European Union

The European Union does not have Community legislation in the field of youth; the judicial competence in this field is national. The European Council may issue recommendations according to Commission proposals and implement actions, which do not require the unification of the member states' laws or statutes.

European cooperation in the field of youth policy focuses on the following issues: participation of young people, youth information, voluntary action of young people, and youth research.

In compliance with the resolution of the Council of the European Union, the cooperation adheres to the open method of coordination, according to which the member states define common headline goals concerning all these issues. The aim is also to promote consideration of the youth perspective in other policy sectors.

Framework and objectives

The renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field sets out objectives of the cooperation to create equal opportunities for all young people in education and in the labour market as well as to promote their active citizenship, social inclusion and solidarity. In order to achieve these objectives, initiatives from the youth sector and consideration of the youth affairs in other fields of policy are both needed.

The framework of nine years will be divided into three three-year periods. The cooperation is presented with eight main fields of action, which will be prioritised and executed according to the resolutions of the European Council made separately for every three-year period.

The main fields of action are:

  • Education and Training
  • Employment and Entrepreneurship
  • Health and Well-being
  • Participation
  • Voluntary Activities
  • Social Inclusion
  • Youth and the World
  • Creativity and Culture

Youth in Action programme

The long-term Youth in Action programme (2007–2013) offers an opportunity for international cooperation for young people in the EU. Participation in the projects of the Youth in Action programme is possible for young people between 15 and 28 years (in some cases 13–30), for people active in youth work and for organisations of public utility.

The aim of the programme is to promote active citizenship of young people and solidarity. Operational Sub-Actions of the Youth in Action programme are Youth for Europe, European Voluntary Service, Youth in the World, Youth Support Systems and Support for European Cooperation in the Youth Field.

In Finland, the Centre for International Mobility (CIMO) answers for the execution of the programme.