3 youth working on graffitiwoman holding hands with young boy passing by a graffiti of a woman

A pilot activity is an “intervention”, namely an activity addressing a contextual societal challenge affecting young people at local level. It should be based on innovation or on replication of best practices for example. These activities should have clear links to and an impact on the local context, contribute to the Council of Europe youth programme (please refer to the current priorities), have a clear youth work dimension and be based on non-formal education principles.

What criteria are used to evaluate applications?

When assessing applications for pilot activities, the EYF will concentrate on the following criteria:

  • Activities addressing challenges affecting young people at local level. What the EYF expects is that you highlight a specific challenge/concern affecting young people at local level based on real needs, and propose ways of tackling the issue with a view to finding solutions.
  • NGOs should be very concrete and specific when introducing the local context, the situation of young people, their challenges and needs. It should be clear how their proposed activity will help respond to these challenges at local level.
  • Activities should be based on innovation or on replication and have clear links to and an impact on the local context.
    • What is an innovative activity? Examples could be using new approaches, methodologies and/or tools in different contexts based on the specific needs of the target group. Show us what innovation means for you!
    • What is an activity based on replication? An example could be taking as a basis a good practice of a project that has taken place in one particular setting, and adapting it to another cultural setting or with a different target group based on the needs and specific context.
  • Activities should aim to initiate change even if this might not be immediately visible.
  • The EYF is clearly expecting that youth projects have an approach based on non-formal education. Some resources on our website can give you some insight on how to integrate the non-formal education principles in your youth activities.
  • The duration of a pilot activity should not exceed six months.

Themes for pilot activities 2021

Within the 2020-2021 priorities, the Joint Council on Youth has defined more specific focus themes for pilot activities to be supported by the European Youth Foundation in 2021.

When assessing applications for pilot activities taking place in 2021, the EYF will pay particular attention to activities developed with local authorities or social services/workers, and projects involving young people trained in the European Youth Centres or presented by local NGOs supported by an international/European youth NGO.

The EYF does not want to tell you what to do. You are in the best position to know what the needs of young people are in your local context and how to respond to them. We encourage you to develop your own project addressing issues that are specific to your community/environment/country, and that will have a local impact and a clear multiplying effect.

Gender perspective criteria included in all EYF grants

Special attention will be given to applications integrating a gender perspective. This should be clearly explained in the grant application. Gender perspective does not mean having an equal number of female and male participants. You should try to develop your project looking through different gender glasses, taking into account the needs of young women and men. More information on gender: www.coe.int/equality and the EYF gender perspectives web page developed having in mind youth NGOs.

Who can apply?

INFO: can be carried out by international NGOs/networks as part of their work plan and in co-operation with local NGOs.

When to apply?

 There are no fixed deadlines to send an application, however a system of cut-off dates was decided by the Programming Committee on Youth in December 2016 to allow for sufficient time for assessment, two-way communication and decision-making. Keeping that in mind, the application must always be submitted at least 3 months before the start date of the project. For more information on the cut-off dates, have a look at the page How to apply/Deadlines

Please check this page regularly to find up-to-date information. 

How to apply?

Every NGO interested in applying to the European Youth Foundation has to go through this application process.


Grant amount

The maximum grant allocated is €15 000 in 2021. Contrary to international activities, the EYF can cover the real total costs of the activity up to this amount.

The EYF will normally request the payment of the first instalment of the grant – 80% of the grant awarded – 10 weeks before the start of your activity. However it can take up to 3 weeks until the money arrives on your bank account. The remaining 20% will be paid upon receipt of a complete activity and financial report (check the Reporting page).

Grant beneficiaries must

  • use the Council of Europe logo* and the visual identity of the EYF on any publication, material, website
  • mention the support of the EYF
  • print the EYF posters and use them in the venue during their activities
Go to the EYF visual identity page
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