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European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR)
News article15 June 2023Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations

Youth and sport: European Commission and the Ministry for Youth and Sport of Ukraine further enhance cooperation


Today, Vice-President of the European Commission for Promoting our European Way of Life, Margaritis Schinas, and Minister for Youth and Sport of Ukraine, Vadym Guttsait, met in Kyiv. They agreed on the importance of continued and strong cooperation on youth and sport issues, which is ever more important in the light of Russia's unprovoked and unjustified war of aggression against Ukraine and its devastating consequences on the lives of millions of young Ukrainians and on the country's sport sector. They also agreed to work further on the EU-Ukraine common youth and sport policy agenda.

The following points are concrete outcomes of today's meeting:

  • The Commission has decided to open, as of 2024, Capacity Building actions for youth and sport under the Erasmus+ programme to the Eastern Partnership countries. This will allow Ukrainian organisations to participate in international cooperation projects in Erasmus+ Programme countries in the fields of youth and sport. Relevant activities and policies will be able to apply for support of projects that promote common values, the well-being of individuals and the development of more cohesive communities.
  • To facilitate the reinforced cooperation under Erasmus+ among sport organisations from Ukraine and in the EU Member States, annual webinars could be organised. The European Commission and the Ministry for Youth and Sport of Ukraine already organised a pilot webinar on 7 April 2023.
  • The European Solidarity Corps offers volunteering activities to young people between 18 and 30 years of age who are legal residents in the EU and in partner countries, which includes Ukraine. In 2023, the programme is already featuring projects offering relief and assistance to those whose lives have been disrupted by Russia's war. The Commission has decided to continue these volunteering opportunities in 2024.
  • Under the regional EU4Youth programme, the EU supports young people as well as the youth sector in Ukraine in the area of employment and entrepreneurship. A new phase of this programme has been launched in April 2023 focussing on youth engagement and empowerment.

This comes in the context of Vice-President Schinas' visit to Kyiv, where he signed an Arrangement for Cooperation on Education with the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine.   


The European Union and Ukraine have a close and long-standing cooperation in the field of youth and sport in the framework of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement signed on 21 March 2014.

Since the beginning of Russia's war, the European Commission has demonstrated its solidarity with Ukraine, and has strengthened support and cooperation, including through the Erasmus+ programme. The budget for the programme's Annual Work Programme for 2023 has been increased by EUR 100 million to support those affected by the war, and the EU has ensured that flexible opportunities are offered to young people, and also youth workers and staff from Ukrainian organisations active in the fields of youth, education and training.

Information on the rights and support options in the EU for young people coming from Ukraine is available online on the European Youth Portal.

In the field of sport, the European Commission created an award in 2022 entitled “Sport for Peace” as part of the BeInclusive EU Sport Awards, honouring projects that use sport as a vehicle to promote peace and European values. Awarded in 2023 for the first time, the “Sport for Peace” award was presented by Andriy Chesnokov, the Deputy Minister for Youth and Sports of Ukraine for European Integration, to Youth Line from Portugal, a project that helps refugees who fled the Russian war build a new life through community-building and sport activities.


Ukraine’s youth will re-build a strong, democratic and free Ukraine when the time has come. And sport builds bridges between people, based on the pillars of fairness, solidarity, inclusiveness and tolerance. I am very pleased with the outcome of today’s meeting and I am convinced that our decisions will make a difference for many young people and athletes throughout Ukraine.

Margaritis Schinas, Vice-President for Promoting our European Way of Life - 15/06/2023


Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ukraine values the effective cooperation with the European Commission for the benefit of Ukrainian sport community and Ukrainian youth, including 2 million of young Ukrainians who found temporary protection in the EU Member States. We are looking forward to working out the common approaches in the youth and sports sphere to streamline our policies according to European values and Ukraine’s EU candidate status.

Vadym Guttsait, Minister for Youth and Sport of Ukraine - 15/06/2023