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Youth policy budgeting is covered by “finance laws that determine the nature, sum and allocation of State resources and charges as well as the resulting budgetary and financial balance”. (Art.1 of the Framework law of 1 August 2001 bearing on finance laws). All Finance laws are voted on by the Parliament, which is the budgetary authority.
Youth affairs are a focus of crosscutting cross-ministerial action and consequently affect budgets. Budgeting forms the subject of a DPT – Crosscutting Policy Document (Document de Politique Transversale) summarising the State’s budgetary effort taking all ministries together in various crosscutting fields.
The Crosscutting Policy Document (Document de politique transversale – DPT) “on behalf of youth” presents the State’s total investment on youth policies, made up of various financial programmes. The DPT’s estimated total allocated in 2020 on behalf of young people comes to almost 95 billion euros
One of the DPT’s financial programmes is specifically dedicated to voluntary organisations and youth policies: Programme 163, which constitutes the budget allocated to the Department for Youth, Non-Formal Education and Voluntary Organisations.
In 2020, Programme 163, which comes to over 663 million euros, finances the following actions:
- Development of civic service
- Development of Universal National Service
- Development of voluntary organisations (Non-profit sector)
- Actions in favor in youth and non-formal education
Priority investments mainly cover :
1) Development of civic service:
The civic commitment programme introduced in 2010 enables any young people who so wish to participate in “general interest missions” for which they are recompensed.
2) Developing the universal national service
The universal national service is aimed at all young people, girls and boys. It takes the form of a mandatory one-month period between 16 and 18 years of age, in the continuity of the citizen journey started in primary school and continued in college, followed by a longer commitment on a voluntary basis, between 16 and 25 years old.
2019 saw the launch of the scheme in 13 pioneer départements. Appropriations to the SNU in 2020 provided for in Programme 163 should enable the scheme to be deployed throughout the national territory.
3) Development of non-profit (NGOs) sector, financing in all:
- the FDVA – Community Life Development Fund (Fonds de Développement de la Vie Associative ); the fund is intended to support community life at national and local level and, more specifically, finance training of volunteers and innovative social action
- volunteer resource and information centres
- support for federations of national and regional associations
- national support for accredited “Youth and Non-Formal Education” associations
- The functioning of the departmental delegates to the associative life (DDVA)
- The Citizen Engagement Account (CEC)
4) Actions in favour of youth and non-formal education:
- European and international mobility
- providing young people with information (subsidies for youth documentation and information bodies);
- developing a wider leisure-activity offer and setup of “new-generation holiday camps”;
- careers in non-formal education field;
- support for (JEP – Non-Formal Youth Education) organisations projects;
- support for studies on youth, non-formal education and voluntary organisations.
In the field of youth policies these are the usual mechanisms governing financial responsibility and control relating to management of public funds that apply.
As regards allocation of subsidies to associations, the following rules apply:
In the context of actions in favour of youth and non-formal education, the Government has simplified associations’ and foundations’ dealings with government bodies (Order of 23 July 2015 bearing on simplification of the system for associations and foundations).
The Order of 23 July 2015 led to modifications in the rules governing funding of associations. In addition:
- Allocation of subsidies must now comply with national law and European standards;
- Local authorities and public institutions must also provide the State with lists of all subsidies allocated to associations as well as to foundations registered as charities.
Moreover (numerous) Youth public schemes are subject to inspections and periodical audits made by the national Court of Auditors.
France receives EU funding from European Structural Funds and in the context of the 2014-2020 “Erasmus +” European programme, for its “Education and Training” component and its “Youth and Sport” component, which concerns the Ministry responsible for youth affairs.
The “Erasmus +” programme
The programme’s “Youth” component is managed by the Erasmus+ “Youth & Sport” Agency France. The “Youth” component of the Erasmus+ Programme has a budget chapter of its own and is specifically dedicated to development of non-formal education activities. It is based on three key actions:
- Key Action 1: “Mobility for young people and youth workers in the interests of learning”;
- Key Action 2: “Cooperation and partnerships for innovation and exchange of good practices”;
- Key Action 3: “Support for policy reform”;
The total budget allocated to the ERASMUS +Agency by the European Commission in 2020 to support projects stands at 15,4 millions.
Funding of the 3 Key Actions is divided up as follows:
1) mobility for young people and youth workers (Key Action 1)
2) strategic partnerships (Key Action 2)
3) support for policies reform, including structured dialogue (Key Action 3)
In addition, via the Erasmus+ Programme, the European Union (EU) also finances two major networks in France:
- SALTO resource centres, which aim to support and develop national agencies’ action in various geographical areas or on certain themes. Among other things, the SALTO resource centre based at the French Agency for the Erasmus+ Youth and Sport Programme (Agence Erasmus+ France / Jeunesse & Sport – AEFJS) provides training opportunities for young workers in countries in the South Mediterranean area.
- the Eurodesk European network, whose objective it is to inform young people on the mobility opportunities available to them at European level. In France, the network is run by the Youth Information and Documentation Centre (Centre d’information et de documentation jeunesse – CIDJ).
The European Solidarity Corps programme
Also run by the Erasmus + Agency the European Solidarity Corps (ESC), which, in France alone, is allocated over 13 million euros in European appropriations, has three components:
- the European and national individual and collective volunteering component,
- the traineeship component,
- the jobs component.
European Structural Funds
France also benefits from allocations by European Structural and Investment Funds under the Europe 2020 strategy “for smart sustainable inclusive growth”.
Two European funds are mobilised on behalf of the economic, social and territorial cohesion policy for the period 2014-2020 :
- The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF): 8.4 billion euros to fund the “investment for growth and employment” objective, and 1.1 billion for European Territorial Cooperation (ETC).
- The European Social Fund (ESF): 6.03 billion euros. For 2014-2020, the ESF is complemented by 310 million euros under the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI), which seeks to foster young people’s integration into the job market, in particular young people “not in employment, education or training” (NEETs).
These two funds do not specifically finance youth policies; nonetheless their objectives include social inclusion and professional integration, and they may therefore finance projects that also bear on youth.