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European Solidarity Corps

Overall budget available

The total budget for European Solidarity Corps 2021-2027 is € € 1.01 billion.

What is the goal of the funding programme?

The programme has the following specific objectives:

  1. to provide young people, including those with fewer opportunities, with easily accessible opportunities to engage in solidarity activities in the EU and abroad;
  2. to improve and properly validate their competences and facilitate their employability and transition into the labour market.

The European Solidarity Corpsis 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 finances projects to engage young people in solidarity activities addressing societal challenges through volunteering or by setting up their own solidary projects. The programme’s ambition is not only to be more inclusive but also greener and more digital.

The European Solidarity Corps finances volunteering (including humanitarian aid) and solidary projects. It is open to individuals aged 18 to 30 (35 for humanitarian aid) and to organisations in EU and partner countries.

How is the funding programme structured?

In order to achieve its objectives, the European Solidarity Corps implements its Actions structured into two strands:

  1. Participation of young people in solidarity activities:
  • Volunteering
  • Solidarity Projects
  1. Participation of young people in humanitarian aid related solidarity activities (‘Volunteering under the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps’):
  • Humanitarian Aid Volunteering projects.

Additionally, the European Solidarity Corps supports a series of activities and measures aiming at providing high-quality solidarity activities:

  • Networking activities;
  • Quality and Support measures.

What thematic areas are covered?

The European Solidarity Corps brings together young people and organisations to build a more inclusive society, supporting vulnerable people and responding to societal and humanitarian challenges.

What is in it for the social economy?

The European Solidarity Corps acts as a platform for young people to engage in meaningful solidarity activities in the social economy, benefiting both the participants and the organisations they work with. It contributes to skills development, employability, capacity building, networking and the promotion of social entrepreneurship. The European Solidarity Corps is a great opportunity for social economy organisations to strengthen their activities and spread their values.

Who is eligible to apply?

The European Solidarity Corps finances volunteering (including humanitarian aid) and solidary projects. It is open to individuals aged 18 to 30 (35 for humanitarian aid) and to organisations in EU and partner countries.

How to apply?

As an organisation:

  1. You must develop projects for the good of the community and society as a whole.
  2. Make sure that your project is in line with the priorities of the programme.
  3. Visit the detailed About | European Youth Portal (europa.eu) and follow all the steps to obtain the European Solidarity Corps Quality Label, which certifies that an organisation participating in the Corps is able to provide the necessary conditions for young people to participate in solidarity activities.

As a young person, you want to have a meaningful experience:

  1. You can register from the age of 17, but you can't start a project before the age of 18.
  2. You can participate up to the age of 30 (35 for humanitarian volunteering).
  3. You need to be aware of the principles and commitment required. You can apply via the official website

Where to find more information?

You can find examples of projects financed by this programme:

How to contact organisations who manage the programme?

Activities are implemented through two channels: direct management by DG EAC and the Education, Audio-visual and Culture Executive Agency, and indirect management facilitated by a network of National Agencies. This dual approach allows the program to effectively reach its intended audience, accommodate the variations in national education systems, and align with specific national priorities.

  • The European Youth Portal is the best entry point to contact the managing authorities.
  • You can directly find the contact of the national agencies here

Organisations who provide support?

  • The European team in your local authority or chamber of commerce can provide tailor-made information.
  • Your national or regional authorities, networks, and incubators are the best entry points to access tailor-made information regarding your needs!

Background information

History of the programme

The European Solidarity Corps builds on the achievements of more than 25 years of European programmes in the field of youth and solidarity, especially on the success of the European Voluntary Service implemented under the Erasmus+ Programme from 2014 to 2018, on the EU Aid Volunteers initiative and on the previous European Solidarity Corps running from 2018 to 2020.

Responsible Directorate-General in the European Commission

The European Solidarity Corps is implemented directly both by the European Commission, under the leadership of the European Commission's Directorate-General for Education and Culture (EAC) (which bears the overall responsibility for supervision and coordination), and by the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency.

Duration

2021 - 2027