Become an EYC?

How to become an EYC?


The call for the European Youth Capital 2020 title has now closed. From December 16th 2016 until February 26th 2017, European cities had the opportunity to present themselves as candidates for EYC 2020. Applicant cities will now go through a rigorous nine-month assessment by the high-level, independent jury before the EYC 2020 is announced at the European Youth Forum’s Council of Members in November 2017.

The competition for EYC 2021 will open in November 2017, and the application documents will be close to those used for the EYC 2020 competition:

(1) The full call for EYC 2020 applications, with all the relevant dates and details, is available here.

(2) The EYC 2020 ‘Concept Note’ application form that cities must complete and submit is available here.

(3) The legal terms and conditions governing the competition, which should be signed and submitted with the application, are available here.

For further questions please do not hesitate to contact John Lisney at the Youth Forum Secretariat:  (


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 section aims at providing details on the selection procedure, process and requirements to become EYC. Please note that the Information requested in the application process is developed on the basis of the experience of previous European Youth Capitals and on the expectations of the European Youth Forum that contributes with its expertise on youth participation.

The selection process at a glance:

The European Youth Capitals are selected 3 years before the start of the EYC year in order to allow for enough preparation time.

1      Launch of the call for applications (December)

2      First application deadline: submission of concept notes; transfer of application fee of ± 300 euros (February)

3      Jury online consultation

4      Publication of shortlisted cities (April)

5      Second application deadline: submission of complete application forms; transfer of application fee of ± 700 euros (June)

6      Recommendations made by the jury and a youth ‘focus group’ (August)

7      Third application deadline: submission of improved applications; no application fee (October)

8      Final face-to-face jury meeting (November)

9      Announcement of the European Youth Capital (November)


The documents required for the initial application:

  • Concept note: A completed concept note form and any documents required therein to be submitted in both PDF and word format. Applications will only be accepted if they are complete and completed according to the format requested within the deadline, as this is the only way for the jury to fully compare candidates.  If shortlisted, the city will have then to fill in an application form, requiring more detailed information. An example of the concept note form from the most recent (EYC 2019) competition is available for review here. It is not anticipated that this concept note will change substantially from year to year, and as such can give potential applicant cities an idea of the initial questions and requirements.
  • Support statement of the city: Written proof that the town or city in question is interest in running for the European Youth Capital. This document should be signed by the Head of executive of the applicant. Only the city government can commit in advance to the European Youth Capital project, and it is only with the support of local authorities that an application may be considered.
  • Support statement by youth structure(s): A statement of support by one or more independent local or regional youth structures. If no local youth council exists, a relevant coalition of local youth NGOs may support the application of the municipality in written form. It is of utmost importance that young people be involved throughout the duration of this process including project design, preparation, implementation and evaluation. Youth ownership is an absolutely crucial part of the empowerment that stands at the heart of the European Youth Capital program – answering the needs of young people through an integrated youth policy “by young people, for young people” It may also be beneficial to mention the extent and type of support they will be providing, whether it is financial and/or participatory for example.
  • Signed copy of the legal T&Cs: cities are asked to include a signed copy of the legal terms and conditions governing the competition, which are included in the call for applications.
  • Application payment: cities are asked to include proof of the bank transfer of the initial application fee of €300, to the bank account specified on the application form.


1. First phase of the selection procedure:

Shortlist selection on basis of the concept notes

The European Youth Forum assesses the concept notes received within the deadline to determine their eligibility. Each city’s proposal will be evaluated by an independent consultant and then judged by a high-level jury comprised of institutional and civil society experts, representatives from the private sector, the media, and from local and regional authorities. Deliberations are made via an online platform at this stage of the process.

The European Youth Forum makes a deliberate attempt to invite a wide variety of jury members, to judge 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 at hand and how much it will benefit local youth as well as European youth as a whole.

In the first phase of the selection procedure the jury narrows the selection to the top candidate cities and provides feedback to all applicants as to how they might improve their proposal for either the next year or, for the lucky ones, the second part of the selection phase. The top candidate cities competing for the title European Youth Capital are published on this website.

2. Second phase of the selection procedure:

Recommendations on complete applications

The short-listed candidate cities have the possibility to provide a complete application, developed on the basis of the concept note within the application deadline as outlined in the call.

All shortlisted candidate cities will receive tailored recommendations for improvement of their applications, developed by the jury and a youth focus group, after individual assessment by an independent consultant. After having received the recommendations, the candidate cities are invited to submit their improved applications for the 3rd application deadline.

The youth focus group is made up of young people with extensive experience in running a past, current or future European Youth Capital programme. They are selected upon application and based on their expertise.

The chosen candidates are encouraged to advertise their programme on the European Youth Capital website to the broad public. This provides the shortlisted cities the opportunity to showcase both their city and their intended programme.

3. Third phase of selection procedure:

Jury deliberation on the shortlisted cities

After the third application deadline and submission of the improved applications by the shortlisted candidates – the assessment and the final selection of the successful applicant will be made by the jury during a one-day face-to-face meeting. On each application a detailed analysis and discussion of relevant material is undertaken. The final decision is taken by consensus amongst the jury members after intensive deliberation.

The winner will be announced at a ceremony during the European Youth Forum’s Council of Members/General Assembly in autumn. This is a high-profile meeting and will be attended by around 150 youth leaders representing youth organisations from across Europe. The European Youth Capital ceremony itself is well advertised and open to the public and to the media ensuring visibility for the programme and recognition for the selected city.

4.  After the selection

Once selected, both the elected European Youth Capital and the European Youth Forum sign a Memorandum of Understanding. This memorandum details the terms of use of the European Youth Capital title as well as visibility, reporting and other joint elements.

Overall this is a title that is earned by cities with a true commitment to youth empowerment and it represents a dedication to making a better environment for that city’s youth and a better future on the whole.

Network of EYCs

The Network of European Youth Capitals (N-EYC) reunites a group of past, present and future European Youth Capitals and aims at facilitating the exchange of best practices.

So far Torino, Braga, Maribor, Thessaloniki, Cluj-Napoca, Ganja and Varna have officially joined the network.

Vision and philosophy:

The N-EYC’s is one Europe with cities and metropolitan areas committed to youth and actively involving youth policies in local and regional development, participatory processes and decision making. Youth participation, equal opportunities for youth and sustainability of youth structures are considered as driving forces of medium and long term urban development, with a key contribution to the quality of life of all inhabitants of cities and the surrounding regions. The Network’s vision takes into account youth policies and strategies of the European Union, the Council of Europe and the United Nations, and aims implementing them effectively at local level.


The mission of the Network of the European Youth Capitals is to develop a cooperative and sustainable network of European cities which were designated as European Youth Capitals by the European Youth Forum, building solidarity among members and partners and encouraging European cities to align to the vision of this network.


  • To enable project-based interaction with a special emphasis on youth and develop platforms between member cities and partners based on solidarity in the cooperation process.
  • To set sustainable and demonstrative standards, frameworks and good practices in policies regarding youth participation a local level and active citizenship.
  • To empower European cities and their surrounding regions in considering youth participation, equal opportunities for youth and sustainable development of youth structures as strategic priorities for their medium- and long-term development in the process of achieving better quality of life.
  • To contribute to the greater recognition of the European Youth Capital title at all levels as a tool for local level implementation of European policies, for strengthening interactions between European institutions and local bodies and as a role model for the further development of youth policies in other European municipalities.


  • Members of the N-EYC are cities designated as European Youth Capitals by the European Youth Forum.
  • Key partners of the N-EYC are cities which applied in the past or consider applying for the European Youth Capital title in the future and aim to cooperate with the N-EYC in this process and use the expertise of the network in future city level youth initiatives.
  • Institutional partners are of global European level public institutions and private entities cooperating with this network and having aims and actions related to our vision, mission and objectives.

Stakeholders are considered to be:

  • Cities of Europe (from countries which are members of the Council of Europe),
  • Cities outside Europe, which cooperate with European cities committed to youth or with the Network itself,
  • European, inter-regional, national, regional and local youth organizations and networks and partner organizations of these entities,
  • European, national, regional and local public institutions with activities related to youth,
  • Other organizations acting at European, transnational, national, regional and local organizations actively involving young people or working for the youth generation,
  • Private companies which address youth as a key target group in their commitment towards social responsibility.


To get in touch with the Network of European Youth Capitals, please contact Andras Farkas ( or visit their Facebook group.

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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