The ‘European Youth Capital’ is a title awarded to a European city for the period of one year, during which it is given the chance to showcase, through a multi-faceted programme, its youth-related cultural, social, political and economic life and development.

The EYC initiative encourages cities to both continue and expand the implementation of new ideas and innovative projects with regard to the active participation of young people in society, and seeks to present a role model for the further development of youth policies in other European municipalities.

The EYC initiative aims at strengthening the relationship between the European and local levels, fostering youth participation at the local level by applying common European objectives regarding youth policy. The title aims to demonstrate the complementary nature of European, national and local citizenship, especially regarding youth.

The first European Youth Capital was Rotterdam (the Netherlands) in 2009. The European Youth Forum has developed a transparent and fair competition open to all European municipalities. Based on the judgement of a high-level, independent jury convened by the European Youth Forum, the EYC title has since been awarded to Turin (Italy) in 2010, Antwerp (Belgium) in 2011, Braga (Portugal) in 2012, Maribor (Slovenia) in 2013, Thessaloniki (Greece) in 2014, Cluj-Napoca (Romania) in 2015 and Ganja (Azerbaijan) in 2016. The 2017 European Youth Capital is Varna (Bulgaria), which will be followed by Cascais (Portugal) in 2018, and Novi Sad (Serbia) in 2019. The selection procedure for the EYC 2021 is ongoing; the winner will be announced during the Youth Forum’s General Assembly in November 2018.


Since 2014, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe is an official endorsing partner the European Youth Capital title.



Who is coordinating the European Youth Capital process?

The European Youth Forum, as the representative youth platform at the European level with more than 100 Member Organisations from Iceland to Azerbaijan, is the coordinator of the European Youth Capital process and gives legitimacy and credibility to the title. Aiming to empower young people to participate actively in the shaping of Europe and of the societies in which they live, the Forum works as a representative body to promote the interests of all European youth at the institutions of the European Union, the Council of Europe and the United Nations, and with its partners in the youth field.

What is the selection procedure?

The selection procedure for the European Youth Capital runs yearly. A call is launched in November, and then a year-long application process begins until the winning City is announced the following November. From there, the City has just over two years to prepare  – in November 2018, the EYC 2021 will be announced, and so on.

Full details on the selection procedure, including the necessary application documents, can be found here.

What are the requirements to become EYC?

Cities are selected for having presented an ambitious plan of action for encouraging youth involvement and empowerment within their city, giving young people the space and the necessary support to participate in decision-making processes. This planned programme is presented in official application documents – more detail can be found here.

Who sits in the EYC jury?

The European Youth Forum facilitates the work of the EYC jury. In order to make sure that a wide-range of interests are represented, the Forum invites jury members that reflect all aspects of the European Youth Capital’s goals, including (but not limited to) the implementation of youth policy, media exposure of the EYC title, the overall benefit to the city and how much it will benefit local youth as well as European youth as a whole.

Organisations, Institutions and entities such as Euractiv, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities in Europe, the Joint Council on Youth from the Council of Europe, the European Parliament, the Council of European Municipalities and Regions, the Committee of the Regions, Universities and private sector interests are supporting the process and many more actors are invited to join the jury every year. The members of the most recent EYC jury, to select the EYC 2020, can be found here.

Who is involved in the assessment process?

As detail in the selection procedure here, applicant cities are provided with three key sets of feedback.

After the first stage, all applications are reviewed and assessed by the high-level, independent jury convened by the European Youth Forum (see above). This jury works collectively to outline a shortlist of five finalist cities, who will progress to round two of the competition. Every applicant receives detailed feedback on how they can improve their bid and better empower young people, and the five finalists are invited to submit a second, more detailed bid.

At the second stage, the five finalist applications are again assessed by the jury, but also received feedback from a focus group of young people with direct experience in the implementation of an EYC year. These five cities take this feedback on board, edit their applications and programmes accordingly, and submit a final version.

At the third stage, the high-level jury reviews the final submissions from the five finalist cities, and select the winner after an intense, day-long assessment meeting. All cities receive detailed feedback again – to encourage the four unsuccessful candidates to reapply, and to aid the successful city in beginning its preparation to be European Youth Capital.

Is there any specific EYC funding connected with the title?

As it is mentioned in the call, there is no funding from the side of the European Youth Forum. You can apply for funding through diverse EU programmes such as Cohesion Funds or Erasmus+.

In which language should the application be submitted?

Please submit the complete application in English as the working language of the jury is English.

Is the support of a youth organisation an essential criterion of an application?

Yes, support of a youth organisation is a crucial selection criterion. We request a statement of support by an independent local or regional youth structure. If no local youth council exists, a relevant coalition of local youth NGOs should support the application of the municipality, in written form. The youth organisation should be active for young people and ran by young people.

How is the European Youth Capital process coordinated?

The Forum designs, facilitates and promotes the Call for applications in cooperation with partners. The Forum includes external experts in the process of the analysis of the candidatures. Further it involves young people through the Youth Focus Group which develops recommendations for the candidates.

Most importantly it is assembling the Jury of diverse representatives of civil society organisations, institutional partners, media, research and youth who are uniquely qualified to assess the applications.

The Forum is responsible of announcing the winning city at an announcement ceremony. After the selection procedure is closed, the Forum launches the development of cooperation structures with the EYCs, establishing monitoring and evaluation missions before and during the period of the title.

Who can apply?

The European Youth Capital competition is open to any local authority from Member States of the Council of Europe (Cultural Convention). A local authority is defined as a municipality or group of municipalities located in a common geographical area, such as a single metropolitan area. If you are unsure about your eligibility to apply, please contact Rita Jonusaite at the European Youth Forum secretariat (rita.jonusaite@youthforum.org).

Can you give support on how to complete the Concept note form?

The European Youth Forum is happy to answer any technical questions, but in order to maintain a diverse set of applications (and programmes), the key themes, goals and direction of the application is left as the decision of the applicant city and the young people therein.

In the concept note application form, cities are directly asked to present their vision for a potential EYC year and how it would empower young people, boost youth participation, and society as a whole. These questions are designed to be open-ended enough to allow cities to present their own unique perspective, but are tailored enough to give the high-level jury a well-rounded picture the scope, intent and feasibility of each municipality’s proposal.

European Youth Forum AISBL, 10 rue de l'industrie, 1000 Brussels Belgium

Tel.: +32 2 793 75 20
Fax : +32 2 893 25 803

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