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Tuesday, 25 October 2005 - Strasbourg Final edition
Youth in Action ***I
P6_TA(2005)0396A6-0263/2005
Resolution
 Consolidated text

European Parliament legislative resolution on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on creating the "YOUTH IN ACTION" programme for the period 2007–2013 (COM(2004)0471 – C6-0096/2004 – 2004/0152(COD))

(Codecision procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2004)0471)(1) ,

–   having regard to Article 251(2) and Article 149(4) of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C6-0096/2004),

–   having regard to Rule 51 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Culture and Education and the opinions of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Committee on Budgets, the Committee on Budgetary Control, the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality (A6-0263/2005),

1.  Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

2.  Makes clear that the appropriations indicated in the Commission proposal are purely indicative and will be determined by the decision on the next multiannual financial framework;

3.  Calls on the Commission, once the next multiannual financial framework has been adopted, and if appropriate, to submit a proposal for an adjustment of the financial reference amounts;

4.  Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it intends to amend the proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

5.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and Commission.

(1) Not yet published in OJ.


Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 25 October 2005 with a view to the adoption of Decision No .../2005/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council creating the "YOUTH IN ACTION" programme for the period 2007-2013
P6_TC1-COD(2004)0152

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community and in particular Article 149(4) thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the Commission,

Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee(1) ,

Having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions(2) ,

Acting in accordance with the procedure in Article 251 of the Treaty(3) ,

Whereas:

(1)  The Treaty establishes citizenship of the Union and provides that Community action in the field of education, vocational training and youth shall be aimed, primarily, at encouraging the development of youth exchanges, exchanges of qualified operatives in youth work and youth organisations and quality education.

(2)  The European Union is founded on the principles of freedom, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, equality between women and men and anti-discrimination, and the promotion of young people's active citizenship should contribute to the development of these values.

(3)  Decision No 1031/2000/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 April 2000 established the "Youth" Community action programme(4) . It is appropriate to pursue and strengthen cooperation and EU action in that field on the basis of the experience acquired from that programme.

(4)  Decision No 790/2004/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 April 2004(5) established a Community action programme to promote bodies active at European level in the field of youth.

(5)  The extraordinary European Council held in Lisbon on 23 and 24 March 2000 established a strategic objective for the Union including an active employment policy giving greater priority to lifelong learning, complemented by the sustainable development strategy of the Gothenburg European Council of 15 and 16 June 2001.

(6)  The Laeken Declaration annexed to the Presidency C onclusions of the European Council of 14 and 15 December 2001 asserts that one of the basic challenges to be resolved by the European Union is how to bring citizens, and primarily young people, closer to the European design and the European institutions.

(7)  On 21 November 2001 the Commission adopted a White Paper on "A new impetus for European youth", which proposes a cooperation framework in the field of youth to focus on participation, information, voluntary activities and a greater understanding of young people. The European Parliament adopted these proposals in its resolution of 14 May 2002(6) .

(8)  The Resolution of the Council and of the representatives of the Governments of the Member States meeting within the Council of 27 June 2002(7) establishes, in particular, an open method of coordination covering the priorities, participation, information, voluntary activities among young people and greater understanding of youth; this should be taken into account in the implementation of this programme.

(9)  The Council, in its conclusions of 6 May 2003(8) , stresses the need to maintain and develop the existing Community instruments specifically addressed to young people, as they are essential for the development of Member States' cooperation in the field of youth, and, moreover, that the priorities and objectives of those instruments should be aligned with the Framework of European Cooperation in the field of Youth.

(10)  The Community's action includes a contribution to high quality education and training and must seek to eliminate inequalities and promote equality between women and men , pursuant to Article 3 of the Treaty.

(11)  The special needs of people with disabilities should be addressed.

(12)  There is a need to promote active citizenship and, when implementing the action lines, to step up the fight against exclusion and discrimination in all their forms, including those on grounds of sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation, in accordance with Article 13 of the Treaty .

(13)  The candidate countries and those EFTA countries which are parties to the EEA Agreement are recognised as potential participants in Community programmes, in accordance with the agreements concluded with them.

(14)  The Thessaloniki European Council of 19 and 20 June 2003 adopted the "Thessaloniki Agenda for the Western Balkans: moving towards European integration", which provides that Community programmes should be open to countries forming part of the Stabilisation and Association process, on the basis of framework agreements to be signed between the Community and those countries.

(15)  Steps should be taken with a view to opening up the programme to Switzerland.

(16)  The Barcelona Declaration adopted at the Euro-Mediterranean conference in 1995 states that youth exchanges should be the means to prepare future generations for closer cooperation between the Euro-Mediterranean partners on the basis, inter alia, of universal human values .

(17)  The Council, in its conclusions of 16 June 2003, on the basis of the Commission communication entitled "Wider Europe - Neighbourhood: A New Framework for Relations with our Eastern and Southern Neighbours", sets out as action lines for the EU the stepping-up of cultural cooperation, mutual understanding and cooperation in the area of education and training with the neighbouring countries.

(18)  The interim evaluation reports of the existing Youth programme and the public consultation on the future of Community activity in education, training and youth reveal a strong and in some respects growing need for continuing cooperation and mobility in the youth field at European level, and press for a simpler, more user-friendly and more flexible approach to implementing such action.

(19)  The programme hereby created should be regularly monitored and evaluated in cooperation between the Commission and the Member States in order to allow for readjustments, particularly in the priorities for implementing the measures.

(20)  It is necessary to provide sufficient flexibility in the formulation of the legal base for the programme to allow for appropriate adjustments in the actions to respond to changing needs during the period 2007 to 2013, and to avoid the excessively detailed provisions of previous programmes, so this Decision is deliberately limited to generic definitions of actions and their essential accompanying administrative and financial provisions.

(21)  It is necessary to provide for specific arrangements for the application of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 of 25 June 2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities (9) and its implementing measures, as well as for the derogations from those texts necessitated by the features of the participants and the nature of the actions.

(22)  Appropriate measures must be implemented to prevent irregularities and fraud and to recover funds lost or incorrectly paid or used.

(23)  This Decision establishes a budget for the entire duration of the programme which is, for the budgetary authority, the principal point of reference, within the meaning of point 33 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 6 May 1999 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and improvement of the budgetary procedure(10) .

(24)  Since the objectives of the programme cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States acting individually inasmuch as multilateral partnerships, transnational mobility measures and an exchange of information at European level are required, and can therefore, by reason of the transnational and multilateral dimension of the programme's actions and measures, be better achieved at Community level, the Community may adopt measures, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity as set out in Article 5 of the Treaty . In accordance with the principle of proportionality, as set out in that Article, this Decision does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve those objectives.

(25)  The measures necessary for the implementation of this Decision should be adopted in accordance with Council Decision 1999/468/EC of 28 June 1999 laying down the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission(11) .

(26)  Provisional measures to monitor actions started before 31 December 2006 should be adopted, pursuant to Decision No 1031/2000/EC and Decision No 790/2004/EC .

HAVE DECIDED AS FOLLOWS:

Article 1

Establishment of the programme

1.  This Decision establishes the YOUTH IN ACTION programme of Community action, hereinafter referred to as "the programme", the aim of which is to develop cooperation in the field of youth in the European Union.

2.  This programme shall start on 1 January 2007 and end on 31 December 2013.

Article 2

General objectives of the programme

1.  The general objectives of the programme are:

   a) to promote young people's active citizenship in general and their European citizenship in particular;
   b) to develop solidarity and promote tolerance among young people in response to diversity , in particular in order to reinforce social cohesion in the European Union;
   c) to foster mutual understanding between young people from different countries ;
   d) to contribute to developing the quality of support systems for youth activities and the capabilities of civil society organisations in the youth field;
   e) to promote European cooperation in youth policies, taking due account of local and regional aspects.

2.  The general objectives of the programme complement the objectives pursued in other areas of the European Union's action, in particular in the field of education and vocational training in the context of a Europe of knowledge and of lifelong learning as well in in the fields of culture and sport.

3.  The general objectives of the programme shall contribute to the development of the Union's policies, in particular with regard to the recognition of cultural, multicultural and linguistic diversity in Europe, to combating all discrimination based on sex, race or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation, and with regard to sustainable development.

Article 3

Specific aims of the programme

The specific objectives are as follows:

1.  In the context of the general objective of promoting young people's active citizenship in general and their European citizenship in particular:

   a) giving young people, and the organisations that represent them, the opportunity to take part in the development of society in general and the European Union in particular;
   b) developing young people's sense of belonging to the European Union;
   c) encouraging the participation of young people in the democratic life of Europe;
   d) fostering the mobility of young people in Europe;
   e) developing intercultural learning and language learning within the youth field;
   f) promoting the fundamental values of the Union to young people, in particular, respect for human dignity, equality, respect for human rights, tolerance and non-discrimination ;
   g) encouraging initiative, enterprise and creativity;
   h) promoting sport and cultural activities as a means of fostering social integration, tolerance and non-discrimination;
   i) facilitating participation in the programme by young people with the least opportunities, including young people with disabilities ;
   j) ensuring that the principle of equality for men and women is respected in participation in the programme and that gender equality is fostered in the actions;
   k) providing informal educational opportunities with a European dimension and opening up innovative opportunities in connection with the exercise of active citizenship.

2.  In the context of the general objective of developing solidarity and promoting tolerance among young people in response to diversity , in particular in order to reinforce social cohesion in the Union:

   a) giving young people the opportunity to express their personal commitment through voluntary activities at European and international level;
   b) involving young people in the European Union's solidarity actions;
   c) contributing to cooperation between the civil and voluntary services involving young people at national level.

3.  In the context of the general objective of fostering mutual understanding between young people from different countries :

   a) developing exchanges and intercultural dialogue between young Europeans and young people in neighbouring countries;
   b) contributing to the development in those countries of the quality of support structures for young people and of the role of qualified operatives in youth work and youth organisations ;
   c) developing with the other countries thematic cooperation projects involving young people and qualified operatives in youth work and youth organisations .

4.  In the context of the general objective of contributing to developing the quality of support systems for youth activities and the capabilities of civil society organisations in the youth field:

   a) contributing to the networking of the organisations concerned;
   b) developing the training of and collaboration between qualified operatives in youth work and youth organisations ;
   c) promoting innovation in the development of activities for young people;
   d) contributing to the improvement of information for young people, including special attention to access for young people with disabilities to better information ;
   e) working for the recognition of young people's non-formal education.

5.  In the context of the general objective of promoting European cooperation in youth policies, taking due account of local and regional aspects :

   a) encouraging the exchange of good practices and cooperation between administrations and policymakers;
   b) encouraging structured dialogue between policymakers and young people;
   c) improving knowledge and understanding of youth.

Article 4

Actions

The specific and general objectives shall be pursued through the actions specified below, details of which can be found in the Annex.

1)  Youth for Europe

The aim of this action is to support exchanges of young people in order to increase their mobility and to support youth initiatives and projects and activities concerning participation in democratic life, in order to develop young people's citizenship and mutual understanding.

2)  European Voluntary Service

The aim of this action is to step up young people's participation in various forms of voluntary activities, both within and outside the European Union.

3)  Youth in the World

The aim of this action is to support projects with the partner countries mentioned in Article 5 below, in particular exchanges of young people and qualified operatives in youth work and youth organisations , and to support initiatives that reinforce young people's mutual understanding and sense of solidarity and tolerance and the development of cooperation in the field of youth and civil society in those countries.

4)  Qualified operatives in youth work and youth organisations and support systems

The aim of this action is to support bodies active at European level in the field of youth, in particular the operation of youth NGOs, their networking, support for those who propose projects to help them organise European youth projects and ensure quality by means of the exchange, training and networking of qualified operatives in youth work and youth organisations , encouraging innovation and quality, providing young people with information, developing the structures and activities needed for the programme to meet these goals and encouraging partnerships with local and regional authorities .

5)  Support for policy cooperation

The aim of this action is to organise dialogue between the various actors in the field of youth, in particular the young people themselves, qualified operatives in youth work and youth organisations and policymakers, to support the holding of youth seminars on social, cultural and political issues in which young people are interested, to contribute to the development of policy cooperation in the youth field and to take the necessary steps and establish the networks necessary to better understand youth.

Article 5

Participation in the programme

1.  The programme is open to the participation of the following countries, hereinafter known as the "participating countries":

   a) the Member States;
   b) the EFTA States that are party to the EEA Agreement, in accordance with the provisions of that Agreement;
   c) Turkey and the candidate countries of central and eastern Europe benefiting from a pre-accession strategy, pursuant to the general principles and the general conditions and arrangements for the participation of those countries in Community programmes laid down in the framework agreement and the decisions of the Association Councils respectively;
   d) the countries of the western Balkans, in accordance with the arrangements to be established with those countries following the framework agreements to be established for their participation in Community programmes;
   e) Switzerland, subject to the conclusion of a bilateral agreement with that country.

2.  The actions in points 2.1, 2.2 and 3 of the Annex are open to cooperation with countries that have signed association or cooperation agreements with the European Community, hereinafter known as "partner countries".

This cooperation shall be based, where relevant, on additional appropriations to be made available in accordance with procedures to be agreed with those partner countries.

Article 6

Access to the programme

1.  The programme is intended for young people, groups of young people, qualified operatives in youth work and youth organisations , youth organisations and other partners working in the field of youth.

2.  Without prejudice to the arrangements in the Annex for the implementation of actions, the programme is intended for young people aged between 13 and 30. However, the main target group should be young people aged between 15 and 28.

3.  Participants must be legal residents of a country participating in the programme or, depending on the nature of the action, a partner country.

4.  All young people, without discrimination, must be able to have access to the activities of the programme, subject to the provisions of the Annex. The Commission and the partner countries will ensure that particular efforts are made with regard to young people who, for educational, social, physical, psychological, economic, cultural or geographical reasons, have particular difficulties taking part in the programme.

5.  The participating countries shall take appropriate measures to remove obstacles to the mobility of participants, so that the latter have access to health care, retain their social protection and are able to travel and reside in the host country. This applies in particular to the rights of entry, residence and free movement. Countries participating in the programme shall, if necessary, take appropriate measures to ensure that participants from third countries are admitted to their territory, so as to prevent any form of discrimination and provide assistance for people with disabilities .

Article 7

International cooperation

The programme is also open to cooperation with international organisations with authority in the field of youth, in particular the Council of Europe.

Article 8

Implementation of the programme

1.  The Commission shall ensure the implementation of the actions covered by this programme in accordance with the Annex.

2.  The Commission and the participating countries shall take appropriate measures to develop structures at European, national and, if necessary, regional or local level to achieve the objectives of the programme and to derive the greatest benefit from the actions of the programme.

3.  The Commission and the participating countries shall take appropriate measures to promote the recognition of non-formal and informal education for young people, in particular via the issue of a national or European-level document or certificate recognising, in particular, the experience gained by the participants and attesting to the direct participation of the young people or qualified operatives in youth work and youth organisations in an action under the programme. This aim may be reinforced by complementing other Community actions as provided for in Article 11.

4.  The Commission and participating countries shall consult the European Parliament, young people, youth organisations and other organisations entrusted with project implementation with a view to defining the programme's aims and its evaluation.

5.  The Commission and the participating countries shall protect the financial interests of the Union by taking effective, proportionate and dissuasive measures.

6.  The Commission and the participating countries shall ensure that the actions supported under the programme are properly publicised.

7.  The participating countries must:

   a) take the necessary measures to ensure that the programme runs smoothly at their level, involving the parties concerned with the various aspects of youth in accordance with national practice;
  b) create/appoint and monitor the national agencies in the implementation of the programme actions at national level, pursuant to Article 54(2), point (c) of Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002. The following criteria must be respected:
   i) the body created or appointed as the national agency must have legal status (and be governed by the law of the participating country). It is not possible to appoint a ministry as the national agency;
   ii) it must have sufficient staff with the appropriate professional and linguistic skills to work in an international cooperation environment;
   iii) it must have an appropriate infrastructure available, in particular with regard to ICT equipment and means of communication that are also compatible with the access requirements of people with disabilities ;
   iv) it must have staff who are sufficiently skilled in the field of youth work and youth policy and it must have the capacity to support the users of the programme;
   v) it must work in an administrative environment allowing it to implement its tasks properly and avoid any conflict of interests;
   vi) it must be able to apply the fund management rules and the contractual conditions laid down at Community level;
   vii) it must have an administrative capacity in line with the volume of Community funds that it will have to manage.
   c) assume responsibility for the sound management by the national agencies referred to in b) above of the appropriations transferred to them to be awarded to projects. In particular, they are responsible for ensuring that the national agencies comply with the principles of transparency, equal treatment and non-cumulation vis-à-vis other Community funds, and for the obligation to recover any funds due from the beneficiaries;
  d) take the necessary measures to audit and monitor the finances of the national agencies referred to in b) above, and in particular:
   i) provide the Commission, before the national agency starts work, with the necessary assurances regarding the existence, relevance and operation in the national agency, in accordance with the rules of sound financial management, of suitable procedures, monitoring systems, accounting systems and procedures for the award of contracts and grants;
   ii) assure the Commission, at the end of each financial year, of the reliability of the national agencies" financial systems and procedures and the accuracy of their accounts.
   e) comply with the principle of proportionality as regards the documents and additional information to be supplied, in particular in connection with the criteria laid down in points (b)(vii) and (d);
   f) assume responsibility for any funds not recovered in the event of any irregularity, negligence or fraud on the part of the national agency referred to in b) above which leads the Commission to seek recovery of funds from the national agency.

8.  As part of the procedure mentioned in Article 9(1), the Commission may draw up guidelines for each of the actions in the Annex in order to adapt the programme to any changes of priority in European cooperation in the field of youth.

9.  The Commission shall set up a database for the documents referred to in paragraph 7, point (d).

Article 9

Implementation measures

1.  The measures necessary for the implementation of this Decision relating to the following matters shall be adopted in accordance with the management procedure referred to in Article 10(2):

   a) the arrangements for the implementation of the programme, including the annual work plan;
   b) the general balance between the various actions of the programme;
   c) with regard to the funding, the criteria (e.g. youth population, GDP and geographical distance between countries) applicable for establishing the indicative breakdown of funds among the Member States for the purpose of the actions to be managed on a decentralised basis;
   d) the arrangements for evaluating the programme;
   e) the arrangements for certifying the participation of the young people concerned;
   f) the arrangements for adapting the actions of the programme mentioned in Article 8(8) .

2.  The measures necessary for the implementation of this Decision relating to all other matters shall be adopted in accordance with the advisory procedure referred to in Article 10(3).

Article 10

Committee

1.  The Commission shall be assisted by a committee comprising representatives of the Member States and chaired by the representative of the Commission.

2.  Where reference is made to this paragraph, Articles 4 and 7 of Decision 1999/468/EC shall apply.

The period laid down in Article 4(3) of Decision 1999/468/EC shall be set at two months.

3.  Where reference is made to this paragraph, Articles 3 and 7 of Decision 1999/468/EC shall apply, having regard to the provisions of Article 8 thereof.

4.  The committee shall adopt its rules of procedure.

Article 11

Complementarity with other Community actions

1.  The Commission shall ensure complementarity between this programme and other areas of Community action, especially education, vocational training, culture, sport, languages, social inclusion, gender equality, combating discrimination, research, enterprise and the Union's external action.

2.  The programme may share resources with other Community instruments in order to implement actions meeting the objectives of both this programme and those instruments.

3.  The Commission and the Member States shall highlight the actions of the programme that contribute to the development of the objectives of other fields of Community action, such as education, training, culture, sport, languages, social integration, gender equality, equal opportunities and combating discrimination .

Article 12

Complementarity with national policies and instruments

1.  The participating countries may be awarded a European label for national, regional or local actions similar to those in Article 4.

2.  A participating country may make national funding available to participants to be managed in accordance with the rules of the programme and, to this end, may use the decentralised structures of the programme, as long as it ensures the complementary pro rata funding of those structures.

Article 13

General financial provisions

1.  The indicative financial framework for the implementation of this programme for the period of seven years from 1 January 2007, referred to in Article 1, is hereby set at EUR 1 128 000 000.

2.  The annual appropriations shall be authorised by the budgetary authority within the limits of the financial perspective.

Article 14

Financial provisions concerning the participants

1.  Pursuant to Article 114(1) of Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002, natural persons may receive grants under the programme.

2.  Pursuant to Article 176(2) of Commission Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2342/2002 of 23 December 2002 laying down detailed rules for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities (12) , the Commission may decide, depending on the characteristics of the participants and the nature of the actions, to exempt them from the verification of professional competences and qualifications for completing the action or work programme. The Commission must respect the principle of proportionality in determining the requirements in relation to the amount of financial support, taking account of the characteristics of the participants, their age, the nature of the action and the amount of financial support .

3.  Depending on the nature of the action, the financial support may take the form of subsidies or scholarships. The Commission may also award prizes for actions or projects implemented under the programme. Pursuant to Article 181 of Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2342/2002, and depending on the nature of the action, flat-rate financing and/or the application of scales of unit costs may be authorised.

4.  The funding procedure shall be as short as possible and organisations will be informed of the result as quickly as possible. The Commission shall ensure that no more than four months elapse between the official receipt of an application by an organisation and the arrival of the first payment in the participant's account in the event that the application is approved. This does not apply to Action 4.1 and 4.2 of the programme.

5.  Operating grants awarded under this programme to organisations active at European level, as defined in Article 162 of Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2342/2002, shall not be automatically decreased in accordance with Article 113(2) of Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 in the event of renewal.

6.  Pursuant to Article 54(2), point (c) of Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002, the Commission may entrust tasks of public authority and, in particular, budget implementation tasks to the structures referred to in Article 8(2).

7.  Pursuant to Article 38(1) of Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2342/2002, the option in paragraph 6 above shall also apply to structures in the participating countries that are not governed by the law of the Member States or States of the European Economic Area (EEA) or the candidate countries.

Article 15

Monitoring and Evaluation

1.  The Commission shall ensure that this programme is regularly monitored. This monitoring shall include the reports referred to in paragraph 3 below and specific activities.

2.  The Commission shall ensure the regular, independent, external evaluation of the programme.

3.  Participating countries shall submit to the Commission a report on the implementation of the programme by 30 June 2010 at the latest and a report on the impact of the programme by 30 June 2015 at the latest.

4.  The Commission shall submit to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions:

   a) an interim evaluation report on the results obtained and the qualitative and quantitative aspects of the implementation of this programme no later than 31 March 2011;
   b) a Communication on the continuation of this programme no later than 31 December 2011;
   c) an ex post evaluation report no later than 31 March 2016.

Article 16

Temporary provision

Actions started before 31 December 2006 pursuant to Decision No 1031/2000/EC and Decision No 790/2004/EC shall continue to be governed, until their completion, by those Decisions. The committee provided for in Article 8 of Decision No 1031/2000/EC shall be replaced by the one provided for in Article 10 of this Decision.

Article 17

Entry into force

This Decision shall enter into force on the twentieth day following its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. It shall apply from 1 January 2007.

Done at

For the European Parliament For the Council

The President The President

ANNEX

The actions implementing the general and specific objectives of the programme support small-scale projects promoting the active participation of young people.

The participation of young people in the programme is not subject to any specific prior experience or qualifications, except in certain cases specified in the actions.

The actions can be broken down into the following measures:

Action 1 - Youth for Europe

The objective of this action is to reinforce the active citizenship of young people and mutual understanding between them through the following measures.

The indicative financial endowment for Action 1 should total not less than 30 % of the total costs provided for all five actions (for the period 2007-2013).

1.1.  Youth exchanges

Youth exchanges allow one or more groups of young people to be hosted by a group from another country in order to participate together in a joint programme of activities. They are available, in principle, to young people aged between 13 and 25.

These activities, based on transnational partnerships between the various actors in a project, involve the active participation of young people and are designed to allow them to discover and become aware of different social and cultural realities, to learn from each other and reinforce their feeling of being European citizens. The support focuses on multilateral group mobility activities.

Bilateral group exchanges are justified especially where it is their first European activity or the participants are small-scale or local groups without experience at European level. Exchanges for young people with fewer opportunities are also welcome, in order to step up their participation in the programme.

This measure also supports preparation activities, with the aim of reinforcing young people's active participation in the projects, in particular those activities intended to help the young people at a linguistic and intercultural level, as well as international meetings between young people wishing to debate subjects of importance for their future and the future of Europe.

Preparatory and follow-up activities, particularly in the linguistic and intercultural fields, intended to increase the active participation of young people in projects, are supported under this action.

1.2.  Support for young people's initiatives

This measure supports projects where young people participate actively and directly in activities of their own devising in which they play the key roles, in order to develop their initiative, enterprise and creativity. In principle, it is for young people aged between 16 and 30.

This measure supports group projects designed at local, regional and national level and the networking of similar projects in different countries, in order to strengthen their European aspect and to enhance cooperation and exchanges of experiences between young people.

Particular attention is paid to young people with fewer opportunities.

1.3.  Participative democracy projects

This measure supports young people's participation in democratic life. These projects and activities encourage the active participation of young people in the life of their local, regional or national community and at the international level .

It is open, in principle, to young people aged between 13 and 30.

These activities or projects are based on international partnerships, allowing the pooling, at European level, of ideas, experiences and good practices from projects or activities at local or regional level, in order to improve young people's participation at different levels. They may include organising consultation projects with young people to find out their needs and wishes, with a view to developing new approaches to their active participation in a democratic Europe.

Action 2 - European Voluntary Service

The aim of the Voluntary Service is to develop solidarity and promote active citizenship and mutual understanding among young people through the following measures.

The indicative financial endowment for Action 2 should total not less than 23 % of the total costs provided for all five actions (for the period 2007-2013).

2.1.  European Voluntary Service (individual)

The young volunteer takes part in a non-profit-making unpaid activity to the benefit of the general public in a country other than his or her country of residence. The European Voluntary Service must not have an adverse effect on potential or existing paid employment or be seen as a substitute for it.

The service lasts for several months, and may last up to twelve months. In duly justified cases, in particular to facilitate the participation of young people with fewer opportunities, shorter periods may be allowed.

While, in principle, the measure is intended for young people aged between 18 and 30, certain activities may admit young people aged 16 and over, as long as appropriate supervision is provided.

The measure covers all or part of the volunteer's expenses, insurance, subsistence and travel, plus an additional allowance for young people with fewer opportunities where appropriate.

It also supports activities for the training of young volunteers, especially before their departure, and coordination activities for the various partners. It ensures the follow-up of initiatives based on experiences gained during European voluntary service.

The Member States and the Commission shall make sure that certain quality standards are respected: the voluntary work must include a non-formal education dimension demonstrated by pedagogical activities to prepare young people at a personal, intercultural and technical level, as well as ongoing personal support. Partnership between the various actors involved in the project and risk prevention are considered particularly important.

2.2.  European voluntary service (groups)

This measure supports volunteer projects with the same characteristics as those described in point 2.1 above which allow groups of young people to take part collectively in activities organised at local, regional, national, European or international level .

In principle, it is open to young people aged between 18 and 30.

2.3.  Cooperation between civil or volunteer services

This measure supports cooperation between national and international youth volunteer services. Reinforcing synergies and creating compatibility between the various forms of civil volunteer service at European and national level are two aspects which may be supported by the programme, in order to strengthen the European dimension.

Action 3 - Youth in the World

The purpose of this action is to develop mutual understanding between peoples in a spirit of openness, whilst also contributing to the development of quality systems that support the activities of young people in the countries concerned. It is open to the programme's partner countries.

The indicative financial endowment for Action 3 should total not less than 4 % of the total costs provided for all five actions (for the period 2007-2013).

3.1.  Cooperation with the neighbouring countries of the enlarged Europe

This measure supports projects with the programme partner countries that are each considered neighbourhood countries under the provisions of the Union's European neighbourhood policy pursuant to Article 5(2) (13) .

It supports youth exchanges, mainly multilateral ones, which allow several groups of young people from participating countries and neighbouring countries to meet and take part together in a programme of activities. It is available, in principle, to young people aged between 13 and 25. These activities, based on transnational partnerships between the various actors in a project, involve the prior training of supervisory staff and the active participation of young people, to allow them to discover and become aware of different social and cultural realities. Activities to enhance the participation of young people in the projects, particularly those intended to help them at a linguistic and intercultural level, may be eligible for funding.

As long as adequate national management structures are created in the neighbouring countries, individual or group initiatives at local, regional or national level in those countries can be supported where they are carried out in conjunction with similar initiatives in countries participating in the programme. These are activities designed by the young people themselves, in which they are the key players. In principle, the activity is for young people aged between 18 and 30, although certain initiatives may admit young people from age 16, as long as appropriate supervision is provided.

This measure supports activities designed to network and enhance the capacity of NGOs in the field of youth, recognising the important role that they can play in the development of civil society in the neighbouring countries. It covers the training of qualified operatives 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.

This measure also supports projects to stimulate innovation and quality, aiming at introducing, implementing and promoting innovative approaches in the youth field.

Financial support may be awarded to information activities for young people and qualified operatives in youth work and youth organisations .

This measure also supports activities promoting cooperation in the field of youth with the neighbouring countries, e.g. promoting cooperation and the exchange of ideas and good practices in the field of youth, as well as other promotion and dissemination measures regarding the results of the projects and activities supported in the countries concerned in the field of youth.

3.2.  Cooperation with other countries

This measure supports cooperation activities in the field of youth, in particular the exchange of good practices with the other partner countries.

It encourages exchanges between and the training of qualified operatives in youth work and youth organisations and the development of partnerships and networks of youth organisations.

Multilateral exchanges of young people between those countries and the countries participating in the programme may be implemented on a thematic basis.

Funding is awarded to activities that demonstrate their potential multiplier effect.

In the context of cooperation with industrialised countries, this measure funds only European participants in projects.

Action 4 - Qualified operatives in youth work and youth organisations and support systems

The aim of this action is to develop the quality of youth support structures, to support the role of qualified operatives in youth work and youth organisations , to develop the quality of the programme and to promote the civil participation of young people at European level by supporting bodies active at European level in the field of youth.

The indicative financial endowment for Action 4 should total not less than 15 % of the total costs provided for all five actions (for the period 2007-2013).

4.1.  Support for bodies active at European level in the field of youth

This measure supports the operation of NGOs active at European level in the field of youth that pursue a goal of general European interest. Their activities must contribute to young people's participation in public life and society and the development and implementation of European cooperation activities in the field of youth in the broad sense.

To be eligible for an operating grant, a body must satisfy the following requirements:

   it must have been legally established for at least one year
   it must be non-profit-making
   it must be established in one of the participating countries, in accordance with Article 5(1), or in one of certain eastern European countries(14)
   it must operate at European level, alone or in coordination with other associations, and its structure and activities must cover at least eight participating countries; it may be a European network representing bodies active in the field of youth
   its activities must be in accordance with the principles underlying the Community activity in the field of youth
   it may be a body whose activities are solely for the benefit of young people or a body with wider aims, some of the activities of which are for the benefit of young people
   it must involve the young people in managing the activities conducted for their benefit.

Bodies receiving operating grants are selected on the basis of calls for proposals. Multiannual partnership framework agreements may be concluded with the bodies selected. However, such framework agreements do not exclude the possibility of launching annual calls for proposals for additional participants .

The main activities of the youth organisations that are likely to contribute to the strengthening and effectiveness of Community action are:

   representing the views and interests of young people in their diversity at European level
   youth exchanges and voluntary services
   informal and non-formal learning and youth activity programmes
   promoting intercultural learning and understanding
   debates on European issues, the policies of the European Union or youth policies
   dissemination of information on Community action
   actions promoting young people's participation and initiative

Under this measure, the only costs to be taken into account in determining the operating grant are those necessary for the proper conduct of the normal activities of the body selected, in particular personnel costs, overheads (rental and property charges, equipment, office supplies, telecommunications, postal charges, etc.), costs of internal meetings, and publications, information and dissemination costs.

The grant is awarded with due respect for the body's independence in the selection of its members and its autonomy in the detailed definition of its activities.

A user's guide explaining clearly the legal rights and obligations when accepting an awarded grant should be made available by the Commission.

At least 20% of the budgets of the bodies concerned must be covered by non-Community sources.

In the interest of the sustainability and continuity of youth organisations founded in accordance with Decision No 790/2004/EC, the minimum annual allocation under Action 4.1 shall be EUR 2 600 000.

4.2.  Support for the European Youth Forum

Grants may be awarded under this measure to support the ongoing activities of the European Youth Forum, an organisation pursuing a goal of general European interest, with due respect for the following principles:

   the Forum's independence in the selection of its members, ensuring the broadest possible representation of different kinds of youth organisations
   its autonomy in the detailed specification of its activities
   the broadest possible involvement in the European Youth Forum's activities of non-member youth organisations and young people who do not belong to organisations
   the active contribution by the European Youth Forum to the political processes relevant to youth at European level, in particular by responding to the European institutions when they consult civil society and explaining the positions adopted by those institutions to its members.

The eligible expenditure of the European Youth Forum comprises operating costs and expenses for carrying out its actions. In view of the need to ensure the continuity of the European Youth Forum, the programme resources shall be allocated in accordance with the following guideline: the annual resources allocated to the European Youth Forum shall not be less than EUR 2 200 000 .

Grants may be awarded to the European Youth Forum upon receipt of an appropriate work plan and budget. Grants may be awarded on an annual basis or on a renewable basis within a framework partnership agreement with the Commission.

At least 20% of the Forum's budget must be covered by non-Community sources.

The main activities of the European Youth Forum are as follows:

   representing young people vis-à-vis the European Union
   coordinating the positions of its members vis-à-vis the European Union
   relaying information on youth vis-à-vis the European institutions
   relaying information from the European Union to the national youth councils and non-governmental organisations
   promoting and preparing the participation of young people in democratic life
   contributing to the new cooperation framework in the youth field established at the level of the European Union
   contributing to the development of youth policies, youth work and educational opportunities, and to relaying information concerning young people and developing representative structures for young people throughout Europe
   engaging in discussion and reflection on youth in Europe and in other parts of the world and on the European Union's action for young people.

4.3.  Training and networking of qualified operatives in youth work and youth organisations

This measure supports the training of qualified operatives in youth work and youth organisations in this field, in particular youth workers , project leaders, youth advisers and supervisors in these projects. It also supports the exchange of experiences, expertise and good practices between these qualified operatives in youth work and youth organisations , as well as activities which may lead to the establishment of long-lasting, high quality projects and partnerships. Particular attention is to be paid to activities fostering the participation of those young people who find it most difficult to participate in Community actions.

4.4.  Projects encouraging innovation and quality

This measure supports projects aimed at introducing, implementing and promoting innovative approaches in the youth field. These innovative aspects may relate to the content and objectives, in line with the development of the European co-operation framework in the youth field, the involvement of partners from different backgrounds or the dissemination of information.

4.5.  Information activities for young people and qualified operatives in youth work and youth organisations

This measure supports information and communication targeting young people by improving their access to relevant information and communication services in order to increase their participation in public life and facilitate the realisation of their potential as active, responsible citizens. To this end, support is given to activities at European and national level which improve young people's access to information and communication services and increase the provision of quality information and the participation of young people in the preparation and dissemination of information.

This measure contributes in particular to the development of European, national, regional and local youth portals for the dissemination of specific information for young people through all kinds of information channels, particularly those most frequently used by young people. It can also support measures which promote the involvement of young people in the preparation and dissemination of understandable, user-friendly and targeted information products and advice, so as to improve the quality of the information and access for all young people. In all publications, regard must be had, explicitly and clearly, to gender equality and gender-specific language must be used.

4.6.  Partnerships

This measure is for the funding of partnerships with regional or local bodies, in order to develop over the long term projects which combine various measures in the programme. The funding focuses on projects and coordination activities.

4.7  Support for the structures of the programme

This measure funds the structures provided for in Article 8(2), in particular the National Agencies. The funding may be provided in the form of an operating grant covering no more than 50% of the total eligible expenditure adopted in the agency's work programme. The measure also provides funding for assimilated bodies, such as the national coordinators, the resource centres, the EURODESK network, the Euro-Mediterranean Youth Platform and the associations of young European volunteers, acting as implementation bodies at national level, in full compliance with Article 54(2)(c) and (3) of Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002.

4.8  Adding to the value of the programme

The Commission may organise seminars, colloquia or meetings to facilitate the implementation of the programme and undertake appropriate information, publication and dissemination actions as well as programme monitoring and evaluation. These activities may be financed by means of grants, purchased by means of procurement procedures or organised and funded directly by the Commission.

Action 5 - Support for policy cooperation

The aim of this action is to promote European cooperation in youth policy.

The indicative financial endowment for Action 5 should total not less than 4 % of the total costs provided for all five actions (for the period 2007-2013).

5.1  Meetings of young people and those responsible for youth policy

This measure supports policy cooperation and structured dialogue between young people and their organisations and those responsible for youth policy. The activities include, in particular, promoting cooperation and the exchange of ideas and good practices in the field of youth, conferences organised by the Presidencies of the Union, supporting youth seminars which encourage and promote the involvement of young people in Europe as a political, social and cultural community and other measures to exploit and disseminate the results of the projects and the results of the European Union's activities in the field of youth.

5.2.  European Youth Week

In this context European Youth Week becomes a regular and permanent event as a set part of European youth policy. A team of young people should participate in the planning and running of the activities so as to place participation of young people at the heart of the week.

The following activities should take place on a centralised and decentralised basis as part of European Youth Week:

   information on the work of the European institutions;
   activities enabling young people to inform MEPs of their concerns;
   a prize-giving for the best youth projects promoted by the "YOUTH IN ACTION" programme.

5.3.  Support for activities to bring about better understanding and knowledge of the field of youth

This measure supports specific projects for the identification of existing knowledge relating to the priorities for the field of youth established under the open method of coordination and projects intended to complement and update them or facilitate access to them.

It is also designed to support the development of methods for analysing and comparing the results of studies and guaranteeing their quality.

The programme may also support the networking of the various actors in the youth field.

   5.4. Co-operation with international organisations

This action can be used to support the European Union's cooperation with international organisations working in the youth field, in particular the Council of Europe, the United Nations or its specialised institutions.

6.  MANAGEMENT OF THE PROGRAMME

The programme budget may also cover expenditure associated with the preparation, follow-up, monitoring, auditing and evaluation activities directly necessary for the management of the programme and the realisation of its objectives, in particular studies, meetings, information and publication activities, expenditure associated with the IT networks for the exchange of information and any other administrative and technical support expenditure on which the Commission may decide for the management of the programme.

In order to present good practices and model projects, a database shall be established containing information about existing ideas concerning youth activities at European level.

7.  CHECKS AND AUDITS

A system of spot checks has been created for projects selected in accordance with the procedure described in Article 13(2) of this Decision.

Participants must keep the Commission supporting documents for all expenditure for a period of five years from the date of the last payment. They must ensure that, where applicable, supporting documents in the possession of partners or members be made available to the Commission.

The Commission may have an audit of the use made of the grant carried out either directly by its own staff or by any other qualified outside body of its choice. These audits may be carried out throughout the lifetime of the contract and for a period of five years from the date of payment of the balance of the grant. Where appropriate, the audit findings may lead the Commission to seek recovery of sums paid.

Commission staff and outside persons authorised by the Commission must be granted appropriate access to the offices of the participant and to all the information, including information in electronic format, needed in order to conduct such audits.

The Court of Auditors and the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) shall enjoy the same rights, especially of access, as the Commission.

The Commission's decisions taken under Article 10, the contracts with the National Agencies, the agreements with the participating third countries and the associated contracts and agreements shall provide, in particular, for the Commission or its authorised representative, OLAF and the Court of Auditors to undertake inspections and financial audits, in situ if necessary. The National Agencies or, if necessary, the grant beneficiaries may be inspected.

The Commission may also undertake in situ inspections pursuant to Council Regulation (Euratom, EC ) No 2185/96 of 11 November 1996 concerning on-the-spot checks and inspections carried out by the Commission in order to protect the European Communities' financial interests against fraud and other irregularities (15) .

For the Community actions referred to in this Decision, the term "irregularity" referred to in Article 1(2) of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2988/95 of 18 December 1995 on the protection of the European Communities financial interests (16) shall mean any infringement of a provision of Community law or any non-performance of a contractual obligation resulting from an act or omission by a party, which has, or would have, because of an unjustified item of expenditure, the effect of prejudicing the general budget of the European Union or budgets managed by it.

(1) OJ C 234 , 22.9.2005 , p. 46 .
(2) OJ C 71 , 22.3.2005 , p. 34 .
(3) Position of the European Parliament of 25 October 2005 .
(4) OJ L 117, 18.5.2000, p. 1. Decision as last amended by Council Regulation (EC) No 885/2004 (OJ L 168, 1.5.2004, p. 1).
(5) OJ L 138, 30.4.2004, p. 24.
(6) OJ C 180 E, 31.7.2003, p. 145.
(7) OJ C 168, 13.7.2002, p. 2.
(8) OJ C 115, 15.5.2003 , p. 1.
(9) OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1.
(10) OJ C 172, 18.6.1999, p. 1.
(11) OJ L 184, 17.7.1999, p. 23.
(12) OJ L 357, 31.12.2002, p. 1. Regulation as amended by Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1261/2005 (OJ L 201, 2.8.2005, p. 3).
(13) Without prejudice to future developments, the neighbouring countries considered are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, the Russian Federation and the Ukraine, Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, the Palestinian Territories, Syria and Tunisia.
(14) Belarus, Moldova, Russian Federation, Ukraine.
(15) OJ L 292, 15.11.1996, p. 2.
(16) OJ L 312, 23.12.1995, p. 1.

Last updated: 14 September 2007Legal notice