experience to express solidarity while supporting cooperation among regions that empowers young people through civic engagement
also known as Interreg, is the key instrument of the European Union to support cooperation across borders. It brings together organisations from both sides of the border to tackle common challenges and share solutions.
Interreg projects promote development in the regions involved in the fields of health, research and education, transport or sustainable energy.
European territorial cooperation
is a European Union strategy that aims to reduce disparities between the levels of development within EU regions. As the main investment policy, it targets all regions and cities in the EU in order to support employment, competitiveness, growth, sustainable development and improvement of citizens’ quality of life.
"Interreg Volunteer Youth" (IVY) is an action to offer the possibility to young people aged 18-30 to serve as volunteers in cross-border, transnational or interregional programmes and related projects.
European Territorial Cooperation (also referred to as Interreg) builds on solidarity and shows real European integration on the ground. By involving young people in Interreg, IVY aims at fostering a greater sense of European belonging, citizenship and civic engagement among young people. The volunteers experience cooperation and learn about the very local and concrete achievements of Interreg programmes and projects, while also contributing to it and becoming aware of the many benefits of collaboration across borders.
Volunteers support, promote and report the concrete achievements of Interreg programmes and projects, as well as generally promote cooperation and related values, across European borders and beyond. While helping their host organisations, volunteers acquire a unique experience of personal growth and gain skills that they can employ in their future experiences.
Any Interreg Programme, National Authority and Project beneficiary can become an IVY host organisation.
Eligible host organisations are based:
- in the territory of the European Union (including outermost regions);
- its neighbouring partner countries of European Economic Area (EEA) (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway); - Switzerland and the United Kingdom;
- in countries involved in Pre-Accession Assistance Cross-border Co-operation Programmes (IPA-CBC), namely Serbia, the Republic of Northern Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Kosovo and Turkey;
- in countries involved in Neighbourhood Cross-border Co-operation Programmes (ENI-CBC) and Interreg NEXT, namely Algeria, Armenia, Belarus*, Georgia, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Republic of Moldova, Russia*, Tunisia and Ukraine.
*Following the Russian military aggression against Ukraine, the European Commission has suspended the cooperation with Russia and its ally Belarus in the European Neighbourhood Instrument cross-border cooperation programmes (ENI CBC). The decision includes also their participation in the IVY Programme, which is therefore suspended.
What's in there for me?
Interreg Volunteer Youth is structured around two main strands:
1. Interreg Project Partners help implement an Interreg project, focusing on specific aspects or difficulties to be solved in fields such as solidarity projects, people to people projects, health projects, community-based projects, projects focusing on the social dimension of Interreg cooperation. Interreg Project Partners are therefore hosted by project beneficiaries involved in an Interreg project;
2. Interreg Reporters help disseminate information on the benefits of territorial integration on the ground, through reporting successful on Interreg projects realised in a specific region. Interreg Reporters are therefore deployed either in the offices of the Interreg Managing Authorities and/or the Interreg Joint Secretariats.
Candidates from the following countries can participate:
-all EU countries;
-Switzerland and the United Kingdom;
-some countries members of the European Economic Area (EEA): Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland;
-some countries involved in Pre-Accession Assistance Cross-border Co-operation Programmes (IPA-CBC): Serbia, North Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Kosovo and Turkey;
-countries involved in Neighbourhood Cross-border Co-operation Programmes (ENI-CBC): Algeria, Armenia, Belarus*, Georgia, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Republic of Moldova, Russia*, Tunisia and Ukraine.
*Following the Russian military aggression against Ukraine, the European Commission has suspended the cooperation with Russia and its ally Belarus in the European Neighbourhood Instrument cross-border cooperation programmes (ENI CBC). The decision includes also their participation in the IVY Programme, and therefore also the involvement of candidates from Belarus and Russia.
All volunteers receive a financial support (18 to 32 euros per day depending on the country where they are based), a contribution to travel costs and full insurance.
Each experience can be 2 to 6 months long.
Find more details on the Interreg Volunteer Youth initiative here, both as potential mentor and volunteer.