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Regional Youth Funding in Europe



NORDBUK, part of the Nordic Council, has two kinds of grants, one for projects and one for organizations, for supporting young people and their activities in the region.

Project Funding


The aim of project funding grants is to strengthen Nordic identity by supporting children’s and youth participation in activities regarding cultural, political, and social affairs in the North, and to enhance the possibility for children and youth to strengthen the Nordic profile in international relations. Grants are given to time-limited projects that contribute to increasing contact between children and youth in the North. Grants can be given to organizations and other groups of children and young people (e.g., youth schools, youth clubs, cooperation between friendship municipalities, folk high schools) to organize seminars, courses, conferences, camps, publications, and other events. This grant gives priority to participants up to age 25, although young people up to age 29 are considered as long as they have the primary initiative and responsibility throughout the process from idea development to final evaluation. Priority is given to projects involving disabled children and youth and to those involving minority groups.

Competitions and championships are given low priority. Eligible organizations have shared statutes and members in at least three Nordic countries or autonomous regions: Denmark, Greenland, Finland, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and the Åland Islands. Project organizers must provide co-financing through participation fees or other grants. Grants can be given to cover travel, board and lodging, rental fees for venues, fees for speakers and other experts, assistance for participants with disabilities, and publications. Grants are not given to cover procurement of office supplies or acquisition of premises. Applications for project grants are assessed quarterly.

Organizational Funding


Children and youth organizations with members in at least three Nordic countries can apply for grants for the planning and development of their Nordic cooperation. Eligible activities include planning meetings, information materials, and the like. Projects are assessed once a year and have an October 1 deadline. Organizations must be grant-entitled as a national child or youth organization or a concept-based organization, have at least 50% of its members under the age of 25, and have a democratic organizational structure. If the organization does not meet the first criterion and, therefore, applies for grants under the second, the statutes and a confirmation of the number of the organization’s members must be enclosed. Grants are not given to sports or professional organizations.



The OSCE conducts a wide range of activities related to all three dimensions of security—human, political-military, and economic-environmental. The OSCE employs about 3,000 staff in 18 missions and field operations located in Southeastern Europe, the Caucasus, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia. They work to facilitate political processes, prevent or settle conflicts, and promote civil society and the rule of law. The OSCE does not have a centralized youth program, but according to needs identified on the ground in countries where it is active, it has developed youth-specific programming. Many of the OSCE’s regional and local programs have a strong youth dimension, involving young people in all kinds of educational activities to promote civil society reconciliation and community and human development; youth democratic leadership; and human rights, among others. Particularly in Southeastern Europe, the OSCE has promoted youth participation in its programs as both beneficiaries and drivers of change. Several OSCE missions in Southeast European countries have hired youth program managers. The OSCE missions in each participating state have their own youth related activities, and in some cases provide funding for different kinds of activities of young people in the country, including the operation of youth centers, the organization of discussion forums and training seminars, etc. No information was found in the public domain concerning the volume of resources being invested in young people’s activities centrally or through the field presence of the OSCE.



Since 1998, the (sections responsible for youth in the) Council of Europe and the European Commission have cooperated closely in the youth field. This partnership has taken the form of consecutive agreements focusing in the first stage on “European Youth Worker and Youth Leader Training,” complemented in 2003 by two further covenants, one on “Euro-Mediterranean Youth Cooperation” and another on “Youth Research.” As of 2005 both partners (CoE and EC) strengthened cooperation and established a single partnership agreement with the aim of providing a lasting framework for the joint development of a coherent strategy in the field of youth worker training, youth policy, and youth research in Europe.

The partnership has activities in the areas of youth research, youth policy development, and Euro–Med youth cooperation with the aim of providing added value to the programs of the two institutions and their institutional partners, fostering cooperation, complementarity and synergies, and enhancing the partnership’s impact on youth-related policies and activities in Europe and beyond. The partnership does not have a grant-making mechanism. It has ten members of staff, but a relatively limited operational budget considering the scope of the program (figures not available in the public domain). It nevertheless provides important complementary support to the development of the European youth sector and its professionalization through its operational training, research, and policy activities. In 2009, the partnership had a budget of €1.2 million.