Here to Stay!

Here To Stay (HTS) is a strategic partnership targeting shrinking civic space in Europe and the implications it has on young people. Youth have become less engaged as European citizens and are limited in their fundamental rights to gather and express themselves freely. This disengagement of youth in decision-making processes and their social exclusion prevents young people from becoming agents of social change.

The project is an initiative to counter this trend in Europe by creating an enabling and productive environment for youth work and facilitate the process of involving young people in decision-making and use of civic space.

This project will have special focus on sport, dance, music, and arts and the role these can play in engaging youth in Civic Space. In short, this project will use the power of sport, arts and culture to increase youth-led civic space and young people’s civic engagement.



According to the NGO Civicus, civic space is currently “narrowed” in 12 countries across the EU and “obstructed” in one (Hungary).According to the European Youth Forum (2018), more than 50% of youth organisations believe that young people are underrepresented in a civic space.

The projects aims to counter the shrinking civic space in which European youth operate. Shrinking civic space in Europe decreases the civic engagement of young people, limiting their opportunities to engage in decision-making that affects their own lives and communities. Youth organisations and youth work should and can play a vital part in creating a space for civic engagement and encouraging further community engagement of young people.  In particular, arts, culture and sports can be vital tools in this regard.

The project involves international and multidisciplinary cooperation, involving youth, youth work, and CSOs from different European countries.  With an initial focus on regions where civic space is closed (Hungary), obstructed (Romania) and open (Czech Republic), the project aims to create results that are useful in the whole of Europe.


1.  A field- and desk research to gain  insight in the critical success factors for claiming civic space for young people. ICDI will be responsible for this research.

2. Creating an open and interactive virtual civic space for the exchange of good practices and inspiration of new initiatives. This virtual space will be a platform for youth, youth workers, and youth work organisations.

3. Developing a youth space toolkit for youth workers to help and support them in facilitating youth to claim civic spaces.

4. One international training workshop for 30 selected Youth Workers.

5. Four international multiplier events for youth, youth workers, and CSOs. Over 150 Stakeholders will be invited to these events.

Expected impact

We aim to inspire young people and youth workers to claim a civic space and increase youth participation and engagement and decision making in these civic spaces, thus creating an environment in which young people are actively involved in decision-making processes that affect their lives and communities.

Main outputs:

– A digital open-source research report on the success factors for claiming youth-led civic spaces by European youth work.

– A practical toolkit for youth workers on how to claim civic space for young people.

Facts and figures


International Sport Alliance/ISA-Youth, Netherlands (Lead Organisation)

International Child Development Initiatives – ICDI, Netherlands

Oltalom Sportegyesulet, Hungary

Fundatia Judeteana Pentru Tineret Timis, Romania

Inex – Sdruzeni Dobrovolnych Aktivit, Czech Republic


Erasmus + Programme KA2 – Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices/ KA205 – Strategic Partnerships for youth

Project Manager

Rutger van Oudenhoven and Sarah de Vos