Youth for Europe (Youth Exchanges) within Action 3.1

Youth Exchanges facilitate an encounter of young people from different countries and backgrounds, providing them the unique opportunity to get to know each other, discuss and confront various themes, building an atmosphere of understanding and respect for other cultures and national differences, through non-formal education methods.

What are the aims of Youth Exchange?

  • Promoting the fundamental European values to young people, in particular respect for human dignity, equality, respect for human rights, tolerance and non-discrimination, including young people with disabilities;
  • Fostering the mobility of young people in Europe;
  • Developing intercultural learning within the youth field;
  • Encouraging initiative, enterprise and creativity;
  • Providing non-formal and informal learning opportunities with a European dimension and creating innovative opportunities in connection with active citizenship, especially for the young people with fewer opportunities.

Formal criteria:


  • 16-60 participants, aged between 13 and 25 (group leader(s) not included);
  • A small number of participants of a group may be older than 25 years (but not older than 30 years).


  • The duration of the exchange activity must be between 6-21 days, excluding travel;
  • The duration of a project, including preparation, implementation, evaluation and follow-up activity may last up to 15 months.


  • Project can take place either in Programme Country or in Neighbouring Partner Country involved in the project (except Mediterranean Partner Countries).

Types of Youth Exchanges:

  • Bilateral, trilateral and multilateral exchanges;
  • Bilateral exchanges are intended for those partner groups which have not organised Youth Exchanges before;
  • Multilateral, i.e. minimum 4 countries are involved (at least 2 partners from Neighbouring Partner Countries are requested).


  • The Youth Exchange must have a thematic concept, which the partner groups wish to explore together of its relevance to their everyday experience. The chosen theme should be translated into the concrete daily activities of the exchange activity. Examples of themes are: participation of young people in society, fight against racism & xenophobia, inter-ethnic and inter-religious dialogue, post-conflict resolution and reconstruction, heritage and environmental protection.


  • At least one EU Member State must be involved;
  • Projects should aim at a balance between the number of Programme Countries and EECA Countries involved;
  • A partner group must be:
    - a non-profit organisation or association or
    - a local or regional public body or
    - an informal group of young people.

A youth exchange is not:

  • statutory meetings;
  • holiday travel/tourism;
  • language courses;
  • school or class exchanges;
  • academic study trips
  • performance tours;
  • work camps;
  • festivals;
  • competitions/tournaments;
  • activities which make a financial profit.
  • Youth in Action projects are co-funded, i.e. besides grants from the Youth in Action Programme, at least one additional source of funding to cover total costs of the project is required (cash/in kind);
  • The travel costs are reimbursed at the rate of 70%;
  • The Community grant is based on a combination of actual costs, flat rate amount and amounts based on scales of unit costs.

What has changed in the rules of Action 3.1 in 2012?

Age of participants:

  • the minimum age - 13 years (completed in the project's start date)
  • the upper age limit - 25 years (not completed 26 for submission of application)

Second Budget (there was a change of rates and budget categories): for projects taking place in the Programme Countries and Neighbouring Partner Countries

Cost of the project
- a new category covering all costs directly related to the project, e.x., the costs of preparatory activities, food, accommodation, facilities, equipment and materials, insurance, assessments and actions following the project.

These cost are calculated on the basis of the rate:


  • 32 - 40 Euro * number of participants * number of nights, when the project is being implemented in a Programme Country;
  • 29 Euro * number of participants * number of nights, when the project is implemented in a Neighbouring Partner Country, including Eastern Europe nad Caucasus.


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