Role and tasks of Contact Points for the Erasmus+: Youth in Action programme

The main role of the Contact Points is to assist SALTO SEE in promoting and supporting applicants in using the possibilities offered by the Erasmus+ Programme in the youth field in the Programme’s partner countries in the Western Balkans.

What are Erasmus+: Youth in Action Contact Points for the Western Balkans?

The Contact Points are NGOs that have been nominated by SALTO SEE to take up this role. Their main tasks include:

  • promoting the Programme and enhancing the visibility of the possibilities for co-operation as well as of projects already organised within the frame of the Programme
  • giving information and advice to project applicants and beneficiaries living in the area/country of the Contact Point about issues related using the Erasmus+: Youth in Action programme as a tool for youth work
  • offering some training on how to implement good quality projects within the Programme.

How are the Contact Points selected?    

The Contact Points have been selected on the basis of public calls. The first call was published under the former YOUTH programme in 2005, with a recall for certain regions and countries in 2006. Within the Youth in Action programme, public calls were launched in 2008 and 2011. In September 2014, on the basis of the last public call published in August, Contact Points for the youth field of the Erasmus+ programme in the Western Balkan region were nominated.

Meetings of Contact Points

Representatives of all Contact Points and SALTO SEE staff meet regularly, usually on an annual basis, to share and evaluate past experiences, gain up-to-date information about the Programme and plan future activities to be implemented by Contact Points in their countries.

Why Contact Points?

Many countries participate in the European Union's programme for youth and non-formal education, the current Erasmus+: Youth in Action Programme, as so-called partner countries. They are not Programme countries and therefore do not have a National Agency in charge of distributing funds and providing support for participation in the Programme. Nevertheless, potential project promoters need information and support enabling them to use the possibilities offered by the Programme. Regional SALTO SEE Resource Centres (for the Western Balkan, Eastern Europe and Caucasus and EuroMed regions) take on this role, supported by actors in the countries assisting them in their work and offering support on the spot and in local language.

Looking back to the beginning of cooperation with South East Europe under the YOUTH programme...

Cooperation with South East Europe in the youth field became possible with the start of the European Union's YOUTH programme (2000 - 2006) in 2000. At this time, only few NGOs in Europe had established partnerships with organisations in countries of the Western Balkans. The SALTO SEE Resource Centre was opened in 2003 to support the process of finding partners and developing cooperation projects supported by the Programme.

In 2004, SALTO SEE coordinated a process "Towards a Strategy for YOUTH in SEE" bringing together various multipliers for the Programme from the different countries of the Western Balkan region aiming to

  • valorise the achievements of the existing initiatives,
  • encourage stronger dialogue between main actors in the youth field about the YOUTH programme as a tool for developing youth work, European youth co-operation and youth mobility - as a basis for the further implementation of the Programme in the countries of this region of Europe,
  • support further training of and networking among YOUTH programme multipliers,
  • initiate and develop a more strategic approach for the further implementation of the YOUTH programme in South East Europe,
  • give a clearer sense of purpose to the various local, national and regional actors working for the YOUTH programme in the countries of South East Europe,
  • increase the accessibility of the SALTO-YOUTH South East Europe Resource Centre in the region.

In this framework, the SALTO SEE Resource Centre organised the following activities:

I. The Valorisation and strategy building seminar brought together various multipliers active within major projects promoting the YOUTH programme in SEE and developed joint strategies for the future to ensure sustainable results of the investments done so far.

II. In National/regional meetings on the YOUTH programme teams of partners (NGOs) from the same country organised a "YOUTH information and development meeting" in autumn of 2004 bringing together between 20 and 60 interested actors in the field of youth from their country, to identify and discuss proposals for further activities aiming to strengthen the implementation of the YOUTH programme in their country. Alltogether, close to 200 youth leaders and other actors in the youth field took part in the process.

III. A Regional follow-up meeting brought back together representatives from each country of the region that had held a national meering on the YOUTH Programme during the autumn. Outcomes and recommendations for follow-up of the national meetings were shared and collected.

The major recommendations included the setting up of Contact Points for the YOUTH programme in SEE, the possibility of direct applications for YOUTH programme grants for organisations from SEE, the organisation of more support activities in the region and the translation of relevant information materials into the languages of SEE. These proposals were taken up by the European Commission and SALTO SEE in the following years. More information, including the full report of the whole process, is available from SALTO SEE upon request.

  • SALTO 10th Anniversary Firework event "Investing and Empowering", Paris 2010

    SALTO 10th Anniversary Firework event "Investing and Empowering", Paris 2010

  • Contact Points meeting, Ohrid 2008

    Contact Points meeting, Ohrid 2008

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