9.2 Administration and governance
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Projects and policies that promote the involvement of young people in global issues and challenges draw on many partners, such as:
- Ministries (Ministry of Education and Youth [Ministère de l’Education et de la Jeunesse], Ministry of Sports and Olympic and Paralympic Games [Ministère des sports et des jeux olympiques et paralympiques], Ministry of Foreign Affairs [Ministère des Affaires Étrangères], Ministry of the Ecological Transition [Ministère de la Transition écologique], etc),
- public bodies,
- local authorities,
- and associations, international organisations, non-governmental organisations, and movements active in the field of international development or education for international solidarity.
Various government authorities are active in the field of youth engagement in international solidarity, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry responsible for Youth Affairs and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, all of which play a particularly active role as they are responsible for developing, promoting, implementing and supervising international solidarity schemes and, more specifically, international youth volunteering schemes.
These stakeholders work alongside each other in implementing international volunteering schemes or developing programmes for education for international solidarity or sustainable development.
The Ministry of Education and Youth (Ministère de l’Education nationale et de la Jeunesse) and the Ministry of Higher Education and Research (Ministère de l’enseignement supérieur et de la recherche).
The Ministry of Education and Youth and the Ministry of Higher Education and Research contribute to raising awareness of global and sustainable development issues among young people through school programmes.
Such topics also make it possible to provide young people with the opportunity to experience international mobility, especially through the European Erasmus+ programme run by the Erasmus+ Education and Training (Education et Formation) and Erasmus+ Youth and Sport (Jeunesse et Sport) agencies (see below).
In 2022, the Secretariat of State for Youth (Secrétaire d’Etat chargée de la Jeunesse) became the Secretariat of State for Youth and Universal National Service (Secrétaire d’Etat chargée de la Jeunesse et du Service national universel – SNU). It is affiliated with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Armed Forces (Ministère des Armées), as defined in the decree of 29th July 2022 (décret du 29 juillet 2022).
Within the Ministry of Education, the Department for Youth, Non-Formal Education and Voluntary Organisation (DJEPVA – La direction de la jeunesse de l'éducation populaire et de la vie associative) helps to promote international mobility projects for young people and young people’s global citizenship in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ministère des Affaires Étrangères).
It supports policies promoting education for international solidarity and the development of bilateral exchanges as well as multilateral cooperation programmes benefitting young people, particularly through financial support but also through mobility programmes.
It also monitors and contributes to financing bilateral youth offices (Franco-German Youth Office and Franco-Québécois Youth Office – Office franco-allemand pour la jeunesse and Office franco-québécois pour la jeunesse), and participates in developing and applying European and international cooperation policies (Francophonie) in youth-related fields.
Decree No. 2022-833 of 1st June 2022 on the powers of the Minister of Education and Youth (Décret n° 2022-833 du 1er juin 2022 relatif aux attributions du ministre de l'éducation nationale et de la jeunesse)
There are other ministerial stakeholders that should be mentioned:
The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Sovereignty (Ministère de l’Agriculture et de la Souveraineté alimentaire)
Agricultural education, which is the responsibility of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Sovereignty, promotes the involvement and international cooperation of young people through international student exchange policies based on global geographical networks: 12 networks enable cooperation with countries in the Maghreb, the Americas, Africa, and Asia.
Decree No. 2022-840 of 1st June 2022 on the powers of the Minister of Agriculture and Food Sovereignty (Décret n° 2022-840 du 1er juin 2022 relatif aux attributions du ministre de l'agriculture et de la souveraineté alimentaire).
The Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs (Ministère de l’Europe et des Affaires étrangères)
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also plays a key role in encouraging international citizenship in young people and provides financial support for such projects. As such, it acts through the different departments and organisations. These include the Department for United Nations, International Organisations, Human Rights and Francophonie / Direction des Nations unies, des organisations internationales, des droits de l'Homme et de la francophonie, which is responsible for matters dealt with within the United Nations, its subsidiary bodies and specialised institutions, as well as the Organisation internationale de la francophonie and the Council of Europe.
The Ministry is involved in designing the international action schemes for young people such as international volunteering, notably through its General Directorate for Globalisation, Culture, Education and International Development /Direction générale de la mondialisation, de la culture, de l’enseignement et du développement international (DGM)and its Delegation for External Action by Local Authorities Délégation pour l’action extérieure des collectivités territoriales (DAECT). DAECT encourages collaboration between French and foreign local authorities to put in place cooperation projects in the fields of culture, sustainable development, education, youth and economic development. It is supported by the National Council for Decentralised Cooperation / Conseil national de la coopération décentralisé which facilitates communication between the local authorities and the Ministries concerned. The aim being to enable these entities to share a common vision of the internationalisation of local authorities.
The Ministry does not directly fund the volunteering missions but it does provide financial support through several volunteering schemes:
- International solidarity volunteering / volontariat de solidarité internationale: grants allocated to the associations that send these young volunteers abroad. It covers their initial training, social security, supervision and support, and provides funds to help them reintegrate when back home.
- Youth work camps / chantiers de jeunes: grants for projects proposed by the associations with their Southern partners.
The relationship between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the volunteering associations is based on a Charter signed in 2009 between the state and several associations. This is known as the Common Charter for International Volunteering Exchange and Solidarity / charte commune au volontariat international d’échanges et de solidarité (VIES) (.pdf, 186 Ko).
The text sets out the main types of international volunteering and also states the common values shared by the associations and the volunteers they work with:
- Respect for rights, cultures and needs,
- Partnership and reciprocity when carrying out development projects,
- Promoting commitment to volunteering,
- Taking the most disadvantaged into account.
In partnership with the Ministry of Sports (Ministère des Sports), the Paris 2024 Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Comité d’organisation des Jeux Olympiques et Paralympiques Paris 2024), the National Sports Agency (Agence nationale du sport), the Erasmus+ Youth and Sports Agency (Agence Erasmus+ Jeunesse et Sport), the French National Olympic and Sports Committee (Comité national olympique et sportif français), and the French Paralympic and Sports Committee (Comité paralympique et sportif français), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued an annual call for projects in support of decentralised cooperation in sports since 2021. In 2022, 13 projects were granted co-financing, amounting to €850,784.
Additionally, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issues authorisations to the associations that send out volunteers.
These authorisations allow them to send volunteers abroad in the field of development cooperation and humanitarian action and to receive funding to do so. For the volunteers, the association’s authorisation provides them with legal protection (social cover, allowance, holidays, help to reintegrate when back home, etc) and offers guarantees that the missions will be well run (preparation before leaving, support during the placement, support for professional reintegration when back home).
Other than providing support for international volunteers, some of whom are young people, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also plays a role of dialoguing with civil society. In France, there are around 3 000 Civil Society Organisations / Organisations de la Société Civile (OSC) actively working to promote international solidarity.
A discussion and decision-making body has been created to facilitate this dialogue with the Civil Society Organisations, following the example of the National Council for Development and International Solidarity /Conseil National du Développement et de la Solidarité Internationale (CNDSI).
Official document: Décret n° 2022-828 du 1er juin 2022 relatif aux attributions du ministre de l'Europe et des affaires étrangères
Ministry for Ecological Transition and Regional Cohesion (Ministère de la Transition écologique et de la Cohésion des territoires)
The Ministry of the Ecological Transition and Regional Cohesion prepares and enacts government policy in the fields of sustainable development, the environment (particularly the protection and development of nature and biodiversity), green technologies, the energy transition, and energy. It designs and enacts policies to combat climate change and atmospheric pollution, and promotes the sustainable management of rare resources. The Ministry is responsible for international climate relations, and for promoting and developing the Social and Solidarity Economy. In order to apply its public policies throughout the country, the Ministry relies on regional and departmental branches and offices, both in metropolitan France and French Overseas Territories. Le ministère agit en faveur de la jeunesse en participant à l’élaboration d’évènements, de programmes et dispositifs d’éducation au développement durable en lien avec le ministère de l’éducation.
The Ministry acts to support young people by helping to organise events, programmes and education schemes on sustainable development in collaboration with the Ministry of Education.
Official document :Décret n° 2020-869 du 15 juillet 2020 relatif aux attributions de la ministre de la Transition écologique
The National Council for Development and International Solidarity
The CNDSI – National Council for Development and International Solidarity (Conseil national pour le développement et la solidarité internationale) – provides a framework for dialogue and regular concertation between all development and international solidarity stakeholders on guidelines for development policy.
It is composed of 5,367 individuals and organised into 10 colleges in order to represent the various segments of civil society: NGOs, unions, employers, businesses, parliamentarians, local authorities, businesses from the social and solidarity economy, foundations, universities and research centres, and multi-stakeholder platforms. An eleventh college made up of high-level foreign representatives completes this list. Since 2020, the college of employee trade unions has also included representatives from youth organisations. NGOs, unions, employers, businesses, parliamentarians, local authorities, and universities and research centres. An eighth college made up of foreign representatives completes this list. The Minister of Foreign Affairs chairs the National Council for International Development and Solidarity (CNDSI – Conseil national pour le développement et la solidarité internationale).
The programming act on inclusive development and combating global inequalities of 4th August 2021 (Loi de programmation relative au développement solidaire et à la lutte contre les inégalités mondiales du 4 août 2021) provides the CNDSI with new responsibilities:
- The CNDSI is now consulted on the annual report on French international solidarity policy, which is intended for Parliament;
- The CNDSI receives the report from the Development Policy Evaluation Commission (commission d’évaluation de la politique de développement), established in 2021.
2. Public operators
The different operators act to promote international action, particularly in young people, and to address global issues, following the example of:
The French Agency for Development
The AFD – French Agency for Development (Agence française de développement), is a public institution that plays a key role in France’s cooperation policy. It is under the joint supervision of the Ministry responsible for Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Economy and Finance, and the Ministry for Overseas France. The AFD is tasked with promoting economic and social development in the so-called Southern countries and French Overseas territories. It funds projects, programmes and studies and lends its support to partner countries in the implementation of projects combating poverty and promoting economic development, education, etc.
Civic Service Agency (Agence du service civique)
The Civic Service Agency (Agence du service civique) is a public body under the supervision of the Ministry of Youth (Ministère en charge de la Jeunesse) that provides all young people between the ages of 16 and 25 (and up to 30 for young disabled people) with the opportunity to participate in community service projects both in France and abroad. Civic service can take place in France or abroad. In 2021, 1,006 young French people took part in an international civic service project, of which 490 were in the European Union. These numbers show an increase of 40% compared to 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic greatly impacted activity that year.
(For more information, see chapter 2 on Voluntary activities)
The most common international volunteering destinations were Germany, then Morocco, Israel, and Senegal. International Civic Service projects span all five continents.
Set up in 2009, France Volontaires is a platform for international solidarity volunteering schemes, which promotes, develops and implements the various forms of engagement involved in VIESs – international exchange and solidarity volunteering schemes (volontariats internationaux d’échange et de solidarité). The platform also acts as an international volunteering observatory and is tasked with finding opportunities for and providing information and guidance to those wishing to volunteer.
The French Institute
The French Institute (Institut Français) comes under the aegis of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Culture. It is responsible for developing French cultural action on the international scene via a range of actions including:
- Promoting international artistic exchanges;
- Supporting cultural development in Southern countries;
- Encouraging dissemination and learning of the French language;
- Developing dialogue between cultures via organisation of “seasons”, “years” and “festivals” in France and abroad;
- Fostering international mobility on the part of creators;
- Coordinating and encouraging international action with French local authorities;
- Acting on behalf of cultural diversity at European level through European and multilateral partnerships.
The Erasmus+ France / Education and Training Agency
The French Erasmus+/Education and Training Agency (Agence Erasmus + France / Education Formation) is responsible for the management and promotion of several European programmes and initiatives, among them the Erasmus+ Education and Training programme. The agency is overseen by the Ministry of Education and Youth (Ministères en charge de l'Education nationale et de la Jeunesse).
The primary objectives of these European programmes are to provide young people with the opportunity to contribute to knowledge and skill acquisition via mobility.
The Agency is the national coordinator for the Europass, European Agenda for Adult Learning (AEFA – Agenda Européen pour l'Education et la Formation des Adultes), EPALE, European Language Label, and ECVET (European Credit system for Vocational Education and Training) initiatives. It also provides guidance as part of the Euroguidance network.
Erasmus+ Youth and Sports Agency
The French Erasmus+ Youth and Sport Agency (Agence Erasmus+ France Jeunesse et Sport) has been part of the Civic Service Agency since 2016, and manages the decentralised credits of two European programmes:
- The Youth and Sport components of the Erasmus+ Programme – the Education and Training components are managed by the French Erasmus+ Education and Training Agency (Agence Erasmus+ France Education et Formation);
- The European Solidarity Corps (Corps européen de solidarité)
It contributes to fostering European citizenship and promoting contact between the youth of the Member States through non-formal education. It prioritises supporting the most vulnerable groups.
The Agency runs a number of initiatives through the Erasmus+ programme:
- Youth exchanges: promoting interaction, focusing on a variety of themes, between groups of young Europeans aged 13 to 30;
- Youth interest group mobility: fostering cooperation between professionals and "bénévolat" workers in the youth sector;
- Youth participation activities: promoting dialogue between young people (aged 13 to 30) and decision-makers, whether local, national, or European;
- DiscoverEU: funding for Interrail passes for 18-year-olds (the Agency implements educational activities connected to DiscoverEU);
- DiscoverEU Inclusion: encouraging the participation of less fortunate young people in the DiscoverEU initiative;
- Cooperation partnerships: sharing knowledge and innovative practices among organisations active in education, training, and youth in different countries;
- European mobility of sports staff: improving the skills, abilities, and qualifications of sports staff in grassroots sporting organisations.
The Agency runs two schemes through the European Solidarity Corps (Corps européen de solidarité), designed for young people aged 18 to 30.
- Volunteering: providing young people with the opportunity to volunteer in projects organised by non-profit organisations and aimed at helping communities and individuals across Europe;
- Solidarity projects: supporting young people who want to do something to help each other and bring about positive change in their local community by starting their own project.
In addition, the Agency acts as a National Information Point (Point national d’information) for the Sports component of the Erasmus+ programme. It also runs national and international cooperation activities. Lastly, it hosts the SALTO EuroMed resource centre both to develop programmes and bolster the capacities of youth interest groups in Southern Mediterranean countries.
Since the 1960s, France has had two international youth offices running international mobility programmes, focusing primarily on solidarity and environmental preservation:
The Franco-German Youth Office (OFAJ – Office franco-allemand de la jeunesse)
The OFAJ is a bi-governmental organisation that:
- supports young people in learning and using the French language
- strives to encourage youth participation;
- promotes exchanges between young people and youth interest groups;
- fosters a Franco-German volunteer programme.
As part of its “Diversity and Participation” (“Diversité et participation”) strategy, the OFAJ sought in particular to reach out to young people with fewer opportunities with the aim of having them represent 20% of the total number of beneficiaries of its programmes in 2020. This target was exceeded: 21.29% in 2020.
The OFQJ's objective is to help bring together French and Québécois youth. While the OFQJ's initiatives primarily relate to vocational training, some of its programmes focus on involvement and citizenship, allowing it to support international intercultural projects or projects on global issues such as climate change and water use.
For more information on the Offices and their programmes see Chapter 2 2.5 Cross-Border Mobility Programmes.
3. Local authorities
Local authorities (Regions, départements, municipalities and intermunicipalities) play a leading role in implementation of international civic engagement projects for young people, in particular because international engagement helps foster civic awareness and self-sufficiency among the nation’s youth while contributing to local authorities’ international influence.
Such authorities intervene via financial support for mobility programmes, as well as through organisation of local events related to international solidarity or sustainable development (forums, encounters, etc.). They may also lend direct or indirect support to international youth engagement, in particular through grants aiding mobility or creation of solidarity and citizenship projects. They may also develop their own projects or invest in partnerships with associations.
In addition, they may implement projects related to policy on local authorities’ decentralised cooperation – i.e. external action based on agreements with local authorities in other countries. The Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs lends its support to implementation of AECT – external action of local and regional authorities (action extérieure des collectivités territoriales), with combating climate change and environmental questions among its priorities. Decentralised cooperation projects involving young people are given concrete expression by the hosting of young people from other States and sending young French citizens to partner local authorities.
An example of a locally- driven initiative: the Paris Climate Academy (Académie du climat à Paris)
In 2021, the City of Paris set up the Climate Academy (Académie du climat), which consists of a group of stakeholders and a public space for young people aged 9 to 25 in Paris' 4th arrondissement.
The Climate Academy is:
- a workspace for organisations involved;
- a space for cooperation between youth organisations, local stakeholders, and young people;
- a space dedicated to raising awareness about climate issues among young people.
In January 2021, Paris City Hall (Mairie de Paris) invited willing youth organisations to take part in the creation of the Academy. Five central interests were expressed as a result of these discussions:
- making an inclusive institution on the subject of climate change;
- promoting non-formal education;
- involving the young people at the Academy in developing a system of shared governance for the space;
- creating an incubator for youth projects addressing climate change issues;
- creating a professional meeting place.
For example, the climate academy holds “Be informed: Global climate issues” (“Être au courant : Enjeux climatiques globaux”) workshops. Their purpose is to explore the major stakes of the ecological transition through games. These interactive workshops give participants the opportunity to learn about key figures and concepts related to climate change (carbon footprint, human impact, etc.) and to brainstorm possible solutions.
- Associations and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) active in the field of international solidarity
Associations play a major role in youth engagement, enabling young people to experience international solidarity for themselves through international volunteering or community service. It would be impossible to mention all the associations and movements active in the field of international youth engagement as they are simply too numerous and too varied. Such associations and NGOs usually act in partnership with public operators, in particular ministries and local authorities, which may also lend them financial support.
In addition, a number of such associations may be accredited by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, enabling them to receive financial support and send out volunteers on missions in the field of humanitarian action and cooperation.
These accredited association are for example: (non-exhaustive list)
In 2020, there were 29 approved associations:
- Action Against Hunger (ACF – Action contre la faim)
- Association for the Development of Citizen and European Initiatives (ADICE – Association pour le Développement des Initiatives Citoyennes et Européennes)
- Sister Emmanuelle Association (ASMAE – Association Sœur Emmanuelle)
- ATD Fourth World – Earth and Humanity of Tomorrow (ATD Quart-Monde – Terre et Homme de demain)
- Development Cooperation and Training (CEFODE – Coopération et formation au Développement)
- French Red Cross (CRF – Croix-Rouge française)
- Catholic Delegation for Cooperation (DCC – Délégation Catholique pour la Coopération)
- Pain Without Borders (DSF – Douleurs Sans Frontières)
- Protestant Mission Service (DEFAP– Service Protestant de mission)
- Children of the Mekong (EDM – Enfants du Mékong)
- International Medical Assistance (EMI – Entr’aide médicale internationale)
- Emergency Architects Foundation (Fondation Architectes de l’Urgence)
- Planète Urgence/GINKGO
- The European Guild (La Guilde)
- Group for Research and Technology Exchanges (GRET – Groupe de Recherche et d’Echange Technologique)
- Humanity and inclusion (HI– Humanité et inclusion)
- Aquitaine Institute for Training and Support in Development Initiatives (IFAID Aquitaine)
- Doctors of the World (MDM – Médecins du monde)
- Doctors Without Borders (MSF – Médecins sans Frontières)
- Planet Children & Development (PE&D – Planète Enfants & Développement)
- Positive Planet
- SAMU Social International
- Southern Health (Santé Sud)
- Islamic Relief France (SIF – Secours islamique France)
- Development Cooperation Service (SCD – Service de coopération au développement)
- Secular Solidarity (Solidarité laïque)
- Private Support for the Reconstruction of Southeast Asia (SIPAR – Soutien à l’Initiative Privée pour l’Aide à la Reconstruction du Sud-est asiatique)
- National Union of Rural Family Homes for Education and Guidance (UNMFREO – Union Nationale des Maisons Familiales Rurales d'Education et d'Orientation)
Not all of these associations focus on youth volunteering, unlike other associations specialising in sending volunteers abroad.
2.Youth associations and movements
Some associations and youth movements founded and run by young people are themselves involved in the public debate on global issues, by promoting and running solidarity and international citizenship actions
NB.: the list is non-exhaustive and indicative).
Committee for National and International Relations between Youth and Non-Formal Education Associations / Comité pour les relations nationales et internationales des associations de jeunesse et d’éducation populaire (CNAJEP) (See Chapter 2)
For the Youth and Non-formal Education associations, the CNAJEP provides a space for dialogue, consultation, and representation with public powers on issues concerning youth and non-formal education.
With 73 member organisations, it “enriches the European and international domains transversally by building bridges with national and regional authorities to cover all issues relating to youth and non-formal education.” In France, it runs the EU Youth Dialogue programme and set up a consultation process for young people known as “ProVox”. As part of the ninth round of the EU Youth Dialogue programme starting in January 2022 and led by France, the Czech Republic, and Sweden, the CNAJEP actively advocates sustainable development and climate action.
“Committed and determined”
The “Committed and Determined” (E&D – Engagé.es et déterminé.es)association is a national body for international solidarity and non-formal education that leads a network of associations seeking to create solidarity-based relationships at an international scale. E&D is also present internationally (through, for example, various multi-stakeholder programmes) and aims to:
- “Encourage meetings and discussions on practices, skills and knowledge between young members of associations from different countries”,
- “Promote commitment among students and young people throughout the world,
- “Enable young members of associations from different countries to form partnerships to build international solidarity projects together.”
- “Strengthen the capacities of the associations, coordinators and networks for collectives of active young people.”
3. International organisations
French youth can also participate in schemes set up by international organisations of which France is a member, such as the UN, UNESCO and La Francophonie
The United Nations (UN)
The UN has a number of programmes in which young French people can participate, such as United Nations Volunteers (UNV), UNV Youth, UNV Specialists, and the United Nations Junior Professional Officers programme.
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
UNESCO aims to build peace through international cooperation in education, science and culture. The UNESCO programmes contribute to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals as defined in Agenda 2030, which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015. France is one of the founding members of UNESCO. Some UNESCO programmes encourage young people to get involved in building international policy. This is the case for the UNESCO Youth Forum which was created in 1999 to enable young people to voice their concerns and ideas to the Member States and thus contribute to shaping how UNESCO is managed.
The French National Commission for UNESCO (CNFU – Commission nationale Française pour l’UNESCO)
The French National Commission for UNESCO works closely with the French Permanent Delegation to UNESCO (Délégation permanente de la France auprès de l’UNESCO) Its objective is to develop French influence at UNESCO and to promote the role and values of the organisation within French society through a variety of initiatives, including coordinating the network of UNESCO Clubs. These are registered associations (associations déclarées) or organisations created within educational or academic institutions. Their chief objectives are to promote UNESCO's universal values concerning education, culture, heritage, solidarity, and international exchange, and to implement UNESCO's programmes and objectives locally.
Funded by the Ministry of Education and Youth (Ministère de l’Education nationale et de la Jeunesse), the CNFU is responsible for granting accreditation to clubs and monitoring their activities. It ensures that the latter are in line with the mandate and objectives of UNESCO. There are 86 French Clubs for UNESCO (Clubs français pour l’UNESCO).
The efforts undertaken by the CNFU and the Clubs for UNESCO that contribute to the development of education, culture, global citizenship, and international solidarity are in keeping with the activities and public policies implemented by the Ministry of Youth (Ministère en charge de la Jeunesse).
International Organisation of La Francophonie (OIF)
The OIF is an institution that fosters cooperation between French-speaking countries. A number of its missions concern global issues such as promotion of peace, democracy and human rights, and development of international cooperation at the service of sustainable development. The OIF intervenes via aid to financing and support for implementation of solidarity projects. It launches public calls for projects every year, funded by the Organisation’s budget as well as by voluntary contributions from member States and governments.
The OIF has also developed a VIF – Francophonie International Volunteering programme (Volontariat international de la francophonie). Based on the values of solidarity, sharing and commitment, the programme provides young French-speakers aged between 21 and 34 y/o with the opportunity to make their knowledge, knowhow and soft skills available to a development project for a 12-month period and experience international mobility in a French-speaking area. Such volunteering missions are carried out at French-speaking institutions wishing to benefit from the help of volunteers in implementing their projects.
Company foundations may also participate in development of international solidarity projects focusing on young people. In particular, they are regular partners in calls for proposals for young people, implemented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, such as the Schneider Electric Foundation.
The policies encouraging young people to get involved in international solidarity and global issues mainly rely on multi-sector partnerships involving different stakeholders: associations, public institutions, government ministries, young people active in these projects, local authorities, businesses etc. This cooperation can take the form of creating discussion and advisory organisations as well as decision-making bodies that bring together the Ministries, public operators, associations, and businesses (non-exhaustive list):
The Economic, Environmental and Social Council (CESE – Conseil économique, social et environnemental)
The Economic, Environmental and Social Council is a French constitutional assembly created in 2008. It is composed of social representatives who may play an advisory role, which is either optional or obligatory in the legislative process.
In 2019, faced with the climate emergency, its concomitant social challenges, and society's interest in these issues, the Economic, Environmental and Social Council created an advisory body at the request of the Prime Minister: the Citizens' Climate Convention (Convention citoyenne pour le climat).
The Convention randomly selected 150 French people to come up with a set of measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030 (compared to 1990). The Convention made it possible to draft proposals that were submitted to the Government.
Of the 150 members of the Convention:
- 3% were aged 16 to 17
- 11% were aged 18 to 24
- 14% were aged 25 to 34
- ...meaning young people represented 28% of the total.
The Convention's work culminated in 149 proposals in June 2020. These were then reviewed by the Government. They included (non-exhaustive list):
- The wish to amend Article 1 of the Constitution (Article 1er de la Constitution) to state that “the French Republic guarantees the preservation of the environment and biological diversity”;
- The amendment of the French Education Code (Code de l’éducation; see glossary) to improve environmental and sustainable development education in schools;
- The promotion of locally- governed renewable energy projects.
The Cross-Ministerial Committee for International Cooperation and Development (CICID)
The Cross-Ministerial Committee for International Cooperation and Development (CICID – comité interministériel de la coopération internationale et du développement) was created by Decree n° 98-66 of 4 February 1998. It defines France’s policy directions for international cooperation and development aid.
It is presided by the French prime minister and brings together the ministers mostly directly concerned with the issues of development. CICID has met 11 times since its creation. The minutes of the CICID meeting of 8th February 2018 conclude that “[CICID] is launching a renewal of France’s international development and solidarity policy so that we can build a better world together. It should mobilise both public and private stakeholders and be built in a spirit of shared responsibility and thus of greater expectations as concerns the beneficiaries, by motivating young [French] people on the basis of reciprocity. It should also be better aligned with [the] international and local partners.
The National Council for International Development and Solidarity (CNDSI)
The National Council for International Development and Solidarity / Conseil national pour le développement et la solidarité internationale (CNDSI) is a consultation forum held on a regular basis for all stakeholders in international development and solidarity. For more information on CNDSI, see the “governance” sub-chapter.
The Permanent Committee on European and international mobility of youth (Comité Permament de la Mobilité Européenne et Internationale de la Jeunesse - CPMEI)
Created in 2013,the Permanent Committee on European and international mobility of youth aims to gather all the actors: ministries, associations/NGOs representing local elected members, mobility operators and youth representants. It is chaired by the Youth minister. Its aim is to set guidelines on international mobility.
The Regional Committees for European and International Mobility
The COREMOB were created in 2015 and are the regional version of the CPMEI. These regional committees bring together all the stakeholders in youth mobility, both elected officials and beneficiaries. They aim is to facilitate the coordination and networking of the partners. Also, each regional committee must seek to diagnose any problems and establish a (triannual) mobility plan.
Cross-ministerial circular no.djepva/mceijva/dreic/dgefp/dger/2015/54 of 23 February 2015 bearing on setup of regional committees on European and international mobility for young people defines the role played by such committees.
Regional Multi-Actor Networks
In addition to the COREMOBs, cross-sectoral cooperation between parties involved in promoting solidarity and international cooperation may take the form of an RRMA – a Regional Multi-Actor Network (Réseau régional multi-acteurs). In the 1990s, on the initiative of the State, local authorities and associations, a number of French regions set up such regional multi-actor schemes for exchange, support and concertation in the field of international cooperation.
Such networks have 3 specificities:
1. “Their action is rooted in the regional territory”;
2. “Their aims are to improve international cooperation and solidarity actions and contribute to inhabitants’ international openness”;
3. “They facilitate a multi-actor network (associations, local authorities, educational institutions, non-formal education bodies, public institutions, economic actors, etc.) in a dynamic of exchanges, collaborative work, concertation and subsidiarity”.
Their main activities are:
- Identifying the stakeholders;
- Providing information (monitoring, producing and disseminating information);
- Supporting project holders (training, methodological support);
- Facilitating discussions between stakeholders (capitalising on experience, mutualising, organising meetings, creating partnerships).
The RMMAs aim to:
- Act as an intermediary between the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and the regional interest groups,
- Contribute to building regional strategies in terms of international cooperation and solidarity,
- Federate all the public and private stakeholders in their areas,
- Contribute to the development of global citizenship education by raising awareness as widely as possible on development issues, promoting citizen and solidary action and developing synergies and partnerships.
- Encourage commitment to the SDGs at global scale.