History of cooperation

The level of interregional intensive cooperation and exchange was built during the years of the previous YOUTH and Youth in Action programmes.

Starting in the year 2000, cooperation with neighbouring partner countries received a strong impetus with decentralisation in 2003, when National Agencies took over the granting of projects involving organisations from neighbouring partner countries. At that time, all three regional SALTO Resource Centres (EuroMed, South East Europe and Eastern Europe and Caucasus) had already been created to support the work of National Agencies in Programme countries and project promoters in the different partner regions.

Additional momentum in the cooperation came with establishing Action 3 within the Youth in Action Programme. Not only did the creation of a specific Action for cooperation with partner countries allow allocating appropriate resources but it also brought partnerships with the youth sectors of the EU’s neighbours up to a higher political level. The impact of the cooperation was further increased with the opening of specific cooperation frameworks (Western Balkans Youth Window, Eastern Partnership Window) and complemented by the EuroMed Youth programme, which offered not only larger budgetary envelopes but also the possibility to promoters from the neighbouring regions to coordinate projects, enabling them to participate on a more equal footing. As the Youth in Action evaluation outcomes have shown, budgets and attention allocated to cooperation with partner countries were successfully utilised allowing tens of thousands of young people to meaningfully benefit from such exchange and stimulating youth work and youth policy developments at national level in the partner regions. Read impact studies of each region: EECA, SEE, MEDA.

Between 2002 and 2013, National Agency officers responsible for cooperation with partner countries had the chance to meet regularly, learn from each other and exchange information as well as good practices. This allowed National Agencies to play their role better, and to further develop their knowledge and a professional approach to projects granted with partners from EU neighbouring partner countries. In addition, with the first Youth in Action kick-off seminar organised with the support of the European Commission in 2007, National Agency officers together with all three regional SALTOs created a platform for exchange, and several training and information activities were organised over the years by regional SALTOs in cooperation with National Agencies, including among all:

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