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European Youth Together

The European Youth Together action targets youth organisations at grass-root level which want to establish partnerships across borders, i.e. which aim at adding a European dimension to their activities and at linking these activities to EU youth policies, most notably the EU Youth Strategy 2019-2027. The purpose is to encourage new applications from organisations not well established yet at European level. To this end, the action primarily consists in supporting activities aiming at connecting EU level youth organisations and grassroots NGOs operating at local levels (rural, cities, regions, countries) that will benefit from developing cross-border activities. 

The overall structure of the action takes into account the growing size of the youth sector, the changing trends in youth participation and the need for more sustained and stable funding support in the youth domain1 . It also takes into account the need to better cover the great diversity of youth organisations across Europe and to respond to the identified needs for both grassroots activities and large co-operation projects within Europe. 

Objectives of the action

European Youth Together projects aim to create networks promoting cross-border partnerships that will run in close cooperation with young people from across Europe (Erasmus+ programme countries). These networks will organise co-operation, exchanges, promote trainings (for instance for youth leaders) and allow young people themselves to set up joint projects through physical and/or online activities.

Contributing to and promoting the EU Youth Goals as well as the EU Youth Strategy 2019-20272  constitute important thematic priorities for the action. The European Youth Goals are also reflected in the President von der Leyen Commission’s political guidelines3 . The ongoing 18 months’ cycle4 of the Youth Dialogue and its priorities is equally a basis for this European Youth Together action.

Finally, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, responses are required to mitigate its socio-economic impact on youth, including capacity building and specific measures to deal with Covid-19 crisis recovery in the youth sector. When doing so, youth networks should consider ways of forging solidarity and inclusiveness, which concur with challenges related to digital skills and green lifestyles. 

Specific objectives

The action seeks to specifically support:

  • The promotion and development of transnational structured cooperation, online and offline, between different youth organisations so as to build or strengthen partnerships focusing on solidarity and inclusive democratic participation of all;
  • The implementation of EU Frameworks and initiatives such as country specific recommendations from the European Semester5 as far as they relate to the youth area;
  • Initiatives to encourage young people to participate in the democratic process and in society by organising trainings, showcase commonalities among young Europeans and encourage discussion and debate on their connection to the EU, its values and democratic foundations, including by providing a meaningful voice to youth in the framework of the Covid-19 recovery process; 
  • The participation of under-represented groups of young people (e.g. vulnerable and socio-economic disadvantaged youth) in politics, youth organisations and other civil society organisations;
  • New ways to empower youth organisations in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic and its aftermath. Indicatively, this could include enhancing collaboration between youth organisations in a digital context by using relevant non-formal learning methods and organisational models including alternative modes of exchanges and mutual aid.

Activities

The activities proposed must be directly linked to the general and specific objectives of the action and must be detailed in a project description covering the whole period of the grant as instructed in the relevant “setting up a project” section and the impact section. 

Activities shall be of cross-border nature and may be performed at European (Erasmus+ Programme Countries), national, regional or local level.

Examples of relevant activities:

  1. Activities facilitating access and participation of youth in EU policy activities taking place at all levels of a society (local, regional, national, European) as well in different institutional contexts (formal institutions, non-formal co-peration and learning, informal exchanges etc.);
  2. Mobility activities including exchanges for the purpose of networking and/or benefitting from non-formal or informal training;
  3. Awareness-raising, information, dissemination and promotion activities (seminars, workshops, campaigns, meetings, public debates, consultations, etc.) on EU policy priorities in the field of youth; 
  4. Foster strategic cooperation, exchange of ideas, collaborative working, and co-creation and relevant non-formal methods to shape and discuss bottom-up EU youth policy initiatives, partnerships and projects between young people, youth organisations, policy and decision-makers as well as researchers and other relevant civil society actors. This includes initiatives and events for developing Youth European NGOs/Civil Society organisations / EU-wide networks
  5. Explore the views of politicians about young people’s proposals for democratic systems, including the views and aspirations of not-engaged youth, barriers and enablers to engagement among young people who do not have experience of existing participatory forms, and foster new spaces for youth political engagement and action across Europe.
  6. Explore a revived understanding of the meaning and benefits of active citizenship for EU youth, including in a post-COVID context, and in light of the European Green New deal at the heart of recovery, as well as intra-generational differences in youth representation, and the changing patterns of youth representation in the EU.
  7. Support the development of user friendly, standardised methods, tools and innovative collaboration methods for the NGO youth sector, including developing new youth community-based initiatives, skills and know-how for monitoring and evaluation of existing activities in a results driven manner, demonstrating the value of youth participation in civil society.

It is optional to include mobility activities in this action. The mobility activities for young people must underpin the main objectives of the project and offer a significant added-value to the project and to the young persons concerned.

Which are the criteria to be met to apply for the European youth together grassroots action?

Eligibility criteria

In order to be eligible for an Erasmus grant, project proposals for European Youth Together must comply with the following criteria:

Who can apply?

The following organisations can be involved as co-ordinator:

  • NGOs (including European Youth NGOs and national Youth Councils) working in the field of Youth ; 
  • Public authorities at local, regional or national level 

The organisation applies on behalf of all participating organisations involved in the project and must be legally established and located in an Erasmus+ Programme country.

What types of organisations are eligible to participate in the project?

Any organisation, public or private, with its affiliated entities (if any), working with or for young people outside formal settings established in an Erasmus+ Programme country.

Such organisations can, for example, be: 

  • a non-profit organisation, association, NGO (including European Youth NGOs); 
  • a national Youth Council; 
  • a public authority at local, regional or national level; 
  • an education or research institution; 
  • a foundation; 

Public or private companies (small, medium or large enterprise (including social enterprises) may be included. Therefore, whereas this action is primarily targeting non-for-profit organisations, for-profit organisations can be involved if a clear added value is demonstrated for the project. 

Number and profile of participating organisations

Minimum of 4 partners from at least 4 Erasmus+ Programme Countries.

At least half of the organisations in the consortia should not have been recipients of EU funds from the Erasmus+ Programme in Key Actions 3 – European Youth Together projects in the previous 2 years.

Venue of activities

The activities must take place in the Erasmus+ Programme countries.

Duration of project    

2 years. 

Where to apply?    

To the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA), based in Brussels.  The same organisation can submit only one application to this action by the deadline. 

Call ID: ERASMUS-YOUTH-2021-YOUTH-TOG

When to apply?

Applicants have to submit their grant application by 24 June at 17:00:00 (Brussels time).  

Applicant organisations will be assessed against the relevant exclusion and selection criteria. For more information please consult Part C of this Guide.

Setting up a project

A ‘European Youth Together Grassroots’ project consists of four stages, which start even before the project proposal is selected for funding e.g. 1) Project identification and initiation; 2) Project preparation, design and planning; 3) Project implementation and monitoring of activities; and 4) Project review and impact assessment. Participating organisations and participants involved in the activities should take an active role in all those stages and thus enhance their learning experience.

  • Identification and initiation; identify a problem, need or opportunity that you can address with your project idea in the context of the call; identify the key activities and the main outcomes that can be expected from the project; map the relevant stakeholders and potential partners; formulate the project’s objective(s); ensure the project’s alignment to the participating organisations’ strategic objectives; undertake some initial planning to get the project off to a good start, and put together the information required to continue to the next phase etc.;
  • Preparation, design and planning; specify the project scope and appropriate approach, decide on a schedule for the tasks involved; estimate the necessary resources and develop the detail of the project e.g. needs assessment; define sound objectives and impact indicators (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound); identify project and learning outcomes; development of work programme, activity formats, expected impact, estimated overall budget; preparing a project implementation plan including strategic aspects of project governance, monitoring, quality control, reporting and dissemination of results; defining practical arrangements and confirmation of the target group(s) for the envisaged activities; setting up agreements with partners and writing the proposal etc.; 
  • Implementation and monitoring of activities: carrying out the project implementation according to plans fulfilling requirements for reporting and communication; monitoring ongoing activities and assessing project performance against project plans; identifying and taking corrective action to address deviations from plans and to address issues and risks; identifying non-conformities with the set quality standards and taking corrective actions etc.;
  • Review and impact assessment: assessing project performance against project objectives and implementation plans; evaluation of the activities and their impact at different levels, sharing and use of the project's results, etc.

Horizontal aspects to be considered when designing your project:

In addition to complying with the formal criteria and setting up sustainable cooperation arrangement with all project partners, the following elements can contribute to increasing the impact and qualitative implementation of ‘European Youth Together projects’ throughout the different project phases. Applicants are encouraged to take these opportunities and dimensions into account when designing their project.  

Environmental sustainability

Projects should be designed in an eco-friendly way and should incorporate green practices in all its facets. Organisations and participants should have an environmental-friendly approach when designing the project, which will encourage everyone involved in the project to discuss and learn about environmental issues, reflecting about what can be done at different levels and help organisations and participants come up with alternative, greener ways of implementing project activities. 

Inclusion and diversity

The Erasmus+ Programme seeks to promote equal opportunities and access, inclusion and fairness across all its actions. To implement these principles, an Inclusion and Diversity Strategy has been devised to support a better outreach to participants from more diverse backgrounds, in particular those with fewer opportunities facing obstacles to participate in European Projects. Organisations should design accessible and inclusive project activities, taking into account the views of participants with fewer opportunities and involving them in decision making throughout the whole process. 

As a transversal principle, participating organisations should pursue strategies to connect to young people at grassroots level from a diversity of backgrounds. This covers the involvement of a diverse youth population with fewer opportunities, including those from remote/rural areas and/or with a migrant background. Therefore, all the activities should contribute to widening both the outreach of young people and their active engagement so as to ensure a diversity of voices are brought together.

Digital dimension

Virtual cooperation and experimentation with virtual and blended learning opportunities are key to successful projects. In particular, projects are strongly encouraged to use the European Youth Portal and the European Youth Strategy Platform to work together before, during and after the project activities.

Common values, civic engagement and participation

Projects will support active citizenship and ethics, as well as foster the development of social and intercultural competences, critical thinking and media literacy. The focus will also be on raising awareness on and understanding the European Union context.

Expected impact

The granted projects should demonstrate their expected contribution to EU youth policy by:

  • helping to improve the capacity of the youth sector active at grassroots level to scale up their activities and work transnationally towards building inclusiveness, solidarity and sustainability including promoting transnational learning and cooperation between young people and decision makers;
  • building on the objectives of the EU Youth Strategy 2019-2027 and more specifically by demonstrating how they are contributing to the ‘Engage-Connect-Empower’ priorities of the Strategy; 
  • building on outcomes of the European Youth Goals, the Youth Dialogue and other youth debate projects and opinion surveys related to the future of Europe and linking them to policy development at local/regional/national/European level; 
  • building on country specific recommendations from the European Semester as far as they relate to the youth area;
  • improving the involvement of young people in democratic life, in terms of active citizenship and engagement with decision-makers (empowerment, new skills, involvement of young people in project design, etc.);
  • upscaling existing best practices and outreach beyond local levels (rural, cities, regions, countries) and the regular network(s) including making good use of digital means to stay connected under all circumstances even in situations of remoteness, isolation or confinement;
  • disseminating their results in an effective and attractive way among young people involved in youth organisations, so as to pave the way for more systematic partnerships, and also among youngsters who are not affiliated to youth structures or those who come from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Award criteria

Relevance of the project (maximum score 30 points)

  • Purpose and EU added value: the proposal establishes and develops a project that supports policies at EU level relevant for youth – most notably the EU Youth Strategy 2019-2027. The proposal clearly demonstrates the EU added value at a systemic level, generated through its trans-nationality and potential transferability.
  • Objectives: the proposal objectives are relevant to the general objectives of the action and at least one of its specific objectives; moreover, the proposal objectives are specific and clearly defined, achievable, measurable, realistic and timely; they address issues relevant to the participating organisations and of a clear added value to the chosen target groups.
  • Needs: the proposal demonstrates that is based on a thorough needs assessment based as far as possible on verifiable facts and figures supported by general and specific data relevant to all countries and organisations in the consortium. A clear needs analysis linking to the concrete realities of applicants, partners and target groups is expected. 
  • Youth engagement: the partnership demonstrates that it is able to secure an active engagement with a diverse youth population such as those from remote/rural areas, with a migrant background, and/or from disadvantaged social backgrounds already from the design phase of youth related activities.

Quality of the project design and implementation (maximum score 30 points)    

  • Planning: The proposal is clear, complete and of high quality and includes appropriate phases for preparation, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of the project based on robust project management methodologies.
  • Methodology: The implementation is based on suitable methodologies; the objectives are consistent with the activities and are clearly outlined, with logical links between the identified problems, needs and solutions; the work plan is coherent and concrete; there are suitable quality control measures and indicators to ensure that the project  will be duly implemented with the required quality, in scope, in time and within budget; there are concrete and suitable risk management and contingency plans.
  • Cost effectiveness: the proposed budget is coherent, detailed enough, suited for the implementation of the project and designed to ensure the best value for money. The resources assigned to work packages are in line with their objectives and deliverables. The budget caters to the needs of grassroots organisations and vulnerable young people in order to encourage their inclusion in the Erasmus+ programme.

Quality of the partnership and the cooperation arrangements (maximum score 20 points)

  • Configuration: the partnership involves an appropriate mix of complementary organisations with the necessary profiles, skills, experience, expertise and management support to achieve its objectives; the added value of the for-profit organisations is clearly demonstrated, if involved in the consortium. 
  • Geographic composition: the partnership demonstrates capacity to reflect the European economic, social and/or cultural diversity through its geographic composition (i.e. coverage of East, West, North and South areas across Europe) so as to ensure a truly pan European cooperation.
  • Local NGOs development: the partnership has the ability to develop the capacities and knowledge of local NGOs that are not already well established at European level to achieve enhanced peer-to-peer collaboration between NGOs across Europe.
  • Commitment & tasks: the distribution of responsibilities and tasks in the partnership is clear and appropriate; the coordinator shows high quality management and potential for coordination of transnational networks and leadership in complex environments.
  • Cooperation arrangements: the governance mechanisms proposed will ensure an effective coordination, decision-making, communication and conflict resolution between the participating organisations, participants and any other relevant stakeholders.
  • Youth engagement: young people are suitably involved in all stages of the project implementation and youth inclusion is addressed at all stages and levels of the project, providing empowering roles and/or concrete strategies to ensure their diverse participation.

Impact (maximum score 20 points)

  • Impact: the potential impact of the project on participants and partner organisations is high – in particular towards expanding the grassroots organisations’ focus of national, regional or local activities not yet cross border in nature where activities were scaled up or developed at EU level during and after the project lifetime, as well as on the youth community at large. The expected results display the understanding and capacity of the applicant and partners to communicate the European Union’s values particularly in regard to citizenship.
  • Dissemination: the proposal demonstrates capacity to undertake youth outreach and ability to communicate effectively on problems and solutions of the communities they represent to a broader global audience; in particular, the proposal provides a sound plan for the communication and dissemination of results and includes appropriate targets, activities and tasks distribution among partners, relevant timing, tools and channels to ensure that the results and benefits will be spread effectively to policy makers and are accessible to end users within and after the project’s lifetime.
  • Sustainability: the proposal clearly identifies how the outcomes of the project could contribute to changes at system level in the youth sector both within the project lifetime and beyond,  with  high potential to enable  long lasting cooperation at EU level and/or inspire new EU youth policies and initiatives.

To be considered for funding, applications must score at least 60 points, also taking into account the necessary minimum pass score for each of the four award criteria (i.e. minimum 15 points for the categories "relevance of the project" and "quality of the project design and implementation"; 10 points for the categories of "quality of the partnership and the cooperation arrangements" and “impact”. For ex aequo cases, priority will be given to the scores awarded for the award criterion “relevance” and then “impact”.  

As a general rule, and within the limits of existing national and European legal frameworks, results should be made available as open educational resources (OER) as well as on relevant professional, sectorial or competent authorities’ platforms. The proposal will describe how data, materials, documents and audio-visual and social media activity produced will be made freely available and promoted through open licences, and does not contain disproportionate limitations.

What are the funding rules?

This action follows a lump sum funding model. The amount of the single lump sum contribution will be determined for each grant based on the estimated budget of the action proposed by the applicant. The granting authority will fix the lump sum of each grant based on the proposal, evaluation result, funding rates and the maximum grant amount set in the call.

Maximum EU grant per project is 150,000 euros

How is the project lump sum determined? 

Applicants must fill in a detailed budget table according to the application form, taking into account the following points:  

a) The budget should be detailed as necessary by beneficiary/-ies and organized in coherent work packages (for example divided into ‘project management’, ‘training’, ‘organization of events’, ‘mobility preparation and implementation’, ‘communication and dissemination’, ‘quality assurance’, etc.);  b) The proposal must describe the activities covered by each work package; c) The applicants must provide in their proposal a breakdown of the estimated costs showing the share per work package (and, within each work package, the share assigned to each beneficiary and affiliated entity); d) Costs described can cover staff costs, travel and subsistence costs, equipment costs and subcontracting as well as other costs (such as dissemination of information, publishing or translation).

Proposals will be evaluated according to the standard evaluation procedures with the help of internal and/or external experts. The experts will assess the quality of the proposals, against the requirements defined in the call and the expected impact, quality and efficiency of the action.

Following the proposal evaluation, the authorising officer will establish the amount of the lump sum, taking into account the findings of the assessment carried out. The lump sum value will be limited to a maximum of 80% of the estimated budget determined after evaluation.

The grant parameters (maximum grant amount, funding rate, total eligible costs, etc.) will be fixed in the Grant Agreement. 

The project achievements will be evaluated on the outcomes completed. The funding scheme would allow putting focus on the outputs rather than the inputs, thereby placing emphasis on the quality and level of achievement of measurable objectives.

More details are described in the model Grant Agreement available in the Funding and Tender Opportunities Portal (FTOP).

  • 1 Study on the landscape of youth representation in the EU (EAC/47/2014)
  • 2 Council Resolution 2018/C 456/01, published in December 2018 : https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:42018Y1218(01)&from=EN
  • 3 See https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/IP_19_5542
  • 4 Mid 2020 to end 2021
  • 5 https://ec.europa.eu/info/business-economy-euro/economic-and-fiscal-policy-coordination/eu-economic-governance-monitoring-prevention-correction/european-semester_en
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