EU and international cooperation in the youth sector
The 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). Harmonising the Member States’ legislation is not part of this competence.
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 EU-32 sub-committee (youth and sport), appointed by the Committee for EU Affairs, has a key role in preparing EU issues.
Cooperation in the youth sector is funded under Erasmus+, a Union Programme for Education, Training, Youth and Sport. The total budget for the programme for the seven-year programming period is EUR 14.7 billion, of which 10% is allocated to youth sector. The Finnish National Agency for Education is responsible for implementing the programme and disseminating information on it in Finland.
Topical in EU affairs
During the Finnish Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council adopted the Council conclusions on education and training of youth workers and digital youth work on 22 November 2019.
The theme of Croatia's first Presidency of the Council of the European Union (1 Jan.-30 June 2020) is a Strong Europe in a World of Challenges. Croatia will continue the work of the Romanian and Finnish Presidencies of the Council to develop the quality of youth work in Europe with a focus on young people in rural and remote areas, access to services, coexistence of all generations, and social entrepreneurship. Croatia is also striving to raise awareness of the youth sector. The Council adopted also a resolution on the outcomes of the 7th cycle of the EU youth dialogue.
During Germany’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union from 1 July to 31 December 2020, the Council will discuss the Youth and Democracy theme, in connection with which the Council is due to adopt conclusions on the participation of young people. A new cycle in the EU Youth Dialogue will also start during Germany’s Presidency of the Council of the EU. The theme of the new cycle is 'Europe for YOUth-YOUth for Europe: Space for Democracy and Participation'. Another key theme is the mobility of young volunteers across the European Union. A Council recommendation will be prepared on this theme. One of the Council Presidency’s ambitious objectives is to produce the ‘European Youth Work Agenda’, a common agenda for youth work in the European Union and the Council of Europe. Germany will also endeavour to bring the negotiations on the European Solidarity Corps programme (2021-2027) to a conclusion.
Cooperation within the Council of Europe
The target group for the Council of Europe’s youth work and youth policy is children and young adults up to the age of 30.
No binding conventions exist in the youth sector. Cooperation in the youth sector is based on a resolution of the Committee of Ministers (CM/Res(2008)23) on the youth policy of the Council of Europe.
The Council of Europe supports the Member States in developing their youth policies by setting standards and carrying out international reviews of national youth policies and youth policy advisory missions.
The recommendations of the Committee of Ministers serve as instruments that steer the Member States in matters of policy and legislation.
Recommendation CM/Rec(2017)4 of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on youth work:
- Recommendation in English
- Unofficial translation of the recommendation into Finnish
- Unofficial translation of the recommendation into Swedish
No binding conventions exist in the youth sector. The Youth Sector Strategy, adopted by resolution CM/Res (2020)2 of the Committee of Ministers on 22 January 2020 provides policy guidance on cooperation in the youth sector.
The European Youth Foundation supports the activities of youth organisations.
Cooperation between the Council of Europe and the European Commission in the field of youth work and research is based on a partnership agreement.
- The Council of Europe and Young People
- Youth - Young people building Europe
- Grants and application instructions
- Partnership agreement
The Nordic Committee for Children and Young People (NORDBUK) operates as the expert body on youth policy in the Nordic Council of Ministers. It is responsible for coordinating and monitoring the Strategy for children and young people of the Nordic Council of Ministers. It also grants financial support for organisations and projects related to Nordic cooperation in youth issues. For more information on the activities of the Committee for Children and Young People, see the website of the Nordic Council of Ministers.
A new vision for the Nordic Council of Ministers was adopted in summer 2019.
Finland will hold the Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2021.
Barents Region cooperation
The Norwegian Chairmanship of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council runs from 2019 to 2021.