Guide to a successful YiA application

Youth in Action is one the most important programmes which supports a variety of AEGEE activities and helps us make Europe better. Let’s look at how to increase our chances to get a project funded?


Before sending an application to any grant programme it is important to know what the project is about and what kind of activities can be supported. It might sound like this is something that is naturally done, but in reality it very often happens that projects are rejected because they are not connected with the objectives and priorities of the grant programme.


A very helpful source of information, where you can find this kind of information about the objectives of a grant are websites and programme guides of those grant programmes. So let’s check Programme Guide of Youth in Action link: We can find the description of the programme:

“The Youth in Action Programme aims to respond at European level to the needs of young people from adolescence to adulthood. It makes an important contribution to the acquisition of competences through non-formal learning as well as to the promotion of young people’s active participation in society”.


Notice the important word here: non-formal learming. The European Commission has a variety of Programmes which support formal learning, like the well-known Erasmus programme and several others, like Leonardo da Vinci, Grundwig, Comenius etc. So project submitted to the YiA programme should use non-formal learning as a main tool to achieve its aim!


Then on the next page we will find objectives and priorities. With priorities the situation is a bit more complex. YiA has four permanent priorities which don’t change with the length of the program. These are:

  • European citizenship
  • Participation of young people
  • Cultural diversity
  • Inclusion of young people with fewer opportunities

Next to these permanent priorities the Executive Agency (EACEA) presents a list of annual priorities. For 2013, the annual priorities are as following:

  • Projects proposing awareness-raising activities about EU Citizenship and the rights that go with it, in the context of the European Year of Citizens.
  • Projects aimed at encouraging participation in the 2014 European elections, thus enabling young people to behave as active, informed citizens.
  • Projects aimed at promoting young people’s commitment towards a more inclusive growth.
  • Projects stimulating young people’s spirit of initiative, creativity and entrepreneurship, employability, in particular through youth initiatives.
  • Projects promoting healthy behaviours, in particular through the promotion of the practice of outdoor activities and grassroots sport, as a means to promote.

Additionally, each programme country selects its own priorities. This depends on the National Agency in each country and can for example be that projects from some regions which have fewer opportunities are bonified, as well as maybe first time applicants.


A programme that wants to be supported must fit at least one permanent priority, and also it must fit in annual priorities. In the application you will be asked how your programme contributes and you will have to explain it.


If your project fits the priorities but you still didn’t get the grant, now comes the time to sell your project as the best one. You have to make sure that it fits the technical requirements which are defined in a programme guide. When the application is received, it goes through a formal control. During this all the requirements are checked and if the application doesn’t fulfil all of them, it is a reason for them to reject the application. These rejections happen no matter how good a project is! It can happen that you forget some small details. The National Agency informs you that you have a couple of working days to correct it. This is done within 10 days after submission of the application.


If your application passes the formal control, now it is time for evaluation of the content. This is done by three auditors, one person from the National Agency and two externals auditors, which are active in civil society and have experience in the youth field. This period can take up to 10 weeks, depending on the amount of applications. The selection procedure is standardised by the European Commission and each part of the application is valued on certain points. The auditor decides how much points will be given to each part of the application. The amount of points is then counted together and from this result the decision to support or not to support will be made.


At the end I would like to share a recommendation with you. Read the whole application carefully and answer all of the points. Focus on the methodology of your activities, plan a follow up and look into how you will disseminate the results of the project. Yes, projects should have some output! Also be careful with partnerships, because some National Agencies want a preliminary agreement of the partner with a submission number and they request original documents instead of copies. This is important to know and it is good to ask your National Agency about it. Here is a list of National Agencies with contact information:


Good luck with your application!


Written by Pavel Zbornik, European Institutions and Communications Director