Page Contents What is EycoEYCO's MissionHistoryAims

What is EYCO

EYCO’s mission is to champion and elevate the vibrant world of youth circus by fostering cooperation among its member organisations. Together, we work to promote, nurture, and advance the circus arts among the youth of our continent. 

EYCO serves as a vital nexus where shared knowledge, experiences, and resources come together to create a stronger, more vibrant youth circus community. Our members collaborate on a myriad of initiatives, from organising workshops and training to hosting festivals and events. 

With a shared commitment to inclusivity, diversity, and responsible circus practices, EYCO is a driving force in ensuring that the circus arts continue to thrive in Europe. By being part of  EYCO, our members  become a part of a passionate network dedicated to empowering the next generation of circus enthusiasts and performers, helping them reach new heights and, in doing so, ensuring the enduring legacy of circus arts throughout Europe.


EYCO’s Mission

EYCO took its first steps in 2005 at the inaugural Network of International Circus Exchange (NICE) Seminar,and  officially came to life in 2009 with a resounding mission. As a vibrant forum and incubator for European collaboration among National Youth Circus Networks, EYCO thrives as a nonprofit powerhouse. Our purpose is crystal clear: to kindle, champion, and nurture the blossoming art of youth circus, both on a national and European scale. EYCO stands as a proud umbrella, uniting all European Youth Circus national networks, dedicated to sparking recognition and structure for this extraordinary world of creativity and skill.

The History of EYCO

As far back as1996, the seeds of the European Youth Circus Organisation (EYCO) were sown when a handful of youth circus groups came together.. Their dream of creating a European Circus Union began with the humble idea of fostering an informal, annual networking event for European Youth Circus groups. Fast forward to 2005, and the first Network of International Circus Exchange Seminar (N.I.C.E) was born in Berlin, igniting a spark that lit up cities like Paris, Tampere, Amsterdam, and London in the years that followed.

A pivotal moment came after the N.I.C.E Seminar in Amsterdam, where a dedicated working group was formed.. Comprising visionaries from Germany, France, Belgium, Finland, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, and the UK, they were determined to build an official European umbrella organisation. Hence, the European Youth Circus Organisation (EYCO) emerged, founded in London in 2009. With values rooted in solidarity, equality, social citizenship, diversity, and creativity, EYCO’s mission is clear: to champion circus as an accessible and empowering tool for personal, creative, artistic, and social development. EYCO stands as the unifying force for all European Youth Circus umbrellas, extending support to those who share this inspiring vision.

Our Aims

  • Oversee the organisation of N.I.C.E  (Network of International Circus Exchange) meetings.

  • Work in collaboration with other European partners to research and develop training courses

  • Promote exchanges and partnerships with other European and International networks

  • Advocate for increased support for circus and physical arts education

  • Promote and support the development and exchange of trainers/administrators in youth circus

  • Promote and support the development of pathways into employment for young people

  • Promote and support the development and exchange of trainers/administrators in youth circus

  • Develop partnerships with other European networks and the wider youth context

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