Youth for Europe Project Summary

A - General Aim:

Youth for Europe project aims at promoting European Citizenship among young people of Europe through Non-Formal education methodologies and international mobilities (Training Courses and Youth Exchanges).

B - General Description:

Foster the creation of proposals to modify or improve current EU policies developed by young people during 6 international Youth Exchanges. The proposals will be defined by international groups of participants that will compete to get their proposal voted by as many people as possible after the Youth Exchanges through the online platform: youthforeurope.eu and dissemination local events. The participants will have three months after each Youth Exchange to collect as many votes as possible, then the voting system will be closed.

The 2 proposals for each Youth exchange, that will get the highest numbers of votes, will automatically be selected for the Large Scale Youth Exchange (May 2020) and the young people who elaborated them will participate in this mobility. Other 3/4 proposals will be selected by a panel of experts according to specified quality criteria (such as the content, feasibility, creativity of the proposal and the commitment of the participants). Then each group will present their proposals to the EU policy-makers and institutions, trying to get the support by the Members of the EU Parliament (MEPs) and having the opportunity to meet them in person during the large scale Youth Exchange in Milan. To support the visibility of the project, of EU policies and of each proposal several promotional videos will be created and shared by partners and in the project platform youthforeurope.eu .

C - General Objectives:

  1. Provide intercultural learning and peer to peer education opportunities to young people, train Staff officers and Youth leaders to facilitate activities about Civic Education and Advocacy through non-formal education and international mobility activities;
  2. Provide young people with knowledge about EU policies and educate them to elaborate policy proposals to improve their participation in public life;
  3. Raise awareness in young people, local communities and general public on policy proposals and EU policies and Institutions through dissemination events and the youthforeurope.eu platform;
  4. Establish dialogue and cooperation among young people, policy makers and organisations, by fostering debates at local, national and european level on Eu policies.

D - Partners:

Joint (applicant) and Kora (monitoring partner) from IT, DGT from RO, Vilagjaro from HU, Jugend- & Kulturprojekt e.V. from DE, Momentum World from UK, Brujula Intercultural from ES, ECEPAA from BE (as Advocacy expert).

E - Activities:

Project Managers, Youth Exchange Officers and Communication Officers participated in the Kick off meeting. The Project Managers and Youth Exchange Officers had a training on Advocacy and defined the management and monitoring plan; the Communication Officers defined the visibility and dissemination strategy.

The Youth Exchange Officers met, together with the Youth Leaders from their country in the A3 and A4 Youth Exchanges. They exchanged good practices and tools to define the model to run the YEs during the entire project. This could imply to define clearly the preparation and dissemination strategy, that was tested by the group leaders in the following 2 Youth Exchanges, that were related to the EU policies on Media, Youth Policies (Education/job) and the upcoming EU Elections.

Youth Exchanges

E.1 Leaders profile:

The leaders are key figures in the facilitation process to elaborate the policy proposals during the Youth Exchanges. They are the reference point for the national groups and the pro-active intermediaries between the Organisations and the participants. Highly motivated, politically interested,  experienced in the field of youth, the leaders are young people able to support the participants during the learning process, being empathetic, active and open-minded. As 

motivators, they are supposed to remain in their role for the entire process (before, during and after the YE),  showing a  respectful attitude of the rules of conduct stated in the leaders’ agreement. The leaders are an example for the participants and they do not act as showmen on a stage: according to the situation they are able to step in and step out, allowing participants to be the real protagonists in the creation of policies proposals.

E.2 Leaders Training:

The two Youth Leaders for each national group will participate in a training before the youth exchange. The general structure of the training will be common and defined during the Seminar in Spain A2 and the Mid Term Evaluation in Hungary (A6). After team building and intercultural learning activities during the first days, the Youth Leaders will be introduced to the main objectives of the project, the topics and the rules of conduct. From the third day to the sixth day, the Youth Leaders will be trained on leadership, group management and problem solving, reflecting on their own personal skills and their motivations. The last two days of the training will deal with practical information, group preparation, proposals, dissemination events, storytelling and the Youthpass. The training will end with a final reflection and a final evaluation, before the farewell party. All leaders will be required to accept and sign the Youth leaders’agreement model in English with rules and conditions of participation. In exceptional cases, if the leader selected is not considered “suitable” for the role assigned, he/she can be replaced by another participant or by the youth officer of his/her country.

E.3 Participants profile:

1 – age: 18-25 (max 1 pax can be 17 years old, max 3 pax can be between 25 and 30 years old in each national group); 2 – not politically active (not being part of political parties), 3- Max 3 pax  with (not severe) fewer opportunities (economic and social) and try to involve participants with fewer opportunities through local networks and channels; 3- a basic level of English is required for everyone, while the participants with fewer opportunities can be asked just to be highly motivated; 4- interested in the topic of that Youth Exchange (topics will change); 5- strongly motivated and available to participate in the preparation and follow-up activities; 6 – the geographical distribution of the pax is at the discretion of each partner organisation, but should come from close areas; 7 – gender balance shall be guaranteed when possible (at least 20% of the under-represented gender)

E.4 Participants Selection:

The selection of the participants for the YE will be done through an open call online. Each candidate shall fill an application form, where she/he has to write a motivation letter in its own language + write a short text (a summary) of their idea in English in order to test their linguistic competence. A competitive selection, during which the candidates should express a more detailed opinion on the YE topic, can be done at the discretion of each partner. To finalize the selection a skype or a face to face interview is compulsory to finalize the selection. Once selected, the candidates should register on the platform youthforeurope.eu where they add their photo, a short bio and their opinion on the YE topic to finalise their selection. Only candidates who will respect the selection procedures could participate in the YE. For more details on the selection process, please see the document: “Participant selection”.

This procedure will allow to populate the website of with users and contents related with the topics. All participants will be required to accept and sign the same participant agreement (in English) with rules and conditions of participation.

E.5 Participants Preparation:

Participants will be required to be actively involved not only in the Youth Exchanges, but also in the preparation and follow-up of the Youth Exchanges. Before the Youth Exchange the participants and the leaders should meet (via skype or in person) at least twice. The preparation phase will follow a common structure and include research about the topic of the exchange + some extra activities such as interviews with young people from their local community. A general structure of the preparation may include: the introduction to each other; an explanation of the project and the platform; an explanation on what to expect from the YE; information on logistic, the participant agreement and the intercultural night; the presentation on the YE topic at the national level. To summarize, the three main pillars of the preparation shall be: 1- project understanding and commitment; 2- the participant agreement; 3- the topic-related presentation. 

E.6 Youth Exchanges Structure:

The general structure of the Youth Exchanges will be common. After team building and intercultural learning activities during the first two days, the facilitators will stimulate a debate and will present the regulations and policies at EU level on the topic of the exchange. Each national group will show their presentation on the YE topic that they prepared before coming to the Youth Exchange. From the 5th to the 7th day, participants will work in international groups to develop proposals to improve the current situation. There will be 4/5 international groups composed of 4-5 participants + the leaders to coordinate them. In each group there can be max 2 participants from the same country. 4/5 proposals for each youth exchange shall be created by the participants. The idea is to foster a bottom-up process: first the participants suggest their proposals on the topic and then they will get knowledge of the current legislation. The aim is not to change the already implemented EU policies, but to improve the ongoing situation, by starting from the participants’ interests and needs. The proposals of the participants will be presented in 2-minutes video produced during the meeting on the 8th day (with the help of the video-maker who will participate in all the meetings). Furthermore we would like the participants to present their proposals in a public event with policy makers, institutions and other stakeholders to give visibility to the results and support the networking strategy. This event will be held in the afternoon of the 9th day, while a training on promotion and marketing will be done in the morning. During the last day of the YE the participants will discuss about the dissemination events and the voting system on the platform. The YE will end with the final evaluation.

Other Common features:

  • Each day of the YE will end with a daily reflection both in national or international groups;
  • The intercultural night will be organized on the 2nd day of the YE and the participants can bring food/beverage from their countries but they cannot cook;
  • The YouthPass will be presented in the preparation, started during the Youth Exchange and completed at local level and delivered after the dissemination activities

E.7 YE topics:

The six Youth Exchanges will focus on different topics under these three main sectors: a) Youth; b) Media; c) Environment. These topics allow participants to deal with something which concerns their interests and daily life.

a) Topics related to “Youth”: Education, job and mobility/ training policies for young people;

  • other possible subtopics identified: improve the relation between educational system and mobility (especially for the VET, TCs, ESC programs); simplify the visa procedures for youth on education paths (trainings included); support youth entrepreneurial capacity; unify the European Credit Transfer System Credits (ECTS), titles, fees, among universities; improve language courses’ quality; deal with the issue of the brain drains.

b) Topics related to “Media”: Social media manipulation, social media bullying, hate crimes and media literacy;

  • other possible subtopics identified: media literacy: youngsters/ elders; data protection/privacy: use of collected data for security reasons; identity thieves and fraud; copyrights; contents standardization (censure, the licensing issue).

c) Topics related to “Environment”: Health (mental problems / depression), Food quality, Cities’s pollution.

  • other possible subtopics identified: safeguard the health and the quality of life of young people, water pollution : save drinking water, ban plastic bottles

Transversal topics in each YE include EU policies and Institution, Democracy and Human Rights analysed in the light of the three above-mentioned sectors.

E.8 Follow-up:

After the youth exchange the international groups will have to get their proposal voted by as many people as possible in the project platform. The same person will be free to vote for all proposals they like. To vote people will have to log-in in youthforeurope.eu website. The participants of each group can promote their proposals and get votes for 3 months after the youth exchange. The number of votes received for each proposal will not be visible on the website, but the participants will be constantly informed on the vote count on the Facebook page. Keeping the participants informed will increase the group’s motivation to campaign and promote their own proposals, and at the same time it will make the process more transparent. At the end of each month the highest rank of all proposals will be shown publicly. After the three-month period the voting process will be closed. An intra-panel will be created to select the participants for the large scale event. The criteria to be considered and selected are the following: number of votes obtained, the content of the proposal and/or active participation in all group.

Furthermore, after the Youth Exchanges, each national group has to organize a dissemination event with the support of each partner organization. They will have a little budget (150€) to run the dissemination event and to cover real costs. Only 80% of those costs will be reimbursed. Each national group can find their own ways to co-fund the costs not covered (20%). They have to raise awareness, collect votes and present the proposals in front of different audiences, from the local authorities to University students, from EU representatives to teenagers in High-schools. They all receive promotional gadgets during the Youth Exchanges (t-shirts, hoodies, pens, pins, flags, etc.. with the E+ and project logo). The event/initiative should achieve minimum 50 people. The national group should document the implementation of the event by sending some relevant pictures (at least 5), collecting signatures, and writing a short description of the event they organized.

The Mid Term Evaluation saw the participation of YE Officers and/or Project Managers. They worked together on advocacy, reporting and general evaluation, monitoring, communication strategy and methodologies of the following 4 Youth Exchanges.

In the A7 training the future leaders of the Youth Exchanges A8 and A9 will be trained to manage their national group in the preparation, implementation and follow-up phases and to facilitate some of the sessions. Topics will be: leadership, facilitation, topic related sessions, preparation of the exchanges and dissemination activities. Also some Youth Exchange Officers from each country will participate to support them.

Same structure of the activities A7, A8 and A9 with different locations and topics.

The participants of the large scale youth exchange will be selected among ex participants of the previous youth

exchanges according to the following criteria: from each YE the 1st and the 2nd more voted international group whose proposals get the highest numbers of votes will automatically participate. In total 12 international groups with 12 proposals will take part in the A14 according to an objective criteria (the vote counting). Other 3-4 groups will be selected by an intra-panel of experts on the basis of the following quality criteria, that evaluate the content of the proposals and the commitment of the participants:

  1.  sustainability / feasibility – 3 points
  2.  originality / creativity – 2 points
  3.  responding to needs – 2 points
  4.  the efforts of the participants in the creation of the proposals during the YE (1 point)
  5.  the efforts of the participants in the promotion of their proposals after the YE (2 points)

During the Large Scale Youth Exchange the participants will take part in workshops on entrepreneurship, Project Cycle Management and other relevant topics (to be defined) to foster the follow up and the development of new initiatives. Furthermore participants will share and re-shape – if needed – some details of their proposals that will be presented to decision makers, Members of the EU Parliament and relevant stakeholders during the dissemination event on 8thof May 2020. After the Youth Exchange we’ll start the phase in which the proposals will be voted by Members of EU Parliament (MEP), previously invited in the A14.

Project Manager will focus on follow-up of the network and general evaluation while the selected young people will represent the project outcomes in the meeting and dissemination activities with MEP who voted for their proposals, aiming at defining a commitment paper from MEP to support the proposals and keep the young people up to date on these point (to be defined all details about it).