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Action 3




The purpose of this sub-Action is to develop mutual understanding between peoples in a spirit of openness, while also contributing to the development of quality systems that support the activities of young people in the countries concerned. It supports activities designed to network and enhance the capacity of NGOs in the youth field, recognising the important role that they can play in the development of civil society in the neighbouring countries. It covers the training of those active in youth work and youth organisations, and exchanges of experience, expertise and good practices between them. It supports activities which may lead to the establishment of long-lasting, high quality projects and partnerships.

The sub-Action supports two types of projects, described in two different sections:

  • Youth Exchanges with Neighbouring Partner Countries
  • Training and Networking with Neighbouring Partner Countries.

The sections 'What else should you know about a project in cooperation with Neighbouring Partner Countries?', 'Overview of application procedures' and 'How to develop a good project?' apply to both types of projects listed above.

What is a Youth Exchange with Neighbouring Partner Countries?

A Youth Exchange with Neighbouring Partner Countries is a project which brings together groups of young people from two or more countries, providing them with an opportunity to discuss and confront various themes, while learning about each other’s countries and cultures. A Youth Exchange is based on a trans-national partnership between two or more promoters from different countries. In a Youth Exchange under sub-Action 3.1, the trans-national partnership is composed of promoters from Programme Countries and Neighbouring Partner Countries.

According to the number of countries involved, a Youth Exchange can be bilateral, trilateral or multilateral. A Bilateral Youth Exchange is justified especially when the promoters are at their first European project, or when the participants are small-scale or local groups without experience at European level. A Youth Exchange can be itinerant, implying the movement of all participants at the same time, throughout one or more countries participating in the Exchange.

A Youth Exchange project has three phases:

  • planning and preparation
  • implementation of the Activity
  • evaluation (including reflection on a possible follow-up).

Non-formal learning principles and practice are reflected throughout the project.

What a Youth Exchange is not

The following activities in particular are NOT eligible for grants under Youth Exchanges:

  • academic study trips
  • exchange activities which aim to make financial profit
  • exchange activities which can be classed as tourism
  • festivals
  • holiday travel
  • language courses
  • performance tours
  • school class exchanges
  • sports competitions
  • statutory meetings of organisations
  • political gatherings
  • work camps.

More information about Topic can be obtained from the official Youth in Action Programme.

What else should you know about a project in cooperation with Neighbouring Partner Countries?

What's a group leader?

A group leader is an adult who accompanies the young people participating in a Youth Exchange in order to ensure their effective learning, protection and safety.

Cooperation with Mediterranean Partner Countries - Euro-Med Youth Programme

Projects involving Mediterranean Partner Countries can be funded under the Youth in Action Programme only if the activities take place in one of the Programme Countries. Projects taking place in a Mediterranean Partner Country can be supported through the Euro-Med Youth Programme, which is managed by the EuropeAid Co-operation Office. This Programme is implemented through specific structures called Euro-Med Youth Units (EMYUs), which are established in Mediterranean Partner Countries. Projects to be funded under the Euro-Med Youth Programme should be presented by promoters based in one of the participating Mediterranean Partner Countries to their relevant EMYU. The conditions and criteria on how to submit a project under the Euro-Med Youth Programme are explained in specific calls for proposals, which are published by the EMYUs. Calls for proposals and relating application forms as well as additional information on the Euro-Med Youth Programme can be found online at the following address:

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Multi-Measure projects

Multi-Measure projects do not apply to sub-Action 3.1.


Every person who has taken part in a Youth in Action project under this Action is entitled to receive a Youthpass Certificate, which describes and validates the non-formal and informal learning experience and outcomes acquired during the project (learning outcomes). Furthermore, Youthpass is to be considered as a process of becoming aware, reflecting on and documenting the learning within the different phases of the project. For more information on Youthpass, please consult Part A of this Guide as well as the Youthpass guide and further relevant material presented at

Example of a Youth Exchange with Neighbouring Partner Countries

A Georgian organisation and a British group initiated a multicultural youth exchange project titled “Europe Meets the Land of Medea - A Youth Exchange against Stereotypes and Xenophobia to Promote Intercultural Understanding” in Kobuleti in Georgia. The project aimed to promote intercultural understanding and involved six groups of young people from Ukraine, Georgia, Russia, Great Britain, Estonia and Germany. Each group consisted of four participants and one group leader. Based on the legend of Medea from Greek mythology, the participants discussed the origins and consequences of xenophobia and stereotypes towards foreign nations. In so-called “Cultural Discoveries”, organised by the youngsters, they showed the other participants their national habits, customs and traditions, to raise awareness about and deepen understanding of cultural differences. “Getting the participants to organise themselves was a central element of the exchange. It contributed to the participants’ responsibility and their ability to handle problems independently, as well as encouraging them to present their own opinions and to respect and accept the opinions of other people. It supported the personal development of the young people, promoted tolerance and diminished prejudice.” (A participant from Georgia)

More information about Topic can be obtained from the official Youth in Action Programme.

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