Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.
Skip to main content
European Commission logo


EACEA National Policies Platform


5. Participation

5.6 Supporting youth organisations

Last update: 19 March 2024

Legal/policy framework for the functioning and development of youth organizations

The rules governing the criteria and functioning of youth organizations can be found in the Constitution, articles 3 and 18, in the civil code, in the recent legislation on the third sector referred to in Legislative Decree 117/17. On a subsidiary basis, it is possible to refer to the criteria present in regional laws on youth policies (Cf. 5.3) and in national calls for projects issued by the Department for Youth Policy and Universal Civil Service.

At a general level, it should be highlighted that the agreement that is signed every year in the Unified Conference represents a participatory design tool also for the purposes of the definition of the operating and development strategies of youth organizations. The agreement defines the financial resources, objectives and priorities for interventions in support of youth organizations. The ministerial decree, which is issued annually by the delegated political authority in the field of youth policies, represents the final act of the planning and destination of the fund for youth policies, whose resources are significantly allocated to youth organizations, either directly or indirectly through the interventions of local authorities.

In 2019, for example, the “Fermenti” call was issued, a measure promoted by the Department for Youth Policy and Universal Civil Service, with the use of the resources of the aforementioned fund. (Cf. 1.7). The total budget is about € 19 million. This measure recognizes the role of young people as key players in the activation of change-oriented processes and encourages synergies as a lever for cohesion and social development. Within the call, the subjects who could present projects and receive funding are the following:

  1. “Informal groups”, i.e. groups with a minimum of three and a maximum of five people between the ages of 18 and 35.
  2. “Temporary associations of purpose” (ATS) between people who, on the basis of current legislation, are qualified entities of the third sector, consisting of a maximum of three entities, with a governing body consisting of a majority of young people between 18 and 35.

As part of the European Community objective of reducing the distance between young people and European institutions, harmonizing the policies of the member countries in the field of youth and directly involving young people in the decisions that affect them closely, the Erasmus + program, with the Key action 3 (Support to policy development and cooperation), allows for the meeting between young people and youth policymakers.

It is possible to present a project of dialogue between young people and political decision-makers to the Italian Youth Agency of an association, a local authority or an informal group of young people.

Public financial support

According to the provision of the Unified Conference of 11 May 2022 the fund share for 2022 is equal to 49% to national related interventions and to 51% of the Regions and local government system, out of which:

  • 26% to Regions and Autonomous provinces
  • 22% to ANCI, for Municipalities and Metropolitan Cities
  • 33% to UPI, for Provinces

The fund is intended to co-finance local youth policy interventions , who are able to give answers at the territorial system level, also involving the policy areas of education, training, work and social inclusion, considering the transversal nature of youth policies themselves.

In particular, the interventions must be aimed at promoting:

  • career and skills orientation services
  • projects aimed at strengthening the skills of young people in the digital and ecological transformation of companies
  • initiatives aimed at developing the entrepreneurial vocation
  • social innovation initiatives aimed at preventing and combating the risk of social exclusion
  • initiatives aimed at supporting the integrated system of youth policies.

Initiatives to increase the diversity of participants

The National Youth Volunteer program (Universal civil service, Cf. 2.4) is open to citizens of EU countries and non-EU citizens legally residing in Italy. With the 2017 reform (Legislative Decree 40/2017), it introduced measures that encourage participation in the program for young people with fewer opportunities (young people with disabilities, low education and economic difficulties). In addition, the Universal Civil Service uses European funds to promote the inclusion of NEETs and young citizens of developing countries who are holders of international protection.