What is the Franco-German Youth Office?

The Franco-German Youth Office or FGYO is an international organisation is dedicated to the German-French cooperation and is located in Paris and Berlin. The founding of the FGYO goes back to the Franco-German friendship agreement, the “Elysée Treaty” of 1963. Its mission is to strengthen ties between German and French youth and to deepen their understanding about one another.

What does the FGYO do?

The FGYO supports youth exchange and youth projects between Germany and France. Projects include student exchanges for secondary schools and universities, language courses, twin towns and regional partnerships, sports meetings, internships and exchange in the field of career and seminar and research grants. 15% of FGYO fundings are invested in trilateral programs. Since 1976, the FGYO has expanded its activities on neighbouring countries in Central and South-Eastern Europe as well as the Mediterranean area. They are financed with special funds from both Ministries for Foreign Affairs.

The FGYO works according to the subsidiary principle with its partners. Its aims are to:

  • deepen German-French relations
  • facilitate key competences for Europe
  • awaken curiosity in the partner language
  • promote intercultural learning
  • share the experiences of German-French youth exchange and reconciliation with third countries.

How does the FGYO work?

The FGYO is an independent international organisation. At its head sits the Advisory Board, which is chaired by the Federal Minister for Family, Seniors, Women and Youth, Franziska Giffey and the French Minister of National Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer. The executive body of the Advisory Board is the General Secretary, headed by a German-French tandem: Tobias Bütow who took office in March 2019 and a French colleague who will soon be announced by the governments of Germany and France. The 100 employees of the FGYO work in bi-nationally staffed departments in both Paris, Berlin and Saarbrücken.

How is the FGYO financed?

The FGYO is funded in equal parts by the German and French governments. In 2019, the FGYO has a budget of 29.5 million Euros at its disposal.

How many young people does the FGYO support?

Since 1963, the FGYO has enabled the participation by 9 million young French and German people in around 360,000 exchange programmes. Every year, the FGYO supports nearly 9,000 encounters (5,300 group exchange programs and 3,700 individual exchange programmes, in which more than 200,000 young people participate.

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