Fund for Youth Employment and Fund for Regional Cooperation

Image credits: Yannis Kontos

The EEA and Norway Grants launched the Fund for Youth Employment and the Fund for Regional Cooperation to tackle common European challenges through regional cross-border and transnational cooperation.

Fund for Youth Employment


2019 has been an active year for the 26 projects funded under the Fund for Youth Employment. From launching events to info days and courses, the 200 project partners organised numerous activities – and we saw the first achievements in 2019.

Snapshot of project achievements
  • WOMEN4IT just celebrated one year into the project. By the end of 2019, they had developed two extensive research studies on women in IT, launched seven collaboration platforms and identified future digital job needs.
  • BlueGeneration created the Blue Career Guide, an informative tool to help young people find career opportunities in areas of the Blue Economy, such as coastal tourism, aquaculture, ocean energy and marine biotechnology.
  • From Outdoors to Labour Market (FOLM) has taken hundreds of young people on several expeditions in Spain, Poland and Ireland. They are using the outdoors to help people learn about their capabilities and how these can be beneficial in their future jobs.
Credits: FOLM
Find out more about the FOLM expeditions here

“I think that such experiences help us believe in ourselves and take responsibility for our actions. I became more brave, confident and open towards other people. I recommend participation in the project to young people who want to change something in their lives, become more competent and develop themselves internally.”

Kajetan Kaperzyński participant in the FOLM project (Poland)

In November 2019, 56 project partners participated in the Annual Thematic Seminar in Brussels. The seminar focused on common challenges like outreach, soft skills development, cooperating with local stakeholders, work-based learning, entrepreneurship and job creation – enhancing the competence of project partners in 2020 and beyond.

Find out more in the Online Youth Employment Magazine.
Key facts

The Fund for Youth Employment1 was launched in 2017 and generated more than 300 project applications. The 26 selected projects focus on three support areas:

  • pioneering solutions to combat youth employment;
  • transferring know-how in youth employment initiatives across European countries;
  • sharing of research and analysis methodology on measuring the impact of youth employment initiatives.
  1. 1.Funded by both the EEA Grants and the Norway Grants.

€60.6 million Fund for Youth Employment

26 Projects in implementation

195 Project

Credits: Ingrid Aas

The focus on transnational cooperation reflects the view that youth employment is a common European challenge that can only be solved by working across borders. Through this Fund, the projects aim to:

  • make it easier for 25 000 young people to find a job;
  • create 3 500 jobs in NGOs, social enterprises and the ordinary labour market;
  • help 1 800 young people start up their own business;
  • develop, pilot or adopt 90 new approaches, methods and practices;
  • enrol 14 300 young people in education and training, and 1 750 in apprenticeships or mobility schemes.

Fund for Regional Cooperation


A total of 39 project proposals made it to the second application round and were subject to rigorous assessment in 2019. The starting point for the second-round selection were the 700+ project applications submitted in July 2018. The great interest this Fund attracted further strengthened our resolve to foster cooperation on regional level.

The proposals assessed in 2019 include:

  • Partners from all Beneficiary States, with Croatia and Romania having the largest number of partners.
  • All 10 eligible non-EEA countries are represented among the beneficiary partners, with Serbia and Ukraine having the largest number.
  • Expertise partners from 11 EU Member States, excluding Germany and Luxembourg.

The project proposals cover 14 programme areas, including civil society, environment and ecosystems, research and business development, innovation and SMEs.

Credits: Government Office of the Slovak Republic

700+ Project applications submitted in July 2018

39 proposals made it to the second round

Key facts

The Fund for Regional Cooperation was established as a tool for increased European and transnational cooperation. €30 million5 will be made available for supporting inclusive dialogue and strengthening transnational and regional networks.

Projects will encourage:

  • knowledge sharing and policy exchange to accelerate innovation;
  • the development of sustainable cooperation structures among the business sector, public sector, civil sector and academia;
  • effective and efficient policy development.

All projects need to be linked to the priority sectors of the EEA and Norway Grants. The projects must involve multiple partners and activities in a minimum of three different countries6.

  1. 2.Funded by both the Norway Grants and the EEA Grants.
  2. 3.Eligible countries are the 15 Beneficiary States, and the selected non-EEA countries Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine.

€30 million available for projects