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The Franco-German Youth Office (FGYO)

Dates and key statistics

The Franco-German Youth Office (FGYO) is an organisation which serves to foster Franco-German co-operation.

1.   Some background

By signing the Elysée Treaty on 22 January 1963, General De Gaulle, President of the French Republic, and Konrad Adenauer, Federal Chancellor, laid the foundations of the Franco-German Youth Office. The Intergovernmental Agreement of 5 July 1963 implemented provisions made under this Treaty of Franco-German co-operation by creating a body known as the ''Franco-German Youth Office'', to foster relations between French and German young people.

Article 2 (1) of the initial Agreement stipulates that '' The aim of the Office is to tighten the bonds between  young people in both countries, to strengthen their mutual understanding and, to this effect, to provoke, encourage and, where necessary,  to set up encounters and exchanges between young people''. 

2.   Organisation

The FGYO is an autonomous international organisation, led by a Board of Governors, presided over by French Minister for Women’s Rights, Urban Affairs, Youth and Sport, and Manuela Schwesig, the Federal Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth in Germany.

The executive functions of the Board are carried out by the General Secretariat, led by Béatrice Angrand, appointed in 2009, and Markus Ingenlath, who took up hispost in January 2012.

The Board of Governors is assisted by a Steering Committee whose mission is to offer advice and make recommendations on the general directions to be followed and on the programmes to be developed by the FGYO.

The FGYO’s staff of 70 employees works in bi-national teams in two locations, in Paris, where the head office is currently situated, and Berlin.

3.   Some statistics

The FGYO’s budget for 2013 is 22.8 million Euros, made up of equal contributions from the French and German governments. In addition to this is the special funding provided  mainly by the two Ministries for Foreign Affairs to support exchanges with countries in Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe. The European Social Fund (ESF) also funds programmes for the young unemployed.

Since 1963, the FGYO has enabled more than 8 million young people from France and Germany to take part in 300.000 exchange programmes. It grant aids on average 9.000 exchanges each year (more than 5.300 group exchanges and about 3.700 individual exchange programmes) in which 200.000 young people take part.

4.   Fields of activity

The FGYO works on the principle of subsidiary with several partner organisations in order to achieve the following objectives:

  • to strengthen links between children, young people, young adults and youth leaders in both countries
  • to contribute to the discovery of each other's culture
  • to encourage intercultural learning
  • to promote measures leading to vocational qualifications
  • to develop joint projects promoting active citizenship
  • to encourage an awareness of the special role of France and Germany in Europe
  • to promote an increased interest in each other's language and to strengthen language learning

The FGYO is a skills' centre for both governments. It acts as an adviser and intermediary for local and regional authorities, as well as for civil society in France and Germany.

The FGYO provides partner organisations with financial, educational and linguistic support in carrying out exchanges.  It helps with the preparation and evaluation of meetings, carrying out thereby an essential role of counsellor. The FGYO takes account of changes in French and German society and how these affect the lives of young people (social integration, commitment, Europe’s future, cultural activities, science and technology etc).

Young people in vocational training, young job seekers and those in employment: 1.694 exchanges a year bring together more than 12.951 participants: vocational training establishments, trade schools, agricultural colleges; vocational training programmes for young unemployed and training to introduce young people into a work environment; continuous training for young people from various trade sectors. 666 grants have been made for initial training courses and the programme '' Work in the partner country'' involved 96 participants. The object of these projects is to provide an experience of mobility which represents a plus in the vocational path followed by the young people concerned.

University exchanges: 146 bi-national seminars and workshops. 598 grants for work placements in firms, for Franco-German projects, for study courses in art schools or in music conservatoires.

School exchanges: 2.672 programmes with 61.000 pupils from secondary and 1.808 pupils of primary education.

Out-of-school exchanges: 1.080 programmes, with 18.963 participants, proposed by youth organsations, twinning committees, sports associations and federations, cultural associations and programmes of a scientific or technical nature. 53 young people receive a grant each year in the framework of the ''Destination Germany/ Destination France'' programmes.

Learning the language of the partner: 85 out-of-school-courses for young people and adults and 350 courses for children, 185 grants for language courses and 57 programmes to learn the tandem method.

Teaching intercultural learning: 133 bi- and tri-national training programmes. 97 primary school teachers have participated in exchange programmes. Teaching and applied research materials have been produced.

Innovative programmes and communication: theme-based meetings, the organisation of special occasions and events, relations with the media, information for young people and multipliers, public relations. THE FGYO took part in 28 events, fairs and expositions, 19 of which took part in Germany and 9 in France.

FGYO programmes with third countries: more than 300 trinational encounters with 6.000 young people from France and Germany and young people from 76 third countries, particularly with countries in Central and East Europe, countries in South-East Europe and countries around the Mediterranean.

The statistics referred to are from 2012

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