YOUTH IN ACTION - Overview of the program

By Decision N 1719/2006/EC of 15 November 20061, the European Parliament and the Council adopted the Youth in Action Programme for the period 2007 to 2013 which put into place the legal framework to support nonformal learning activities for young people.

The Youth in Action Programme aims to respond at European level to the needs of young people from adolescence to adulthood. It makes an important contribution to the acquisition of competences through nonformal learning as well as to the promotion of young people's active participation in society.

It supports the new youth policy framework for European Cooperation in the youth field adopted in 20092, which outlines a cross-sectoral approach to youth issues with a view not only to creating more and equal opportunities for all young people in education and in the labour market ("employability dimension") but also to promoting the active engagement, social inclusion and solidarity of all young people ("participation dimension").

It also contributes to supporting the "Youth on the Move"3 flagship initiative of the EU 2020 Strategy4 which puts young people at the centre of the EU's agenda to create an economy based on knowledge, innovation, high levels of education and skills, adaptability and creativity, inclusive labour markets and active involvement in society.

Finally, Youth in Action also fits into the context of the new EU competences conferred by the Lisbon Treaty (article 165 (2)), which calls the European Union to encourage the participation of young people in democratic life in Europe.

The Youth in Action Programme builds on the experience of the previous Youth for Europe Programme (l989- 1999), the European Voluntary Service (1996-1999) and the YOUTH Programme (2000-2006). It has been adopted after wide consultation with the different stakeholders in the youth field. An interim evaluation of the YOUTH Programme was carried out in 2003, receiving input from a wide variety of specialists, stakeholders and individuals involved