarised document is no longer in force or does not reflect the current situation.

Youth action programme 2000-2006

The Youth Programme offers young people opportunities for mobility and active participation in the construction of the Europe and contributes to the development of youth policy, based on non-formal education. It aims to promote exchanges and discussion meetings between young people, voluntary work, participation and active citizenship, and the innovation and improvement of international training and cooperation skills in the youth field.


Decision No 1031/2000/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 April 2000 establishing the "Youth" Community action programme.


The "Youth" Community action programme combines in one instrument several activities which existed in previous programmes such as " Youth for Europe " and the European Voluntary Service, for the period 2000-2006. It is also based on the objectives defined by the Commission in its communication " Towards a Europe of knowledge " and hence tends to favour the creation of a European educational area.

The main objectives of the programme are as follows:

  • to allow young people to acquire knowledge, skills and competences which may be one of the foundations of their future development;
  • to promote an active contribution by young people to the building of Europe through their participation in transnational exchanges;
  • to foster active citizenship on the part of young people and to enable them to become responsible citizens;
  • to encourage young people's initiative, enterprise and creativity so that they may take an active role in society and, at the same time, to stimulate recognition of the value of informal education acquired within a European context;
  • to promote respect for human rights and to combat racism and xenophobia;
  • to reinforce cooperation in the field of youth.

The implementation of these objectives at European level will complement measures taken by and in the Member States. The Commission will ensure that action under the programme is consistent with the Community's other actions and policies.

The following actions will be carried out under the programme:

  • Youth for Europe: mobility activities for groups of young people (from 15 to 25) based on transnational partnerships;
  • European Voluntary Service: participation of young volunteers (between 18 and 25 years) in a Member State other than the one in which they reside, or in a third country, in a non-profit-making and unpaid activity of importance to the community and of a limited duration (12 months maximum);
  • Initiative for youth: support for innovative and creative projects being promoted by young people;
  • Joint actions: Community aid may be provided for actions undertaken jointly with other Community schemes in the field of knowledge policy;
  • Various support measures: activities for cooperation, education and information, designed to encourage innovation and skills in the field of youth.

The programme is aimed principally at young people between the ages of 15 and 25 as well as those involved in youth work. Attention should be paid to ensuring that all young people, without discrimination, have access to the activities under the programme.

The Commission will ensure the implementation of the Community actions covered by the programme in conjunction with the Member States. The Member States will endeavour to take the necessary steps to ensure the efficient running of the programme at national level.

As part of the process of building up a Europe of knowledge, the measures of this programme may be implemented as joint actions with other Community actions which are part of the knowledge policy, particularly Community programmes in the area of education and vocational training of young people.

The Commission is responsible for managing the programme, which is largely decentralised to national employment agencies located in 31 European countries.

The Commission is assisted by a committee comprising representatives from the Member States and chaired by the representative of the Commission.

The financial resources for the implementation of the programme proposed by the Commission in the basic act is EUR 520 million over seven years. Because of the accession of the ten new Member States in 2004, this budget has received the favourable opinion of the European Parliament for an increase covering the period 2004-2006. It now amounts to EUR 615 million.

Besides the participation of the 25 Member States of the European Union, the programme is open to the participation of:

  • the EU candidate countries, in accordance with the conditions fixed in the Europe agreements or in existing or anticipated additional protocols governing the participation of these countries in Community programmes (Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey);
  • the countries of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) which belong to the European Economic Area (Iceland, Norway and Lichtenstein)
  • for some of the above-mentioned actions, the programme is also open to the participation of countries from other regions of the world, viz. the Mediterranean partner countries, the Eastern European and Caucasus countries, the countries of South Eastern Europe and Latin America.

The Commission is strengthening international cooperation and the relevant international organisations, particularly the Council of Europe

The programme is regularly monitored by the Commission in conjunction with the Member States. On the basis of the reports to be submitted by the Member States by 31 December 2002 and 30 June 2005 respectively, 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 2005 (see below);
  • a final ex-post evaluation report no later than 31 December 2007.



Entry into force - Date of expiry

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Decision (EC) No 1031/2000

18.05.2000 - 31.12.2006


OJ L 117 of 18.05.2000


Decision No 1719/2006/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 November 2006 establishing the Youth in Action programme for the period 2007 to 2013 [Official Journal L 327 of 24.11.2006].

Report from the Commission - Interim evaluation of the Youth Programme 2000-2006 (covering the period 2000-2003) [COM(2004) 158 final of 01.03.2004 - not published in the Official Journal]

The report stresses that the programme's objectives have largely been achieved. All the players have been involved in the evaluation process, namely the national administrations, national agencies, youth organisations, youth workers and researchers. However, to adapt the programme to changes in the situation and to respond to the recommendations made by the various players on the ground, the Commission proposes:

  • extending the age limits in the new youth programme in 2007;
  • focusing on young people with fewer opportunities and those living in remote rural areas;
  • helping small youth organisations or those which have never submitted projects;
  • creating regional and local information relays to increase proximity to potential beneficiaries without however decentralising financial management;
  • a simpler and administratively less cumbersome application process and a more transparent decision-making process, including the grounds for the rejection of projects;
  • organising more evaluation meetings at European and national level, and promoting widespread dissemination of good practices;
  • enhancing visibility for the programme and each of its actions, making the most of the results obtained;
  • better distribution of tasks within the partnership with the Council of Europe concerning the training of young workers.

Youth for Europe:

  • consider reducing the length of projects in the new Youth Programme;
  • strengthen partnerships between the national agencies responsible for the Youth Programme

European Voluntary Service (EVS):

  • systematically develop the quality and quantity of voluntary activities: 10 000 volunteers are envisaged each year;
  • introduce a collective EVS, enabling groups of volunteers to carry out their EVS together on the occasion of major events;
  • reform and decentralise the procedure for accrediting host organisations and issuing certificates for volunteers;
  • creating more sustainable support for the old voluntary structures.

Initiatives in favour of young people:

  • link Future Capital (action allowing young people to organise a project on their own as an extension of their voluntary service) with the EVS and support the creation of networking projects via the organisation of contact seminars;
  • use this instrument to encourage the active participation of young people and social inclusion.

Joint actions:

  • continue to focus on themes specific to youth such as active citizenship;
  • limit the requirement for compatibility to two of the three fields , namely education, training and youth, and make better use of the multiplier effect of joint actions;

Support measures:

  • further strengthen quality in youth work. The SALTO Resource Centres and the Partnership Programme between the Council of Europe and the European Commission on European Youth Worker Training will be used to achieve this goal;
  • make better use of the full potential of face-to-face communication and information technology to reach a wider range of young people in general and to provide them with in-depth information about YOUTH programme priorities;
  • launch, between now and 2006, calls for large-scale projects on an annual basis to support capacity-building and innovation with regard to international training and cooperation in the field of youth work.

As regards the Partnership Programme between the Council of Europe and the European Commission on European Youth Worker Training, the Commission proposes paying special attention to the efficient use of the competencies and tools at the disposal of the Partnership, e.g. by strengthening the network of trainers who participated in the training measures and capitalising on synergies between the three fields of cooperation (training, research, Euromed) with the Council of Europe.

The Commission could also facilitate access to the programme for organisations located in third countries and give organisations from partner countries the possibility of submitting applications and become leading partners in the projects. It also envisages transposing the model of the EuroMediterranean Youth Action Programme to the Balkans, Eastern Europe and the Caucasus.

Last updated: 20.02.2007