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EACEA National Policies Platform


10. Youth work

10.3 Support to youth work

Last update: 3 April 2024
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Policy legal framework

There is no independent national strategy for youth work, but the National Youth Strategy (Nemzeti Ifjúsági Stratégia) has a sub-chapter under the specific objective of 'Enhancing the Work of the Youth Profession and Nongovernmental Youth Organisations'. It is worth noting that the strategy expires in 2024 and no action plans have been adopted since 2016. The related aim is to

'strengthen youth policy and the enforcement of child and youth rights, to elaborate the training portfolio and life path model of youth assistance and the youth profession.'

The sub-chapter calls for

  • better recognition of youth work,
  • development of the set of criteria of local governmental youth work and
  • for the strengthening of the educational objectives of youth work.

The related partial objectives of the Strategy aim to extend

'the set of criteria of the youth assistant and youth specialist professions:

To describe the jobs to be fulfilled with youth assistant competences, as well as entrepreneurial and service providing activities to be performed with a licence. 

To elaborate on the contents and forms of multilevel expert training, as well as the relevant elements of quality assurance. 

To elaborate on the professional portfolio of youth assistants and youth specialists (application of the standards of youth work and profession, competence map of youth assistants and youth experts) and the relevant life path model. 

To review the criteria of admission to youth assistant and youth specialist training programmes and, if necessary, make them stricter.

To encourage the employment of youth assistance experts in services and programmes targeting youth. 

To present the competences of qualified youth assistants and youth specialists to potential employers. 

To build a system of indicators measuring the employment and success of qualified youth assistants. 

To set up a national praxis of the work experiences, initiatives and services of youth assistants and youth specialists.

To support international programmes designed to develop the youth profession. 

To support developments and methodological training courses, facilitating a change in the approach of experts dealing with the target group.

To ensure that the professional requirements about the activities of youth assistants and youth specialists are met in the project-based financing of youth services.

The State must encourage the employment of youth assistants. In addition to legislative requirements, it must support the further training of local governmental experts, as well.'

The main conceptual framework of youth work is described in sub-chapter 10.1 General context, which shows, that:

  • the contents,
  • domains and
  • providers of youth work are not specified.

Thus, we can assume that objectives and target groups of youth work overlap with those of the general youth policy.

Regulations applicable to organisations carrying out youth work mostly derive from NGO regulations in general, as youth work is often carried out by NGOs.

Integrated Community and Service Spaces

An earlier important framework for supporting local youth work was to promote the creation of Integrated Community and Service Spaces [integrált közösségi szolgáltató tér (hereinafter referred to as IKSZT)]. A ministerial Decree made it possible for settlements under 5 000 inhabitants (municipal governments, NGOs and churches could apply) to create community centres with a wide range of compulsory services including:

  • organising youth community programmes,
  • generating youth development processes and monitoring those,
  • operation of youth information spots and desks,
  • supporting community organisation and participation of youth. (Dudás, 2016: p. 32)

The decree was repealed in 2017, and became ineffective in 2018, but many IKSZTs are still operating on the municipal level.


Public funding

As the concept of youth work as such is rarely specified in youth policy frameworks, no earmarked funding can be identified, and thus no budgetary allocations can be estimated.

The youth-work-related objectives are financed through the National Cooperation Fund (Nemzeti Együttműködési Alap) and the Children and Youth Fund (Gyermek és Ifjúsági Alap). The College for the Future of New Generation (Új nemzedék jövőjéért kollégium) supports NGOs working in the fields of education and training, skills development, child and youth advocacy, child and youth protection, health promotion, disease prevention, curative and health rehabilitation measures, and drug prevention. (For more information on the funds, see sub-chapter 1.7 Funding youth policy and sub-chapter 5.6 Supporting youth organisations.)

Bethlen Gábor Fund

The Bethlen Gábor Fund (Bethlen Gábor Alapkezelő) supports youth work and connections of young people in the Carpathian Basin, in line with the national strategic goals and objectives. The Fund was created to centralise and unify the aid policy for Hungarians abroad. The management of funds is performed by the Bethlen Gábor Fund Management Ltd.

The Fund supports ethnic Hungarian youth outside the borders of the country with educational tenders in different programmes with different funds. The most relevant ones are the following:

  • Ethnic Hungarian pre- primary- and secondary school students living in Romania, Slovakia, Ukraine, Serbia, Croatia or Slovenia studying at least partially in Hungarian language can receive support for education, training, textbooks and teaching materials.
  • As of 2022, (among other target groups) teachers and teaching assistants, who provide child welfare and childcare services or care for people with disabilities and other special needs, or those working in sports associations in Transcarpathia (Ukraine) using Hungarian as a working language were eligible of support.
  • A flagship programme supported by the Fund is the 'Without borders' ('Határtalanul') programme. The aim is to support trips abroad in order to get to know Hungarians living outside the borders of Hungary and to establish and strengthen contacts between young Hungarians in Hungary and abroad.

(For more information on the 'Without borders' programme, see sub-chapter 1.4 Youth policy decision-making.)

Visegrad Fund

The V4 Gen Mini-Grant programme of the Visegrad Fund supports the short-term mobility of young people between the ages of 12 and 30. At least two V4 countries must be involved in each project. The maximum budget for each project is about HUF 4 million (EUR 10.000), and the maximum timeframe is 6 months.

EU sources

As of March 2024, the EU 2021-2027 strategic programming has not yet started due to  limited access to the development sources.

Other funding opportunities directly referring to youth work are related to Erasmus+ Youth and are administered by the Youth Unit of Tempus Public Foundation.


Established ways of cooperation administered by public authorities were mainly related to Elisabeth Youth Fund. The cross-sectoral coordination of youth policy in general is now administered in the Deputy State Secretariat for Young People. With regard to formal cooperation, the role of the Children and Youth Fund (Gyermek és Ifjúsági Alap) can be mentioned (see Chapter 1.7) which is chaired by the government representative for children and youth issues (as of 2024, the Head of Department of Young People in the Ministry of Culture and Innovation).

Besides these, the networking efforts of the Youth Unit of Tempus Public Foundation can be mentioned. An example of this is the Hungarian implementation of the Europe Goes Local project, which established cooperation between youth experts, NGOs and youth researchers.