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EACEA National Policies Platform


2. Voluntary Activities

2.5 Cross-border mobility programmes

Last update: 19 July 2023

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  1. EU programmes
  2. Other Programmes
  3. Legal framework applying to foreign volunteers

EU programmes

Youth in Action programme (2007 to 2013)
The European subsidy program Youth in Action funded international group exchanges for young people, international volunteering and other international youth projects for young people from 13 to 30 years, including seminars and networking activities. Youth in Action also provided opportunities for international training and meetings on cooperation and knowledge exchange between volunteers and professionals in the youth sector. 
The Netherlands Youth Institute NJi studied the impact of Youth in Action (2011). The study showed that participation in Youth in Action had impact in several respects, young people, project managers and organizations, too. Participating in Youth in Action increased young people’s European awareness, they belief their chances on the labour market have increased and they grew regarding their personal development and skills. 

Erasmus+ is the European Commission’s Programme for education, training, youth and sport. It followed up the Youth in Action Programme. The programme gives people the chance to study, train, undertake work experience and volunteer abroad with the aim of boosting skills and employability, particularly amongst young people, in The Netherlands. This concerns: Mobility, Mobility projects for youth workers, Youth Exchanges, Youth participation, Erasmus Accreditation, DiscoverEU.

Erasmus+ Youth (2014- 2020)
As an integrated programme, Erasmus+ Youth (2014-2020) offered more opportunities for mobility of learners and staff and cooperation across the education, training and youth sectors. It was easier to access than its predecessors, with simplified funding rules and a structure which aimed to streamline the administration of the programme. 

Erasmus+ Youth (2021-2027)
Impact of is one of the main spearheads in this Erasmus+ program. Individuals and organizations benefit from the opportunity to exchange knowledge and skills with others in Europe. Attention is paid to the following priorities: inclusion & diversity, digitalisation, participation and Green Erasmus+ (sustainability, environment and climate).

Erasmus+ agencies in The Netherlands
The grant programme Erasmus+ is carried out by two national agencies: the National Agency Erasmus+ Education & Training and the National Agency Erasmus+ Youth. EP-Nuffic (Dutch organisation for internationalisation in education), CINOP (Partner in learning for sustainable impact) and the Netherlands Youth Institute together form the National Agencies, commissioned by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport.
The National Agency Erasmus+ Youth is part of the Netherlands Youth Institute (a national knowledge centre collecting, enriching, explaining and sharing knowledge about growing up and parenting. Both the agency and the institute combine efforts to support professionals in the youth sector in improving the participation, growing up and education of young people in the ages of 13 to 30 years.

Eurodesk - Youth information
Eurodesk is an international non-profit association created in 1990. As support organization to the Erasmus+ programme Eurodesk offers comprehensive and easy accessible sources of free youth information about international learning mobility opportunities. Eurodesk is present in 34 countries. In these countries, Eurodesk Centres help multipliers in their work to carry out Eurodesk’s mission: ‘to raise awareness among young people on learning mobility opportunities and encourage them to become active citizens.’
The website of Eurodesk Centre in the Netherlands is Go-Europe. The site has a separate section with information on all aspects and possibilities of voluntary work abroad. 

One possibility is Home – Voor jongeren | European Solidarity Corps (ESC). Subsidized by the European programme Erasmus+ it offers opportunities for young people aged between 18 and 30 to do voluntary work. ESC provides subsidies to young people and organisations. This allows projects to be set up that make a positive contribution to society. At European and local level. In addition to providing subsidies, ESC offers training and activities. With this, organizations and young people develop further and they are supported to set up even better projects.

European Youth Portal
The European Youth Portal offers European and country level  information about opportunities and initiatives  that are of interest to young people who are living, learning and working in Europe. It gives information around eight main themes, covers 34 countries and is available in 28 languages. The European Youth Portal addresses young people, but also other stakeholders working in the field of youth, such as youth organisations, youth workers and policy makers.  

EU Presidency
The EU has 27 Member States (2023). Each six months, one of the EU Member States holds the EU Presidency. In 2023 Sweden holds EU presidency from 1 January to 30 June, followed by Spain from 1 July to 31 December. The President of the EU presides over the meetings of the Council of the European Union. The aim of the President is to maintain unity and cooperation between Member States and to set priorities.
From January 1 to June 30, 2016, the Netherlands held the Presidency of the Council of the European Union for the twelfth time. Priorities were: a strategic agenda for the EU in times of change, job creation through innovative growth and connecting to social actors. During the EU presidency, the Netherlands chaired the Council meetings and took the lead in negotiations between Member States. The Netherlands also promoted the interests of the Member States in negotiations with other European institutions on new legislation. The next EU presidency of the Netherlands will be in 2029.

EU Youth Dialogue
EU Youth Dialogue is a dialogue mechanism between young people and decision makers taking place in the framework of the EU Youth Strategy. In the Netherlands This is a way to ensure that the opinion, views and needs of young people and youth organisations are taken into account when defining the EU's youth policies. It supports the implementation of the EU Youth Strategy 2019-2027 which focuses on three main core areas,‘connect, engage and empower’, and encourages cooperation between the EU countries in respect to all issues concerning young people.
Every one and a half year features a different theme for the Dialogue. In the current cycle (January 2022-June 2023)  the theme was ‘Engaging for a green and inclusive Europe.
In the Netherlands, The Dutch National Youth Council NJR is responsible for the EU youth dialogue, together with the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport and the Netherlands Youth Institute NJi. The EU Youth Dialogue is made possible in part by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Commission.


Other programmes

Currently (July 2023) there are no other programs.

Legal framework applying to foreign volunteers