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EACEA National Policies Platform


1. Youth Policy Governance

1.7 Funding youth policy

Last update: 28 November 2023
On this page
  1. How Youth policy is funded
  2. What is funded
  3. Financial accountability
  4. Use of EU Funds


How Youth policy is funded


The youth policy budget is set out in a 'finance law which determines the nature, amount and allocation of State resources and expenditure, as well as the resulting budgetary and financial balance' (art. 1 of the organic law on finance laws of 1 August 2001).

These annual finance laws are voted on by Parliament.

Youth mobilises interministerial and cross-cutting actions, which is also reflected in the budget. This budget is the subject of a cross-cutting policy document (DPT) which summarises the State's budgetary effort (all ministries combined) for various cross-cutting areas.

The cross-cutting policy document (DPT) for 'youth' presents the State's total investment in youth policies. It is made up of different financial programmes.

Within the cross-cutting policy document, one financial programme is specifically dedicated to voluntary activity and youth policies: programme 163, which constitutes the budget of the Directorate for Youth, Popular Education and Voluntary Activity.

The cross-cutting policy document is an exercise annexed to the finance law, and as such is not compulsory: no cross-cutting policy document for youth has therefore been proposed for the 2023 finance law.

The State's financial programme 163 'Youth and Voluntary Organisations' groups together some of the credits allocated to youth, popular education and voluntary organisations. The credits for this programme amounted to 837.1 million euros for the year 2023.

In 2023, programme 163 finances the following actions:

- The development of associative life (52.7 million euros in 2023)

- Actions in favour of youth and popular education (125.5 million euros in 2023)

- The development of civic service (the Civic Service Agency will have 518.8 million euros of funding in 2023, 20 million euros more than in 2022)

- The development of the universal national service (with a budget of 140 million euros in 2023, i.e. 30 million euros more than in 2022).


Source : PLF 2022 extrait du programme 163 « Jeunesse et vie associative » 

What is funded


Priority investments mainly cover :

1) Development of civic service

Set up in 2010, this civic engagement programme allows all young people who want to do so to carry out a mission of general interest for which they receive a bonus.

In 2020, 132,000 young people benefited from this programme. In 2022, a minimum of 200,000 missions should be proposed in order to allow the mobilisation of young people, with a reinforced potential thanks to an increase in financial means.

2) 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)

3) 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.


4) Developing the universal national service

The Universal National Service is aimed at all young French men and women aged between 15 and 17. The content of the cohesion stay and the general interest mission aim to help young participants acquire a set of knowledge and skills, both practical and behavioural, around three major issues

- Strengthening the resilience of the nation

- Developing social cohesion

- Promoting a culture of commitment

It includes a cohesion stay, during which the young people are accommodated collectively for a fortnight and take part in introductions to first aid, citizenship, the highway code, physical and cohesion activities, discoveries of the local cultural heritage, etc., followed by a mission of general interest, during which the young people are responsible for providing assistance to a host structure (retirement home, association, uniformed corps, etc.) for a fortnight. Each young person can then pursue a period of commitment, from 3 months to 1 year, on a voluntary basis, between the ages of 16 and 25.

The Universal National Service was developed in 2022 with three sessions and 32,200 people welcomed in the centres. In 2023, it will continue to grow, with a view to its probable generalisation to all young people in a given age group in the years to come.


  The 2023 appropriations entered in programme 163 should enable even more young people to be reached and the scheme to be generalised

Source : Loi de finances 2020. Programme 163 Jeunesse et vie associative.

Document de politique transversale.  Projet de loi de finance 2022. Politique en faveur de la jeunesse.



Financial accountability


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.


Use of EU Funds


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 EU recovery plan

Within the framework of the European recovery plan "NextGenerationEU", France receives 40 billion euros. These resources will finance the measures of the France Recovery Plan (Plan France Relance), totalling €100 billion to address the economic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, including in terms of precariousness and integration.


The “Erasmus +” programme and its youth component

With a separate budget chapter, the youth strand of the Erasmus+ programme is dedicated solely to the development of non-formal education activities. It is based on three key actions:

  • Key Action 1 "Mobility of young people and youth workers for learning purposes" ;
  • Key Action 2 "Cooperation and partnership for innovation and sharing of experience";
  • Key Action 3 "Support for policy development and cooperation";


The youth strand of this programme is managed by the Erasmus+ France Youth & Sport Agency.

In 2023, the total budget (forecast) allocated to the Erasmus+ France Youth and Sport Agency by the European Commission to support eligible projects under the programme is 53 million euros.

Within the Erasmus+ programme, the Agency implements several schemes:

  • Youth exchanges: to encourage meetings between groups of young Europeans aged 13 to 30 on a variety of themes;
  • Mobility of youth workers: to develop cooperation between professionals or volunteers in the youth sector;
  • Youth participation activities: to promote dialogue between young people (13-30) and decision-makers, whether local, national or European;
  • DiscoverEU: to fund interrail passes for 18 year olds (the Agency implements learning activities linked to DiscoverEU);
  • DiscoverEU inclusion: to promote the participation of young people with fewer opportunities in the scheme;
  • Cooperation partnerships: to share innovative experiences and practices between structures from different countries active in education, training and youth;
  • European mobility of sports coaches: to improve the competences, skills and qualifications of sports personnel in structures dedicated to mass sport.

The European Solidarity Corps programme

On the European Solidarity Corps, which is aimed at young people aged 18 to 30, the Agency implements two strands:

  • Volunteering: giving young people the opportunity to volunteer in projects organised by non-profit organisations to help communities and individuals across Europe;
  • Solidarity projects: which provide support to young people who want to initiate self-help actions and bring about positive change in their local community by setting up their own project.

The Agency is also the National Information Point for the Sport strand of the Erasmus+ programme. It also implements cooperation activities at national and international level. Finally, it hosts the SALTO EuroMed resource centre, to develop programmes and improve the capacities of youth actors in the countries of the southern Mediterranean area.

Led by the Erasmus + Youth and Sports Agency, the European Solidarity Corps (ESC), with European funding of more than €11 million for France in 2023.

A. Volunteering

Volunteering allows young people to contribute to actions carried out by organisations for the benefit of communities and individuals throughout Europe. Through this experience, young people have the opportunity to acquire new skills, spend time in Europe, learn a foreign language, .....

There are two categories of volunteering:

1/Individual volunteering

Young people aged between 18 and 30 years old can volunteer with an organisation in Europe or abroad. There is no requirement for a diploma, training or language level to participate.

The duration of a project is from 2 to 12 months and allows for a full-time commitment (between 30 and 38 hours per week). Depending on their profile and to discover volunteering, young people can start with a short mission of 2 weeks to 2 months.

2/Team volunteering

It is also possible to volunteer in a group for a shorter period, i.e. between 2 weeks and 2 months. The group is composed of 10 to 40 volunteers from at least two different countries.

B. The solidarity project

With the solidarity project a group of young people can finance the implementation of local self-help actions. These projects aim to provide a solution to the main challenges faced by the local youth community.


European Structural Funds

France also benefits from European structural and investment funds under the Europe 2021-2027 Strategy.

Within the framework of economic, social and territorial cohesion policy, three European funds are mobilised for a total of 21.32 billion euros

These three funds do not specifically finance youth policies, but their objectives, including social inclusion, vocational integration and combating socio-economic difficulties, can finance projects that also concern youth.


Source :