Youth Employment Initiative

The European Council has decided to create a Youth Employment Initiative to add to and reinforce the very considerable support already provided through the EU structural funds. The Initiative will be open to all regions (NUTS level 2) with levels of youth unemployment above 25%.

It will act in support of measures set out in the youth employment package proposed by the Commission in December 2012 and in particular to support the Youth Guarantee following its adoption.

The initiative focuses on integrating these young people into the labour market. Of the funding, €3 billion come from a dedicated Youth Employment budget line complemented by €3 billion more from the European Social Fund.

YEI shall target all young persons under the age of 25 not in employment, education or training, residing in eligible regions, who are inactive or unemployed including the long-term unemployed, and whether or not registered as seeking work. On a voluntary basis, Member States may decide to extend the target group to include young persons under the age of 30.
For the purpose of the YEI for 2014-2015, "eligible regions" are those NUTS level 2 regions that have youth unemployment rates for young persons aged 15 to 24 of more than 25% in 2012 and,for Member States where the youth unemployment rate has increased by more than 30% in 2012, NUTS level 2 regions that have youth unemployment rates of more than 20% in 2012

Target Group
Demonstration and investment activities
Education, Training, Youth, Sport
Source Regions
European Union
Source Countries
Eligible Regions
European Union
Eligible Countries
Grant Types
Cooperation, collaboration
Funding Bodies
Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Irish Gaelic, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish, Swedish
Support Types
Deadline Date
Programme Owner
Legal Source
Supporting Programme
Refering Grants


Key actions



Proposal Submission

EUR 3 000 million will come from targeted investment from the European Social Fund in the eligible NUTS level 2 regions, proportionally to the number of unemployed youth in these regions, and EUR 3 000 million from a dedicated Youth Employment budget line under sub-heading 1b). Eligibility and number of unemployed youth will be determined on the basis of Union figures for the year 2012. For every intervention of the ESF in the eligible region, an equivalent amount will be added from the dedicated budget line.

The Commission decision adopting an operational programme shall fix the maximum amount of support from the specific allocation for YEI and the corresponding ESF support, as a global amount and also by category of regions, for each priority axis. The corresponding ESF support shall at least match the support from the specific allocation for YEI for each priority axis. The specific allocation for YEI shall not be subject to the national co-financing requirement.

Terms And Conditions

Legal basis: regulation (eu) no 1304/2013 on the ESF

Link: Regulation on the ESF, including YEI, Communication from the EC Youth Employment Initiative


EUR € 3 211,22 million (current prices)

Available Calls

Total Funding Amount

Selection Criteria

Please refer to the program website for details.

Open To

EU citizens under 25.