The European Solidarity Corps is a European Union initiative that brings together young people to build a more inclusive society, supporting vulnerable people and responding to the challenges facing society across the continent.
It offers an inspiring and empowering experience for young people who want to help, learn and develop by funding a range of opportunities across a broad range of areas, such as integration of migrants, environmental challenges, prevention of natural disasters, education and youth activities or measures to prevent radicalisation. The European Solidarity Corps has a proposed overall budget of €375.6 million until 2020.
Who can take part in the European Solidarity Corps?
Young people aged 18-30 are the main target of the European Solidarity Corps. They will undertake volunteering activities or solidarity projects managed by organisations, institutions, bodies or groups.
Participants: Young people express their willingness to participate in the European Solidarity Corps by registering on the European Solidarity Corps Portal. Registration is possible from 17 years of age but participants must be 18 at the start of their activity and no older than 30 at the application deadline.
Organisations: European Solidarity Corps projects are submitted and managed mainly by organisations which have a European Solidarity Corps Quality Label or Erasmus+ Volunteering Accreditation. Organisations participating in European Solidarity Corps projects must be established in a European Solidarity Corps Participating Country or a Partner Country.
How it works
After completing the online registration process, young people can be invited to join activities run by accredited organisations. These organisations have access to a matching tool called Placement Administration and Support System (PASS), which allows them to search the database for suitable candidates for their projects.
The tool is a single-point access to information, placement and recruitment services offering a pool of young people much broader than typically found locally or nationally.
A dedicated website with information for UK organisations is now live: eusolidaritycorps.org.uk. Also, you can subscribe to the European Solidarity Corps UK newsletter to receive the latest updates. Why not download our three promotional postcards, below, to help spread the word?
More information for organisations
What organisations can take part?
The European Solidarity Corps is open to organisations of all sizes, from multinational companies to small NGOs working in local communities, which support social actions and promote social inclusions. Funding can enhance organisations’ capacity and provision, while offering a meaningful experience for proactive young people.
In order to participate, organisations must hold an accreditation called the Quality Label.
Do you already have an accreditation?
If your organisation is already accredited under Erasmus+ for volunteering projects, then it is already able to access PASS.
In the case of ongoing 2016 or 2017 European Voluntary Service (EVS) projects, we strongly recommend encouraging volunteers to register on the portal and linking with them on PASS. This enables participants to benefit from on-line materials for learning and development, post placement support and community building activities, including possible alumni activities.
What types of projects are possible?
Projects can take place abroad, according to the area covered by each activity, or in-country. All activities must address solidarity-related topics such as:
- Citizenship and democratic participation
- Disaster prevention and recovery
- Environment and natural protection
- Health and wellbeing
- Education and training
- Reception and integration of refugees and migrants
This list is not exhaustive, and could be amended as the initiative is developed.
More information for young people
How will young people benefit from it?
The European Solidarity Corps is the perfect match for young people who want to take social action, develop their skills and enhance their employability. It also enables them to connect with like-minded people and feel rewarded for making a difference.
After their activity, participants receive a certificate that documents their participation. This could be used when applying for jobs or further learning.
Participants’ travel and accommodation costs can be covered for the duration of the activity and some spending is provided for additional personal expenses. Relevant training will be given before the activity starts and after arrival on site.