Youth - Young people building Europe

What is the European Youth Forum? 

Independently established by youth organisations, the European Youth Forum is made up of more than 90 National Youth Councils and International Non-Governmental Youth Organisations, which are federations of youth organisations in themselves. It brings together tens of millions of young people from all over Europe, organised in order to represent their common interests.

Representation, internal democracy, independence, openness and inclusion are among the main principles for the functioning of the European Youth Forum and its Member Organisations.

The European Youth Forum works to empower young people to participate actively in the shaping of Europe and the societies in which they live, and in improving the living conditions of young people as European citizens in today's world.


  • Increase the participation of young people and youth organisations in society, as well as in decision-making processes;
  • Positively influence policy issues affecting young people and youth organisations, by being a recognised partner for international institutions, namely the European Union, the Council of Europe and the United Nations;
  • Promote the concept of youth policy as an integrated and cross-sectoral element of overall policy development;
  • Facilitate the participation of young people through the development of sustainable and independent youth organisations at the national and international level;
  • Foster the exchange of ideas and experience, mutual understanding, and equal rights and opportunities among young people in Europe;
  • Uphold intercultural understanding, democracy, respect, active citizenship and solidarity;
  • As the biggest regional youth platform in the world, we work to deepen European integration while at the same time contributing to the development of youth work in other regions of the world.

The Council of Europe's Youth Directorate is an important partner for youth organisations. The European Youth Foundation within the Youth Directorate supports transnational youth work aimed at promoting youth citizenship, youth mobility, human rights, democracy and cultural pluralism. The youth directorate also elaborates guidelines and legal instruments for the development of coherent and effective youth policies at the local, national and European levels. It runs the European Youth Centres (EYCs) in Strasbourg and Budapest where a team of educational advisors provide educational and technical assistance in the preparation, running and follow-up of youth activities.

What is unique about the Council of Europe's youth work is that its programmes and policy orientations are co-managed, which means that young people from youth organisations are equal partners in decision-making. The members of the European Youth Forum nominate a majority of the members of the so-called Advisory Council, which together with representatives of member state governments forms the Joint Council. The Joint Council defines the priorities for the youth activities and policy of the Council of Europe.

In the field of youth training, the Council of Europe co-operates with the European Commission on the basis of a partnership agreement. The European Youth Forum is represented in many of the working groups of the partnership. Some of the results of the partnership are, for example, the youth trainer magazine Coyote or the so-called T-Kits.

The European Youth Forum also maintains contacts with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and with the Education Directorate.

European Youth Forum website