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Photo credit: Christophe Vander Eecken

The EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Youth Employment

With the new EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Youth Employment, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway aim to support measures that promote youth employment across Europe. 

Despite positive tendencies in 2016, access to a functional, decent labour market continues to be a challenge for young people in Europe. The effects of exclusion from the labour market are serious and a threat towards the development of social and economic cohesion. Besides being a waste of human potential and talent, unemployment puts young people at risk of poverty and social exclusion, challenging the individuals welfare, health and future.  

The EEA and Norway Grants 2014-2021 are set up to contribute to the reduction of social and economic disparities in Europe. Recognising the strong link between social and economic equality and participation in the labour market, measures addressing youth employment are encouraged throughout the various programmes of the EEA and Norway Grants. In addition, the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Youth Employment specifically aims to support transnational project initiatives that promote sustainable and quality youth employment.

European solutions to European challenges

The Fund’s focus on transnational cooperation reflects the view that unemployment among youth is a common European challenge and common European solutions should therefore be explored. 

Target groups

The target group of the Fund is young people between 15 and 29, with a special focus on the 25-29 year olds. Projects developing solutions for

  • the long-term unemployed;
  • discouraged people who have stopped looking for work,
  • inactive women caring for children or incapacitated adults,
  • ethnic minorities including Roma,
  • asylum-seekers,
  • the low-skilled,
  • people with mental health issues and
  • the disabled

are of particular interest to the Fund.

Sharing experience and know-how

Projects supported under the Fund are expected to benefit identified target groups within the 15 beneficiary countries of the EEA and Norway Grants, Ireland, Italy and Spain. Project partnerships may include expertise partners from other EU member countries, the donor countries and international organisations to support the projects by sharing their expertise, experience and know-how. 

€60 million has been set aside for projects under this Fund. In April 2017 a Call for Proposals was launched, with deadline for applications 1 August. Projects are expected to start up early 2018.