Action 1 of the Youth in Action programme consists of three measures:

  • youth Exchanges or European Exchanges, events that last about 7 – 10 days where groups of young people from different countries meet and learn about different cultures, carrying out activities planned together in order to discuss a topic of common interest;
  • youth Initiatives, group projects designed and implemented by young people at local, regional or national level in cooperation with other organisations or in collaboration with groups of young people from other countries;
  • youth Democracy Projects, activities that support young people’s participation in the democratic life of their own community;


To participate in a European exchange it is enough to choose from the opportunities present in the Available Exchanges section, or you can take a look at the Organize an Exchange section to host one in your own city.

The number of participants of a Youth Exchange ranges from a minimum of 16 and a maximum of 60 from at least two different countries and is both gender and origin-balanced (so that each national group has more or less the same dimensions). Participants’ age must be between 13 and 25 years, although there is an exception: participants aged between 26 and 30 years up to a maximum of 20% of the total participants are allowed to participate in the exchange. The exchange can last between 6 and 21 days, excluding travel, even though the majority of exchanges last for about 10 days..

Youth Initiatives are projects that are designed, developed and carried out by young people: no matter what the topic, it is important that it is addressed in a European perspective, comparing their situation with that of other countries or by starting a dialogue between young people of different nationalities. This may be a transnational project involving groups of young people from different countries or a local project that involves only one group of young people, as long as it has a European dimension.

Youth Democracy Projects are intended to encourage young people participation in the democratic life at the local, national or European level, and to make them understand the functioning of democratic processes. This type of project must involve at least two different countries and can relate to the exchange of experiences, organisation of events, seminars or conferences, meetings with political representatives, discussions, simulations of the functioning of organs of democracy or sharing and research of best practices.