The European Youth Capital

The European Youth Capital is a title awarded by the European Youth Forum designed to empower young people, boost youth participation and strengthen European identity. 

Each year, a new European city is given the chance to showcase its innovative ideas, projects and activities  that aim to raise up young voices and bring a new youth perspective to all aspects of city life. 

Group of young representatives from Klaipeda, waving and smiling and wearing 'Choose Klaipeda' tshirts
Young representatives from European Youth Capital 2021, Klaipeda, Lithuania

From public transport and infrastructure, to cultural and educational programmes and democratic policy-making the European Youth Capital title invites cities across the continent to re-think how they engage with and include young people. 

It is crucial that young people have equal opportunity to shape the social, economic and political life of where they live. The European Youth Capital initiative aims to support both young people and the city to open up these possibilities and lead the way for other European municipalities to follow. Since 2014, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe is an official endorsing partner the European Youth Capital title.

Does your city have what it takes to become the next European Youth Capital? The selection process for European Youth Capital 2023 is underway! Learn more about the European Youth Capital and let’s #YouthUp! European cities together


How to apply


The legacy of each European Youth Capital winner lives on! What is achieved at local level continues to inspire new cities and connect to projects all over Europe. 

Discover the European Youth Capital winners (past, present and future) by clicking on the logos below!


Tirana 2022

Learn more about Klaipėda 2021

Learn more about Amiens 2020

Learn more about Novi Sad 2019

Learn more about Cascais 2018

Learn more about Varna 2017

Learn more about Ganja 2016

Learn more about Cluj-Napoca 2015

Learn more about Thessaloniki 2014

Learn more about Maribor 2013

Learn more about Braga 2012

Learn more about Antwerp 2011

Learn more about Turin 2010

Learn more about Rotterdam 2009

Have any questions? Have a look at some FAQs below or contact our Project Officer, Ivan Neirotti, at


Why apply to become the next European Youth Capital?

The European Youth Capital title represents significant value to the awarded city and includes a number of benefits on the local, regional and European level. 

Any project aimed at empowering youth and supporting them in being active members within a society will lead to a better future, as someone well served by a community in their youth is more inclined to serve their community in return.

The European Youth Capital is still a relatively young project and it positions the city as a pioneer of this exciting opportunity. The cities selected in the next few years will be working to create a standard of excellence that future European Youth Capitals will look to and learn from. For years to come these municipalities will be seen as the founding fathers of a movement toward a better environment for youth and a more unified community in general.

Local and regional dimension

As for the regional impact, it creates a forum for new and creative thinking in which projects and ideas can stimulate a stronger cultural life and encourage all the citizens of a municipality and its neighboring areas to be active within their society.

It can be easily assumed that the active stimulation of youth involvement and encouraging the youth to think outside the box will present a community with endless possibilities as to the potential productivity of their youth in generating new ideas.

The development of programmes during the European Youth Capital year can also help with gaining momentum for sustainable long-term programmes, which will endure long after the year in question.

Another example of potential benefits is that being selected as the European Youth Capital ensures that attempts to garner additional public funding and new financial donors is made significantly easier.

European dimension

The title provides a chance for the city to showcase its cultural and professional youth issues on European scale.  The city is spotlighted by a variety of media, which inevitably creates a heightened sense of popularity for the city as well as increasing its visibility as a tourist destination.

As a leader in youth empowerment the European Youth Capital will also be established as a city for international and European meetings presenting itself as the logical place to host any kind of large-scale conference related to youth.  This is of course not to mention the amount of international young people and young leaders who will have the opportunity to visit EYC, increasing visibility and popularity for politicians and policy makers yet to come.

Is there funding for the European Youth Capital title?

There is no particular funding from the side of the European Youth Forum, however, the European Youth Forum is happy to support the city to apply for funding through existing funding mechanisms and diverse programmes such as Citizens for Europe, Erasmus+, EU Cohesion Funds, European Youth Foundation etc. 

Is my city eligible to apply for the European Youth Capital title?

The European Youth Capital competition is open to any Local Authority from Member States of the Council of Europe, which are parties to the European Cultural Convention adopted in 1954 in Paris. A local authority is defined as a municipality or group of municipalities located in a common geographical area. In that case one city still must be the lead city for the purpose of accountability and responsibility.

The size of the city is not a factor

Over the time smaller and bigger cities have been awarded the title, hence, the size is not the definite factor determining whether the applicant city will be successful. The human and financial capacity of a city as well as its capacity in terms of physical and youth infrastructure, and most importantly motivation is a factor however. To address such issues municipalities may involve surrounding areas, a group of municipalities located in the common geographical area, to apply for the title. However one city must be the lead city for the purpose of accountability and responsibility.


Need to get in touch?

General phone line: +32 2 793 75 20
fax: +32 2 893 25 80
Rue de l’Industrie, 10
1000 Brussels

More information here.