EU programmes for the youth sector

Erasmus+: The EU programme for young people and youth workers

Vier Personen wickeln die Hände umeinander © Unsplash/Helena Lopes

With Erasmus+ Youth the European Union supports young people as well as organisations and individuals who are active in youth work. The programme supports transnational exchanges and encounters between young people. Mobility and the transfer of knowledge between youth work professionals in Europe is supported. Long-term cooperation between organisations working in the youth sector is possible within the framework of strategic partnerships. These contribute to improving the quality and to a professionalisation of the youth sector. Organisations and associations (not individuals) can apply for funding to the OeAD as the national agency for Erasmus+.

More information about Erasmus+ Youth

European Solidarity Corps: EU funding programme for volunteering and solidarity projects

Within the framework of the European Solidarity Corps (ESC) the European Union supports voluntary work of young people. It supports volunteering in non-profit organisations and companies that are active in the social sector. Local initiatives by young people, known as solidarity projects, are also funded by the ESC. Organisations wishing to offer volunteer placements can apply for accreditation with the OeAD, the national agency for the European Solidarity Corps. Interested young people can find many possible volunteering locations all over Europe in the ESC project database. Further information and contact details of regional advice centres in all federal provinces can be found on the OeAD website


Eine Gruppe von über 30 jungen Menschen steht vor einer Wand, die mit Graffiti besprüht wurde © OeAD/Fabio Peissl

What is DiscoverEU? 

DiscoverEU is an EU initiative that offers young people the opportunity to travel around Europe. The aim is to connect Europe’s youth with the European identity and to raise awareness of the fundamental values of the European Union through travel.

How does DiscoverEU work?

Twice a year there are application rounds in which the European Commission gives away at least 30,000 travel passes. In 2021 more than 1,200 Austrians received such a travel pass.

The winners have 5-6 months to start their journey by train. Travellers can choose between a flexible and a fixed travel booking. More than 95% of the travellers opt for the flexible option, i.e. an Interrail Global Pass, which allows them to travel through Europe for free for a maximum of one month.

People aged 18 who are living in the EU are eligible to take part.

You can find further information and updates on the European Youth Portal.