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EACEA National Policies Platform


2. Voluntary Activities

2.5 Cross-border mobility programmes

Last update: 20 November 2020

On this page

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

EU programmes

Implementation of the 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.

Impact study

The Netherlands Youth Institute has studied the impact of Youth in Action (2011). The study shows that participation in Youth in Action has 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. You can find the study (in Dutch) here.  

Follow up of the EU Youth Strategy (2010 – 2018) on the national level

Erasmus+ is the European Commission’s Programme for education, training, youth and sport for the period 2014-2020. As an integrated programme, Erasmus+ offers more opportunities for mobility of learners and staff and cooperation across the education, training and youth sectors and is easier to access than its predecessors, with simplified funding rules and a structure which aims to streamline the administration of the programme.

Erasmus+ will give 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.

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, CINOP 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. They 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 (2014-2020) Eurodesk is one of the most comprehensive and most 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 Dutch Eurodesk Centre is Go-Europe. The site has a separate section with information on all aspects and possibilities of voluntary work abroad. One possibility is European Voluntary Service (EVS). Subsidized by the European programme Erasmus+ EVS offers opportunities for young people aged between 17 and 30 to do voluntary work abroad in Europe for the duration of two months up to one year.  

The European Youth Portal offers European and national information and opportunities 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.

Dutch EU Presidency

From January 1 to June 30, 2016, the Netherlands holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union for the twelfth time. Priorities are: 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 chairs the Council meetings and takes the lead in negotiations between Member States. The Netherlands also promotes the interests of the Member States in negotiations with the other European institutions on new legislation.

Structured dialogue

The Dutch Youth Council (NJR), together with the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport and the Netherlands Youth Institute is involved in a large-scale European project, the Structured Dialogue. The Structured Dialogue is a European initiative involving all Member States in a dialogue between young people and policy-makers. This concerns extensive consultations with young people about different themes, which are processed in a report to be discussed at a European Youth Conference. The goal of this project is that both Europe and local parties develop youth policy together and that youngsters and policy-makers exchange knowledge on youth policy on a European level.

Every six months there  is a different theme for the Structured Dialogue. In this cycle (January 2016-July 2017), the theme is “Ready for life, ready for society”. At every EU Youth Conference, the frames will be outlined for the next two conferences. Because of the Dutch EU presidency, the Youth Conference took place in Amsterdam (4-7 April, 2016) and was organized by the Dutch Youth Council, together with the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport.


Other programmes


This section needs to be explored further.


Legal framework applying to foreign volunteers

EVS volunteers in the  Netherlands

The Erasmus+ Youth Programme has a special agreement on cultural exchange for EVS Volunteers with the Immigration and Naturalization Service of the Ministery of Safety and Justice. That means that a number of Dutch non-governmental organizations have the legally recognized status to host volunteers from abroad, for an agreed period of time.

Volunteers from non EU-countries are obliged to apply for a visa, whereas EU-citizens are not.