42 youth organisations

14 countries

14 project partnerships

Generation Europe – The Academy is an international network of youth work organisations and a funding programme for European cooperation. We want social participation for all. Young people raise their voices and take action: in their local communities and across all boundaries. Together, we are contributing to an active and inclusive European citizenship.

We are getting involved

Act local – connect European – think global! More than 40 youth work organisations from 14 European countries are taking part. The concept: In each case, youths from three countries continually collaborate over a duration of three years in order to get involved in society.

Generation Europe – We are getting involved.

Pädagogisches Institut München (Munich, Germany)
Fundacja Borussia (Olsztyn, Poland)
Irènia (La nou de Berguedà, Spain)

Contact the organisations involved

What is Generation Europe – The Academy?


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Generation Europe – What we do.

What we do

The young people of our network form local groups and connect at international youth encounters. Together, we create opportunities for participation on local and European level, regardless of origin, parents’ income and previous success in the formal education system. In each of our project partnerships, youth from three countries work together. They identify local problems and support each other to address them.

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European cooperation needs to take place at all levels. That’s why we are also establishing an international network of youth work professionals, providing trainings and discussion spaces. All this is made possible by a funding programme of the International Association for Education and Exchange (IBB e.V.), which also coordinates the overall programme.

Why We Are Active

In times of multiple crises, democratic values are under attack. Authoritarian mindsets with supposedly simple solutions are gaining ground, while social inequality is increasing and international cooperation is becoming more difficult. But equal opportunities and participation are not a luxury – it is our duty to ensure them.

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Young people play a crucial role in shaping our common future. They often have very specific ideas and demands about what needs to change. However, this can only transform into collective action if access barriers are removed and spaces for organising are opened up. Generation Europe – The Academy creates foundations for this: by combining international experience, local engagement and opportunities to learn from each other, we provide an answer to the challenges facing both young people and our societies today.

So far, young people with international family histories, refugee experiences, interrupted educational biographies and those from rural areas have been significantly underrepresented in international projects and formats of civic education. We are actively addressing this imbalance.

Generation Europe Ambassadors taking action!

Our Ambassador Network

A central goal of Generation Europe – The Academy is to encourage and empower participants to get involved in society and to actively shape their living environment. Ambassadors are young people who have already participated in an international youth encounter and are very active and motivated. They are trained to take responsibilities on all levels of the programme. In this way they become mentors in their local groups, a link between the youth leaders and the local youth, and also important advocates for the needs of young people in Europe.

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The first Ambassador training programme, consisting of various workshops and trainings, could be completed in 2022. But even after that, the Ambassadors of the participating organisations are not only active in their local groups and partnerships. They meet to continue their practical work as planners of network activities and multipliers. In addition there is the Competence Group Ambassadors, which is the information and coordination hub of the Ambassador network. With support and input from the network, the group is developing a peer-to-peer guide, called the “Guide to Activism”.

Generation Europe youth leader training.

Enhancing Methods for Youth Work

To further develop and improve methods and know-how for youth work with international and diverse target groups, youth work professionals within Generation Europe – The Academy have formed the Competence Group Methods. The group regularly gathers for transnational meetings. As central products of the cooperation, a total of five booklets will be published, that aim to be a support and resource for the community of practice. In addition, the group is working on a paper on civic education, which will be used to promote non-formal European educational activities and their value to democratic culture.

Campaigning for a Long-Term Strategy

In times of tighter budgets and many other challenges, youth work is under pressure across Europe. However, sustainable and adequately funded youth work structures are not only important for young people. They are vital for European society as a whole: to promote and uphold participation, social justice and democracy.

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In the Competence Group Lobby and Advocacy, youth work professionals are working to enhance the state of youth work in Europe. Through transnational meetings and distributed work, these youth workers are creating a long-term strategy to improve the current situation and advocate for it at all levels. In workshops, they train the members of the network to handle advocacy tasks. The results of the process will be presented to the community of practice in the form of a manual.

Generation Europe method box and guidance papers.

Making experience accessible

In the previous funding period, we have already developed some products to support international youth work. These include a method box (pdf|14,9 MB), our guidance papers (pdf|4,6 MB) and Digital D, a liquid democracy platform. For anyone interested, we have made the source code of Digital D available online. This allows the platform to be adapted to one’s own needs. These products were made possible by a co-funding from the European Union. (ERASMUS+ 2018-2-DE04-KA205-016959).

Documentary: Generation Ukraine

As part of Generation Europe – The Academy, a remarkable film project is currently being made: Generation Ukraine takes an intimate look at the lives of young people in Ukraine in times of war. Their story is told by Katia Henrikh, a youth worker from Chernivtsi who left the country immediately after the Russian invasion began. Nine months later she returned to make this film together with the Kyiv-based production company Minimal Movie. Trailer and more info on the film.

Generation Europe – The Academy international youth encounter in Munich, Germany.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this a completely new concept of youth work?

In terms of the number of youth organisations involved, some methods and the multiple levels of cooperation, Generation Europe – The Academy is unique. But the programme is built on the experiences from previous projects: IBB has already strengthened and supported European youth cooperation with the programmes ewoca³ (three funding periods, 2009-2017), Pimp my Europe (2017-2018) and Generation Europe – Young Democracy in Action (2018-2020). Visit the project pages of the predecessors to see how committed the young people involved worked on their common vision of Europe.

From the very beginning, we have shared our experiences with the community of practice. Generation Europe – The Academy is the current phase of a sustainable process to strengthen international youth work in Europe. It began well over a decade ago and is constantly evolving. This long-term approach opens up development opportunities for both the young people and the youth organisations involved. That’s why we are working hard to ensuring that this type of youth cooperation has a future beyond the current funding phase.

What is the duration of the current funding programme?

In 2021, the network partners prepared for the work in the local groups, which is supported by the current programme until 2025. The current funding period allows each of the project partnerships to organise an international youth encounter every year from 2022 to 2024. At the end of this period, the youth organisations involved will have hosted one encounter each. The training programme for youth leaders and the Amassador network will also be funded during this period. The year 2025 will be used by the network to evaluate the current funding phase and prepare for the next one.

That sounds exciting, can I join in?

If you are a young person interested in international encounters and local activities, please contact one of the participating local youth organisations. As Generation Europe – The Academy is a decentralized network, participation in youth encounters and other parts of the programme is only possible through the local groups.

Unfortunately, at the moment additional European youth organisations are not able to join the network. With the current project partners, the budget for this funding period is already bound. Within the scope of our capacities, we are, however, interested in contacts to further members of the community of practice – especially for our advocacy work.

I have further questions about the overall programme. Who can I contact?

For matters concerning the network and the overall programme, feel free to write an email to generationeurope@ibb-d.de. You will reach the relevant person in the IBB team via this address. Project Director Katharina Teiting can be reached under teiting@ibb-d.de. If you have a request as a journalist or media representative, you will find all relevant information here.

Thank You!

All this amazing work would not be possible without the more than 600 young people from 14 European countries who, in addition to school, work and other obligations, invest their free time to network across Europe and make a difference in their communities. It would also not be possible without the professionals from the participating youth institutions who are involved far beyond usual work schedules. And most certainly, all this would never be possible without the support of our funders, whose continued commitment ensures that we can carry on. Learn more about our Funders.

Young people active in the framework of Generation Europe – The Academy.

About the IBB

The  International Association for Education and Exchange (IBB e.V.) is an institutionally and politically independent non-profit organisation. We enable socially engaged actors to collaborate across national borders.

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To involve more people, we develop seminars, trainings, and projects for young people as well as adults. With our activities, we offer opportunities for personal encounters, engagement with history and networking for more sustainability and social justice. IBB sees itself as part of a European civil society that strives for change within its countries as well as across borders.

Founded in 1986, during a crucial stage during the Cold War, the IBB began with peace and reconciliation work in Eastern Europe. Borders that seemed impassable at the time – such as the Berlin Wall – have fallen. Unfortunately, others are being built. In a changing world with new and old conflicts, we develop perspectives for cooperation and understanding, in order to promote active citizenship and strengthen peaceful living together.

As long as there are boundaries between countries, cultures, age groups, and within the minds of people, there is still work for us to do. We stand for dialogue and non-violent strategies for social change. We believe that international education and exchange can contribute to a culture of tolerance and mutual understanding. We continue to engage in European networks that have grown between NGOs, religious communities, economics, and politics, working towards a strong civil society and a more humane future.