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). 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

Slovenian Presidency

The Slovenian Presidency places a strong emphasis on the implementation and monitoring of the EU Youth Strategy (2019-2027). The Slovenian Presidency will also prepare conclusions on the implementation of the EU Youth Strategy and a proposed vision for the next strategy implementation programme for 2022-2024. The Resolution on the 8th cycle of the EU Youth Dialogue is also relevant to monitoring the implementing the Youth Strategy. 

One of the Presidency’s thematic priorities is the participation of young people, with an emphasis on the inclusion of young people in various social and civic spaces. This ties in with the general priorities of the Slovenian Presidency related to the European way of life, recovery of the European Union after the pandemic, reinforcing the resilience of the European Union and a digital transition. Council conclusions on the matter will be prepared.

Slovenia will initiate discussions on young people’s mobility, which will pave the way for preparing the recommendations due to be issued during the French Presidency. France’s objective is to update the Council Recommendation on mobility of young volunteers in the European Union adopted in 2008. 

During the Slovenian Presidency, the Commission will publish the EU Youth Report 2019-2021. The report is based on information produced by Eurostat and the Youth Wiki, and its cross-cutting themes are digitalisation and COVID-19.

Cooperation within the Council of Europe

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:

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. 

Nordic cooperation

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.

Finland assumes the Chairmanship of the Barents Region after Norway in 2021-2023.

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