EU and international cooperation in the youth sector

Matkalaukkuja. KUVA: VisualHunt.comThe objective of international and European cooperation is to develop youth policy and support youth work through networking and exchanges of good practices. The Ministry of Education and Culture creates preconditions for international cooperation between actors in this sector.


European Union cooperation in youth issues

The European Union’s competence in the youth sector is based on Article 165 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).

The main responsibility for monitoring and drafting EU issues and formulating Finland's positions on youth issues rests with the Ministry of Education and Culture. The sub-committee EU-32 (youth and sport) appointed by the Committee for EU Affairs has a key role in preparing EU issues. Link to: EU affairs and the Finnish government .

Youth sector cooperation is funded under the EU programme for education, training, youth and sport, or Erasmus+ (2014-2020). The total budget of this programme for the seven-year programming period is EUR 14.7 billion. Of the programme’s total budget, 10% is dedicated to youth affairs. The Ministry of Education and Culture is responsible for implementing the programme and disseminating information on it in Finland.

Cooperation within the Council of Europe

The basic task of the Council of Europe is to secure and develop human rights, a pluralistic democracy and the rule of law.

No binding conventions exist in the youth sector. Youth sector cooperation is based on the resolution of the Committee of Ministers on the youth policy of the Council of Europe (CM/Res (2008) 23). The target group for Council of Europe’s youth work and policy is children and young adults up to the age of 30.

The Council of Europe supports the Member States in developing their youth policies by creating standards and implementing national youth policy reviews and advisory missions.

The recommendations of the Committee of Ministers serve as instruments that steer the Member States in matters of policy and legislation.

Finland’s Presidency of the Council of Europe

Finland will hold the Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe from 21 November 2018 to 17 May 2019.

The Presidency priorities:

  • Strengthening the system of human rights and the rule of law in Europe
  • Supporting equality and women´s rights
  • Openness and inclusion – as well as a focus on young people and the prevention of radicalization

Finland’s Presidency of the Council of Europe (Ministry for Foreign Affairs) 

The Finnish Chairmanship event  ‘Education and training pathways of youth workers’ will be held in Helsinki on 20-22 February 2019 (Programme, draft).

The European Youth Foundation supports the activities of youth organisations. For more information on grants and instructions for applying, visit The European Youth Foundation (EYF)

Cooperation between the Council of Europe and the European Commission in the fields of youth work and research is based on a partnership agreement, visit Council of Europe - youth partnership 

Nordic Cooperation

The Nordic Committee for Children and Young People (NORDBUK) operates as the expert body on youth policy of the Nordic Council of Ministers. It is responsible for coordinating and monitoring the Council of Minister’s child and youth policy strategy. It also grants support for organisations and projects related to Nordic cooperation in youth issues. For more information on the activities of the Committee, see the website of the Nordic Council of Ministers.

Barents youth cooperation

Sweden holds the Chairmanship of the Barents Euroarctic Council in 2017-2019. Program and priorities of the Swedish Chairmanship in the Barents Euro-Arctic Council 2017-2019 (pdf)

For further information, please visit Barents Euro-Arctic Council (BEAC)


Contact information

Seija Astala, kulttuuriasianneuvos 
Ministry of Education and Culture, Nuoriso- ja liikuntapolitiikan osasto (NUOLI), Division for Youth Work and Youth Policy Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council  0295330066