Join the campaign “Life beyond EU Funding: Imagining a Different Role for Youth Organisations in Europe”

UNITED has joined 70+ organizations in the new campaign entitled “Life beyond EU Funding: Imagining a Different Role for Youth Organisations in Europe” for more funding and a more sustainable environment for youth organizations across Europe.

What is this campaign about? 

This pan-European campaign led by InterAlia believes that operating funding to youth organizations needs to increase significantly and that operational funding should reach 5% of the overall Erasmus+ budget in the field of youth on a yearly basis. This goal can only be sustained through a series of policy interventions in the allocation system and the general terms of the youth sector’s operation on the EU level.

Why do we need this campaign? 

Youth organizations have always been and will always be a vital part of civil society that could bring a real difference to the world we live in. However, the current operational context, in which youth organizations are highly dependent on state institutions, limits imagination regarding social change, which is a vital element that youth organizations should rightfully possess. As a result, this makes youth organizations powerless and struggle with pursuing their original vision. While the recent two 7-year budgets of the EU have marked a significant increase in the funding for youth organizations, they did not contribute much to the well-being of youth projects as they have also created burdensome managerial concerns – resource management, a need to keep deadlines and obey guidelines, a constant need for visibility and new audience, to name a few examples – which are far from what youth organizations exist for. Rather than forcing youth organizations into a stressful and bureaucratic environment, a more favorable environment supportive of changing and experimentations is more than necessary, which is why we are undertaking this campaign. 

What are we suggesting through this campaign? 

Through this campaign, we are suggesting a completely new way of supporting youth organizations, which is the following;

  • Youth organizations must decide upon their own agendas without having to fulfill specific funding criteria or priorities. 
  • Funding must be allocated disproportionately, depending on the organizations’ size, age, and financial capacity, to support the informal and small organizations. 
  • The relationship between organizations and national agencies must be more horizontal and collaborative. 
  • Specific criteria on what constitutes a youth organization, youth work, or youth worker must be defined on an EU level.
  • Consultation and deliberation on youth policies should be more transparent and inclusive. 

What are the specific aims of this campaign? 

On the road to reaching our aims, we have set some specific targets, which are as follows; 

  • 200 co-signatories, at least one from all 48 member states of the Council of Europe by October 15
  • Receive feedback from at least one policy-making institution in each partner country 
  • Get feedback from the commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education, and Youth
  • Have questions raised by MEPs in the European Parliament in late November and December 

Who do we want to reach? 

The individuals and parties that we want to reach through this campaign are as follows; 

  • Ministries and general secretariats dealing with youth.
  • MPs working on parliamentary committees or instruments elaborating youth policies.
  • Political parties and their committees dealing with youth policies.
  • MEPs: we want them to ask a question to the respective committee of the European Parliament based on our proposal 
  • Executive and administrative local & national agencies dealing with youth: we want to get their feedback and/or endorsement, particularly to the parts related to their role in the policy implementation.

How can we join the campaign? 

Are you interested in joining the campaign or want to learn more about the campaign? Check out our policy paper and policy brief, and don’t forget to register right now through this link