With a dedicated budget of €1.009 billion for 2021-2027, the European Solidarity Corps programme will provide opportunities for at least 270 000 young people. They will help address societal and humanitarian challenges through volunteering or by setting up their own solidarity projects. The programme’s ambition is not only to be more inclusive but also greener and more digital. For the first time, the programme will also allow young people to volunteer in the humanitarian aid field across the world..
Regulation 2021/888 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 May 2021 establishing the European Solidarity Corps Programme and repealing Regulations 2018/1475 and 375/2014 | OJ L 202/32, 8.6.2021
The European Solidarity Corps is an EU funding programme for young people wishing to engage in solidarity activities in a variety of areas. These range from helping the disadvantaged to humanitarian aid, as well as contributing to health and environmental action across the EU and beyond.
The programme offers an opportunity for young people not only to make a meaningful contribution to society, but also to gain invaluable experience and develop new skills. It is open to people aged between 18 and 30 for solidarity activities addressing societal challenges, and between 18 and 35 for humanitarian aid activities. The programme also addresses organisations active in the solidarity sector looking to involve young people in their activities.
In order take part in the European Solidarity Corps, organisations are required to obtain a quality label , which certifies that they are able to carry out high-quality solidarity activities in compliance with the principles, objectives and requirements of the programme. The European Commission and National Agencies manage and implement the programme.
The program includes the following lines of action:
Volunteering activities in support of humanitarian aid operations in non-EU countries: adding to the European Solidarity Corps this well-established EU humanitarian aid initiative, which had been operating under the name of Volunteers EU Aid Fund, will create opportunities to volunteer outside the Union and will complement existing opportunities under the European Solidarity Corps to volunteer, either individually or in a group, do an internship or get a job. employment in Europe in connection with solidarity activities.
Specific measures: The participation of disadvantaged young people in the European Solidarity Corps will be facilitated by these measures, which can be, for example, additional funding or specific activities of shorter duration or located in the young person's own country.
Who can register for the European Solidarity Corps?
The eligibility criteria for young people who want to participate remain the same: Anyone between the ages of 17 and 30 who is a national of one of the participating countries or legally residing there can register for the European Solidarity Corps. The minimum age to participate in the activities of the Corps is 18 years.
Young people who register must subscribe to the objectives and principles of the European Solidarity Corps. Registration is simple and can be done on a web page accessed through the European Youth Portal. Third-country nationals wishing to participate in Corps activities do not necessarily have all the necessary rights or permits to reside in another Union country. It is the responsibility of the participating organization to ensure that the people it wishes to contract for any activity of the Corps have the corresponding rights and permits.
Today the activities of the European Solidarity Corps can be carried out throughout the European Union; and it will also be possible to participate in volunteer activities in the other member countries of the European Economic Area, in the countries in the pre-accession phase and in neighboring countries.
For a volunteer activity, living expenses, such as meals, accommodation and money for personal expenses (up to €155 per month), as well as travel and insurance costs, will be covered. In the case of jobs, these will be based on an employment contract and the remuneration will be set in accordance with the laws and regulations and the collective agreements in force in the country in which the work is carried out.
Work placements will be based on a written internship agreement and will be paid by the host organisation. The principles set forth in the Quality Framework for internships will govern this work modality within the Corps. In addition to remuneration, it is planned to offer financial support for travel expenses, both in the case of jobs and work practices.