Group Initiatives

What is a Group Initiative?
A Group Initiative is a project created and run by a group of young people. Such projects can represent innovative examples of the contributions that young people want to make to their local community.
The duration of such projects is between three months and one year.

Where can projects take place?
Group Initiatives may take place in any of the Program countries (see section B.2), but not in third countries.

Who can apply?
Groups of young people who are legally resident in one of the Program countries and are, in principle, aged between 15 and 25.
A group should consist of at least four individuals, one of whom takes responsibility for submitting the application and signing the contract.
In some cases a mentor/youth worker may act as a legal representative.

What help is available for preparing and implementing a project?
The National Agencies, which receive the applications, have advisers who can help or act as mediators to other contact persons or support organizations able to provide assistance with Group Initiative projects. A group may also be assisted by a youth worker, provided the young people themselves remain in charge of, and directly responsible for, the management and implementation of the project.
The National Agencies may arrange training for young people wishing to set up a Group Initiative, to help them manage the project effectively and advise them on how to go about finding resources to supplement the Community grant. Please contact your National Agency for detailed information (see Annex).

What are the general selection criteria?
The following criteria should be taken into consideration when planning a Group Initiative:

bulletDuration
A Group Initiative should last between three months and one year.
bulletWhat is to be achieved?
A well-defined description of what the group intends to achieve should be presented in the application form, making sure it reflects and corresponds to the interests and expectations of the young people involved.
bulletWhat is the local impact?
The project should have links with the local community.
The involvement and support (financial or in any other form) of local authorities or other local organizations are particularly encouraged.
bulletInnovation
The project should be about something new as far as the local community is concerned.

bulletProgram/timetable
The presentation of a well-structured program/timetable for the project is important.
 
bulletEuropean dimension
The group should indicate by what means the planned project will make the young people involved more aware of their common European culture and heritage.
bulletGood practice
The idea behind the project could act as a model for other groups around Europe to follow.

How is a project financed?
Funding from the YOUTH program for a Group Initiative project (see section E.5) is based on a fixed amount.

The amount awarded will depend on the priority status of the project, which will be determined in accordance with the criteria below. Projects classified as priority 1 will be awarded a maximum amount of 10 000. For the other priorities, the maximum amounts are 7 500 (priority 2) and 5 000 (priority 3). The maximum grant awarded might vary depending on the country in which the activity will take place. However, it can never exceed the amount applied for.

The priority status will be determined according to the following:

bulletPriority 1
Projects which are run by young people with less opportunities (from a less-privileged cultural, geographical or socio-economic background) and which benefit the local community where they take place.

bulletPriority 2
Projects which are run by any young people and which benefit young people with less opportunities (from a less-privileged cultural, geographical or socio-economic background).
bulletPriority 3
Initiatives which are run by groups of young people and which benefit mainly the members of the group.

How to apply?
When the idea has been discussed within the group and a consensus has been reached, it is then time to submit the application to the National Agency in the country where the project will take place. The National Agencies have advisers who can help in planning the project or refer the applicant to other persons with whom they cooperate in providing assistance for young people. Please contact the National Agency in your country for assistance with filling in the forms.
Application forms can be requested from the National Agencies or downloaded from the Commission's and other websites (see Annex). Applications should be submitted by the deadlines indicated in section B.5.

What are the contractual obligations?
In signing the contract, the group undertakes to carry out the project as presented and to communicate to the National Agency any changes or difficulties encountered.
If the project is not implemented as originally agreed, or is not actually carried out at all, the National Agency will cancel the agreement and may require full or partial reimbursement of the sum paid out.
The European Commission or the National Agency may carry out on-site visits to check that all contractual obligations are being properly fulfilled.

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