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
European Year of Youth 2022
On 22 December 2021, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union adopted a decision ((EU) 2021/2,316) on the European Year of Youth (2022). The year aims to offer young people a new positive outlook in the wake of the pandemic and to highlight how the green and digital transitions and other EU policies offer renewed perspectives and opportunities for young people and society at large. The year intends to encourage all young people, especially those with fewer opportunities, from disadvantaged backgrounds, from rural or remote areas, or belonging to vulnerable groups, to become active citizens. The year also serves to shed light on the opportunities for young people provided by EU policies as well as national, regional and local policies to support their personal, social, economic and professional development in a green, digital and inclusive world. The year also seeks to mainstream youth policy into all relevant EU policies in line with the European Union Youth Strategy 2019-2027.
In Finland, the Finnish National Agency for Education is responsible for coordinating the year.
Link to the webpages (in Finnish)
Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2022
The theme of the Presidency in the youth field is ‘Engaging together for a sustainable and inclusive Europe’. The Czech Presidency also focuses on intergenerational solidarity.
Cooperation within the Council of Europe
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.
- UNOFFICIAL TRANSLATION OF THE STRATEGY INTO FINNISH FILE OPENS IN A NEW TAB PDF 187 kB
- UNOFFICIAL TRANSLATION OF THE STRATEGY INTO SWEDISH FILE OPENS IN A NEW TAB PDF 172 kB
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.
Finland assumes the Chairmanship of the Barents Region after Norway in 2021-2023.