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EACEA National Policies Platform


10. Youth work

10.3 Support to youth work

Last update: 4 April 2022
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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'. 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:

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

The decree was repealed in 2017, and became ineffective in 2018, but many IKSZTs are still working on the municipal level.


Public funding

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

Public funding frameworks can be found in sub-chapter 5.6 Supporting youth organisations.

According to the information provided by the predecessor of the Elisabeth Youth Fund [(Erzsébet Ifjúsági Alap) hereinafter referred to as EYF], the New Generation Centre Public Ltd. in 2019, the role of the Bethlen Gábor Fund (Bethlen Gábor Alapkezelő) can additionally be mentioned. The Fund 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.

Its tender ('Pályázati kiírás') for supporting youth and scouting communities has a budget of HUF 250 000 000 (around EUR 700 thousand) in 2020.

EU sources

Besides public funding, EU sources are also relevant in operating youth work in Hungary. Contents of the Human Resource Development Operational Programme 1.2.3 project [Complex Youth Developments – New Generation Reloaded (EFOP-1.2.3-VEKOP/15 - Komplex ifjúsági fejlesztések – Új Nemzedék Újratöltve)] are highly related to youth work. The projects are administered by the Elisabeth Youth Fund (Erzsébet Ifjúsági Alap). One of the most relevant projects under this framework is a project to support the development of local youth strategies. According to the information provided in 2021, the Department for Youth Affairs supported 33 out of the 46 tenders. Cooperation with the supported municipalities and local experts has started in 2021.

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

HRDOP-1.2.12-17-2017-00006, entitled 'The Camp Connects – Elizabeth Camps' (EFOP-1.2.12-17-2017-00006 A Tábor összeköt – Erzsébet Táborok) is aimed at a more inclusive nature of Elizabeth Camps. The project contributes to the inclusion and the development of social competences of disadvantaged students and students with disabilities.


Established ways of cooperation administered by public authorities are mainly related to EYF. Conferences organised by the EYF (Erzsébet Ifjúsági Alap), and 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.

As described in sub-chapter 10.2 Administration and governance of youth work, EYF has organised a national conference on fostering sectoral and cross-sectoral cooperations in 2019, followed by regional project-generating workshops and a closing conference.