Conditions for participation

Deadline for submissions: 12 July 2021 17:00 CET (Brussels time) (1)

The European Commission's Directorate General for Regional and Urban Policy (DG REGIO) wishes to encourage journalism students and young journalists to learn about Regional Policy and to communicate on European solidarity and concrete projects cofunded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Cohesion Fund (CF). The specific objectives include:

  • Providing the framework and conditions for young and future journalists to specialize in EU Regional Policy
  • Fostering young journalistic productions to promote knowledge of EU-funded projects (ERDF and CF)
  • Promoting innovative means of covering the European Week of Regions and Cities
  • Enhancing the links between European institutions and young Europeans

The call for applications is open to any person that fulfils all of the following conditions:

  • Is a citizen of an EU Member State or an EU neighbouring country (2)
  • Is between 18 and 30 years old
  • Demonstrates a real interest in journalism through studies and/or work experience
  • Has not participated in previous editions of the Youth4Regions Programme

Only individual applications are accepted. The applicants will be asked to prove that they fulfil the above conditions if selected to participate in the Youth4Regions Programme.

In total 33 places are available: one for each EU Member State and the United Kingdom, and five places for EU neighbouring countries. In the case where not sufficient applications of good quality are received from a Member State, the European Commission reserves the right to make that position available for another country.

In order to apply, potential participants must send a short article (2500 – 6250 characters) or a short video report (2 – 3 minutes) covering a project co-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund or Cohesion Fund). (3) The article or short video must cover one of the following topics:

  • Fair Europe: Cohesion policy for a just transition to climate neutrality
  • Green Europe: Cohesion policy for intermodal mobility
  • Cohesion for Recovery: Overcoming the pandemic together
  • Europe close to the citizens: Youth engagement.

Specific projects co-financed by the ERDF and CF can be found online on the InfoRegio website:

Contributions are accepted in all of the 24 EU official languages. However, in case of video submissions we require a short written summary in English.

Please note that all communication with the Youth4Regions secretariat will be in English.

The jury will assess eligible applications on both substance and style based on the following selection criteria:

  • Degree of originality (a new story or an unusual angle)
  • Extent to which they are compelling (catch the interest of the reader)
  • Extent to which they demonstrate a rigorous approach in terms of research and field work

The jury will be composed of officials from the European Institutions, working in communication. The jury’s decision is final and without appeal. The jury reserves the right to reject any entry that does not comply with the requirements of the competition, that has been plagiarized or published prior to the current competition.

The competition results will be announced on 9 August.

All 33 successful applicants will be invited to Brussels to attend the Youth4Regions Programme during the EU Regions’ Week (10 - 15 October 2021), for which the European Commission will cover travel and accommodation. The organisers will ensure that appropriate sanitary conditions are in place at that moment.

The programme includes trainings on journalism and EU affairs, mentorship from established journalists, visits of media organisations and EU institutions, as well European Commission certified work experience as journalists covering the EU Regions’ Week. Upon completion of the programme the participants become part of the Youth4Regions Alumni network.

The European Commission will select the two winners of the 2021 Megalizzi – Niedzielski prize for aspiring journalists from among the 33 selected participants based on their entries in the competition and their commitment to European journalism. The Megalizzi –Niedzielski prize honours the memory of Antonio Megalizzi and Barto Pedro Orent-Niedzielski, young European journalists with a strong attachment to the EU and its values, who passed away after a terrorist attack in Strasbourg in late 2018.

  • 1 : Applications received after this date will not be accepted.
  • 2 : ENP countries (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine*, Syria and Tunisia, as well as Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine), EU candidate countries (Albania, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey) and potential candidates (Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo*), EFTA countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland) and the UK.
  • 3 : The European Commission reserves the right to use the articles submitted in presentation materials, with the media, and to reproduce them in any form.