European Youth Capital - how to apply

The call for the European Youth Capital 2024 is open. Find out more! 

More about the European Youth Capital.

What is the selection process?

The European Youth Capitals are selected a bit more than 2 years before the start of the EYC year in order to allow enough preparation time.

Below you can see an indicative timeline for the European Youth Capital competition that illustrates the flow of the process for each edition.

At a glance…

  • Launch of the call for applications (October-November each year)
  • First application deadline: submission of concept notes; transfer of application fee of ± 300 euros (January next year)
  • Jury online consultation (January – March)
  • Publication of shortlisted cities (March)
  • Second application deadline: submission of complete application forms; transfer of application fee of ± 700 euros (May)
  • Recommendations made by the Jury and the Focus Group (August)
  • Third application deadline: submission of improved applications; no application fee (September)
  • Final face-to-face Jury meeting (November)
  • Announcement of the European Youth Capital (November)

what documents are needed?

Documents required for the initial application 

Concept note: A completed concept note form and any documents required therein to be submitted in both PDF and word format. Applications will only be accepted if they are complete and completed according to the format requested within the deadline, as this is the only way for the Jury to fully compare candidates.  If short-listed, the city will have then to fill in an application form for the second round, requiring more detailed information.

You can take a look at the concept note for the European Youth Capital 2024 competition here. 

Support statement of the city government: Written proof that local or regional authority in question is interest in running for the European Youth Capital title. Only the city government can commit in advance to the European Youth Capital project, and it is only with the support of local authorities that an application may be considered.

Support statement by youth structure(s): A signed and stamped statement of support by an independent local or regional youth structure. If no local youth council exists, a relevant coalition of local youth NGOs should support the application of the municipality, in written form. It is of utmost importance that young people be involved throughout the duration of this process including project design, preparation, implementation and evaluation. It may also be beneficial to mention the extent and type of support they will be providing. 

Signed copy of Legal Terms and Conditions: the applicant cities are asked to include a signed copy of Legal Terms and Conditions governing the competition. You can take a look at Legal Terms and Conditions here. 

Application payment: cities are asked to include proof of the bank transfer of the initial application fee of €300, to the bank account specified on the application form. 

  • Note: collected application fee is being used to support the European Youth Capital that year hosting the Award Ceremony. 

what happens in each application round?

There are three application rounds to become European Youth Capital

First application round: Submission of Concept Note

The European Youth Forum assesses the concept notes received within the deadline to determine their eligibility. Each candidate city’s proposal will be evaluated by an independent consultant and then judged by an independent Jury comprised of institutional and civil society experts, representatives from the private sector, the media, and from local and regional authorities. 

In the first phase of the selection procedure the Jury narrows the selection to up to five candidate cities and provides feedback to all applicants as to how they might improve their proposal for either the next year or, for the lucky ones, the second part of the selection phase. The short-listed candidate cities competing for the European Youth Capital title are published on the official European Youth Forum’s website. 

Second application round: Submission of detailed application form

The short-listed candidate cities have the possibility to provide a complete application, developed on the basis of the concept note within the application deadline as outlined in the call.

All shortlisted candidate cities will receive tailored recommendations for improvement of their applications, developed by the Jury and a Focus Group, after individual assessment by an independent consultant. After having received the recommendations, the candidate cities are invited to submit their improved applications for the 3rd application deadline.

Third application round: submission of improved final application form

After the third application deadline and submission of the improved applications (from the second application round of the competition, according to the recommendations made by the Jury and the Focus Group) by the short-listed candidates – the assessment and the final selection of the successful applicant will be made by the Jury during a one-day face-to-face meeting in November in Brussels. On each application a detailed analysis and discussion of relevant material is undertaken. The short-listed candidates may be invited to the Jury meeting in November to present their final application and answer to the last questions the Jury may have. One applicant city is given 30 min time to present their application and 15 min time for Q&A session with the Jury. The final decision is taken by voting of the Jury members after intensive deliberation.

After the announcement of the next European Youth Capital, all cities receive detailed feedback again – to encourage the unsuccessful candidates to reapply, and to aid the successful city in beginning its preparation to be European Youth Capital year.



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