French youth policies framework

Youth policies in France are cross-sectoral and partnership-based. They combine all the initiatives designed to support young people on their path to autonomy.

Youth policies framework

Youth policies in France are cross-sectoral and partnership-based. They combine all the initiatives designed to support young people on their path to autonomy.

Overall objectives

Promoting young people’s autonomy means acting on all the drivers that enable young people to build their own path and to thrive. Youth policy includes all actions designed to support young people’s path to autonomy, notably through education, training, social and professional inclusion, housing, health, safety, civic engagement and participation, access to sporting and cultural leisure activities, international mobility. Youth policies are playing a key role in reducing social and territorial inequalities.

This strategy involves a wide range of sectors, at both national and local level. It is built on the following pillars:

  • Supporting young people’s development and promoting access to civic engagement and mobility;
  • Giving special priority to education, counselling and training;
  • Promoting employment and labour market integration;
  • Tackling inequalities in the path towards autonomy;
  • Improving young people’s living conditions.

A cross-sectoral and, partnership-based policy

Each of the relevant ministries is contributing to youth policy in its area of expertise.

Moreover, local authorities (regional councils, departmental councils, municipalities and inter-municipal bodies) are also undertaking initiatives for young people.

For these reasons, public initiatives for young people, whether local or national, feature great diversity both in content and in their implementation. For example, they can be implemented directly by the institutions or through partnerships involving other institutions, associations and local authorities.

Ensuring consistency of youth policies

Overall coherence of youth policies is ensured thanks to the following mechanisms :

  • The Comité Interministériel de la Jeunesse (CIJ), a body created by Decree no. 82-367 of April 30, 1982, which can be called upon at any time by the Prime Minister.
  • Article 54 of the French Equality and Citizenship Act of January 27, 2017 provides for greater regional involvement in youth policy through the leadership given to regional councils in this area within local authorities.
  • The Conseil d'Orientation des Politiques de Jeunesse (Youth Policy Orientation Council): set up in France in 2016, this is a consultative administrative commission reporting to the Prime Minister and tasked with creating coherence and transversality in public policies concerning young people.


Department of Youth, Non Formal Education, and Voluntary organisations (DJEPVA)

Within the Ministry of National Education and Youth, the DJEPVA draws up and steers youth policies, civic engagement and participation, non-formal education, and voluntary organisations.

DJEPVA's youth-oriented missions

The DJEPVA supports young people's civic commitment as part of their citizenship journey.

It ensures educational continuity for children and young people at non-school times and in non-school environments.

It works to promote young people's autonomy and equal opportunities by supporting youth friendly information and support schemes to help them integrate and socialize into society.

It provides the general secretariat for the Conseil d'orientation des politiques de jeunesse, and oversees the Agence du Service civique, the French German Youth Office (OFAJ) and the French sections of the French-quebec office (OFQJ).

Thibaut de SAINT POL was appointed Director of Youth, Non Formal Education, and Voluntary organisations by the French government on January 11, 2023.

DJEPVA organization chart - June 2023

The regional and local services

The Ministry's regional and local services ensure the deployment of youth policies at the regional and departmental levels.

At the regional level, the Regional Academic Delegations for Youth, civic engagement, and Sport (DRAJES) are placed under the authority of the academic region's rector.

At the departmental level, the departmental youth, civic engagement, and sports services (SDJES) are placed under the authority of the academic director of national education services (DASEN).

The State and the Regions jointly govern sports resource, expertise, and performance centers (CREPS), local public training establishments in the fields of sport, youth, and non formal education.

The Ministry in the regions

The DRAJES coordinate public policies on sport, youth, voluntary organisation, civic engagement, and non-formal education.

In all these fields, they are in charge of planning, programming, financing, monitoring, observing, and evaluating actions implemented in the region.

They coordinate the actions of departmental services and of the secretariat of regional consultation or steering bodies.

In the area of youth, the DRAJES organize ongoing dialogue with associations and institutions collaborating with public policies, synchronize the development of the Information Jeunesse network at a regional level and promote the development of international youth mobility.

In the area of civic engagement, they steer the deployment of civic service in the region, universal national service, and civic reserve.

Finally, they provide support for voluntary organisations.

The DRAJES are also responsible for initial and continuing education within its area of expertise  (observation of jobs and careers, analysis of regional needs, particularly in terms of diplomas and certifications, and control and evaluation of training organizations).

The SDJES implement, at their level of intervention, policies relating to youth, sports, associative life, civic engagement, and popular education.

In particular, they undertake initiatives to promote young people's civic engagement, initiative, expression, information, and international mobility, to develop and support community life, volunteering, and voluntary work.

They are also in charge for minor's summer camps and after school centers, ensuring their educational quality and safety.

The CREPS can carry out missions in the field of initial and continuing training (specific diplomas in the field of animation) and, depending on the area, develop programs for young people.

The national institute for youth and popular education (INJEP)

The Institut National de la Jeunesse et de l'Education Populaire (INJEP) is a national body whose work fuels the Ministry's youth policy initiatives.

An observatory for youth, non formal education, voluntary organisations and sport, the INJEP is also a centre of resources and expertise for professionals and decision-makers in the sector.

The INJEP is a service with national competence attached to the Ministry of National Education and Youth. Thanks to its position at the center of a wide range of stakeholders and to its neutrality that governs its activity, it organises cross-fertilisation between different viewpoints : scientific, political or technical.

The aim of the INJEP is to promote cooperation and synergies between those involved in youth, popular education, sport and community life. To achieve this goal, INJEP disseminates and promotes data and knowledge, produces indicators, and shares know-how, concepts and methods, accessible to all stakeholders.

The INJEP has a Scientific and Policy Council, made up of a scientific college and a partnership college, which issues opinions on the Institute's activities

The INJEP is structured around five missions:

  • Surveys, data and statistical studies (MEDES)
  • Public policy experimentation and evaluation (MEEPP)
  • Studies and research mission (MER)
  • Promotion and dissemination (MVD)
  • Documentation and resources center  (MDOC)


The Civic Service Agency (l’Agence du Service Civique)

Under the supervision of the Ministry, the Civic Service Agency ensures the implementation of the Civic Service, as well as the Youth & Sports strand of the European Erasmus+ programme and the European Solidarity Corps.

The Civic Service Agency, which is overseen by the Ministry of Youth, is a public interest group (GIP) set up on 13 May 2010.

The Civic Service Agency is chaired by Nadia Bellaoui.

A single operator to support young people's civic engagement and mobility

The Civic Service Agency works to promote the voluntary engagement of all young people to serving the public/ common interest.


The Civic Service Agency is responsible for:

  • defining the strategic orientations and priority missions of the Civic Service ;
  • managing the State's approval and financial support for civic service volunteers;
  • promoting and enhancing the value of civic service, particularly among the public concerned, organisations that welcome and guide young people, educational establishments and professional sectors;
  • ensuring that all citizens have equal access to civic service;
  • helping people interested in civic service to be in touch with approved legal entities offering civic service contracts;
  • monitoring and evaluating the implementation of civic service;
  • setting up and monitoring conditions to ensure the social mix of civic service beneficiaries;
  • coordinating the network of current and former civic service volunteers ;
  • defining the content of civics and citizenship training.

The Civic Service Agency is also the French national agency for the Erasmus+ youth programme, the national contact point for the Erasmus+ sport programme and the French national agency for the European Solidarity Corps programme.

In this capacity, its tasks consist of:

  • allocating and controlling the European funding it manages ;
  • promoting and enhancing the value of the schemes to the general public, professionals, the media and decision-makers;
  • advising and supporting applicants and project sponsors;
  • monitoring the quality, administrative and financial aspects of selected projects;
  • ensuring the visibility of the programme and disseminate the results.

The organization

The Civic Service Agency includes:

  • a Board of Directors, made up of the members who helped to set up the agency (the Ministry for Youth, the National Agency for Territorial Cohesion, the France Volontaires GIP) and qualified personalities recognised in the field of voluntary work;
  • a Strategy Committee, including representatives of host organisations, young volunteers, members of parliament, etc. The strategic committee proposes guidelines to be submitted to the Board of Directors and discusses all issues relating to the development of civic service;
  • a National Erasmus+ Committee, which brings together all the stakeholders in the Erasmus+ Youth and Sport programme twice a year;
  • an Erasmus+ Standing Committee, which brings together the two Erasmus+ national agencies (formal and non-formal education) and their respective supervisory bodies twice a year.

The Civic Service Agency relies on a network of regional delegates to coordinate its activities. The teams in charge of this coordination are agency representatives in the regional academic delegations for youth, commitment and sport (DRAJES) and in the departmental services for youth, commitment and sport (SDJES).

An agency dedicated to youth mobility

Since 2016, the Erasmus+ France Jeunesse & Sport agency has joined the Civic Service agency. The Erasmus+ France Jeunesse & Sport agency manages the youth and sport sections of the Erasmus+ programme.

The Erasmus+ France Jeunesse & Sport agency provides educational and financial support for projects run by young people and youth stakeholders. It is particularly committed to promoting the participation of the young people with fewer opportunities, notably by encouraging the development of non-formal education in the social and professional integration of young people.

Erasmus+ France Jeunesse & Sport is also responsible for the volunteering aspect of the European Solidarity Corps.

It is also the national information point for the sport strand of the Erasmus+ programme.

Finally, it hosts the Salto-YouthEuroMed & Best Practice resource center, one of eight centers set up by the European Commission to support national agencies and enhance the quality of projects.

What is the Civic Service ?

A voluntary commitment

Civic Service is a voluntary commitment to serve the public interest, open to all young people aged 16 to 25, regardless of qualifications, and extended to 30 for young people with disabilities.


Compensated civic service can be offered by associations, local authorities (town halls, departments or regions) or public establishments (museums, schools, etc.), over a period of 6 to 12 months in France or abroad, for an assignment of at least 24 hours a week.

In 10 areas of expertise

Civic service can be carried out in the following areas:

  • solidarity ;
  • health ;
  • education for all ;
  • culture and leisure ;
  • sport ;
  • environment ;
  • memory and citizenship
  • international development and humanitarian action ;
  • emergency crisis intervention;
  • European citizenship.