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European Union Solidarity Corps

European Union Solidarity Corps

The European Solidarity Corps is a new European Union funding programme aiming to foster solidarity in the European society, engaging young people and organisations in accessible and high-quality solidarity activities. It offers young people opportunities to show solidarity, express their commitment to the benefit of communities and help resolve challenging situations across Europe. At the same time, these young people have the opportunity to develop their skills and get some invaluable human experience in the process.

With a budget of €375.6 million for 2018-2020, it offers opportunities to young people to carry out volunteering activities, traineeships and jobs and run their own solidarity projects.

The European Solidarity Corps builds on the achievements of more than 25 years of European programmes in the fields of volunteering and youth, especially on the experience of the European Voluntary Service.

How does it work?

Interested 17-30 years olds can register on  the European Solidarity Corps portal. Once registered and at least 18 years old, they can be invited to participate in projects by organisations that have access to the database of participants. These organisations can also advertise opportunities on the European Solidarity Corps portal, so that young people can apply directly for the advertised position.

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Volunteering

Individual volunteering is a full-time unpaid solidarity activity for a duration from 2 to 12 months. In some cases, volunteering activities of 2 weeks to 2 months can be put in place for young people with fewer opportunities. This type of solidarity activity will give young people the chance to take part in the daily work of organisations and perform tasks that can have a real impact. Activities can take place either in a country other than the country of residence of the participant (cross-border) or in the country of residence of the participant (in-country).

Volunteering teams are solidarity activities allowing teams of 10 to 40 European Solidarity Corps participants from at least two different countries to volunteer together for a period between 2 weeks and 2 months. Such solidarity activities could especially contribute to the inclusion of young people with fewer opportunities in the European Solidarity Corps.

Participants are covered by complementary insurance and they can access a range of support services such as online linguistic support and training. Their travel costs from home to the venue of the project and back will be covered, as well as their accommodation and food. Participants will also receive a small allowance for their personal expenses.

Organisations which receive a Solidarity Corps grant will be responsible for the preparation, implementation and follow-up of the solidarity activities. They will manage the logistical aspects of their project, provide volunteers with training and/or mentoring and help them recognise their learning experience  through Youthpass or similar tools. Organisations are also responsible for issuing the European Solidarity Corps certificate of participation to all their project participants.

Traineeships and jobs

Traineeships are periods of full-time work practice of between 2 to 6 months renewable once for a maximum duration of 12 months within the same participating organisation. This type of solidarity activity should include a learning and training component, to help the participant gain relevant experience with a view to developing competences useful for the personal, educational, social, civic and professional development. It should be based on a written traineeship agreement concluded at the beginning of the traineeship in accordance with the applicable regulatory framework of the country where the traineeship takes place. Traineeships must not substitute jobs and should be remunerated by the host organisations.

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Jobs are solidarity activities for young people, for a period from 3 to 12 months, paid by the participating organisation employing the European Solidarity Corps participant. The financial support to participating organisations offering jobs shall not exceed twelve months in cases when the duration of the employment contract exceeds twelve months. Such jobs shall include a learning and training component and be based on a written employment contract, which respects all the terms and conditions of employment as defined in national law or applicable collective agreements, or both, of the country in which the job is being carried out.

Traineeships and jobs can take place either in a country other than the country of residence of the participants (cross-border) or in the country of residence of the participants (in-country).

Participants can access a range of support services such as online linguistic support and training. Their travel costs from home to the venue of the project and back will be covered. Participants will also receive a small allowance to help them relocate and settle in a foreign country.

Organisations which receive a Solidarity Corps grant will be responsible for the preparation, implementation and follow-up of the solidarity activities. They will manage the logistical aspects of their project, provide the trainees/employees with training and/or mentoring and help them recognise their learning experience  through Youthpass or similar tools. Organisations are also responsible for issuing the European Solidarity Corps certificate of participation to all their project participants.

Solidarity projects

Solidarity projects are set up and carried out by groups of at least five European Solidarity Corps participants, with a view to addressing key challenges within their communities while presenting a clear European added value.  Projects can last from 2 to 12 months and must take place in the country of residence of project participants. Young people who want to form a group to run a solidarity project must be registered in the European Solidarity Corps Portal. There is no upper limitation on the number of participants. The group will decide autonomously on the working methods and how the project will be managed. One of the participants will assume a role of legal representative who will submit the application (unless an organisation applies on behalf of the group). A solidarity project should be directly linked to the local community young participants live in to respond to the issues and challenges around them, although some of the projects can also tackle regional or even national issues. Together with addressing the local challenges, a solidarity project should also clearly demonstrate European added value by addressing priorities identified at European level. A solidarity project should reflect a common concern for issues within the European society, such as for example integrating third-country nationals, climate change or democratic participation.

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Who can participate in the European Solidarity Corps?

Individuals

European Solidarity Corps volunteering activities are open to 18-30 year old young people residing in the EU Member States and the following Partner Countries:

  • former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Turkey
  • Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway
  • Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia
  • Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine
  • Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia
  • Russian Federation

Jobs and traineeships, and solidarity projects are open to participants residing in the EU Member States.

To apply

Click here to apply

Organisations

Any public or private organisation holding a Quality Label and legally established in an  EU Member State can participate and submit applications for volunteering  activities, traineeships and jobs. Applications should be submitted to the National Agency in the country where the applicant organisation is established.

Organisations from the following countries can participate in volunteering activities as partners:

  • former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Turkey
  • Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway
  • Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia
  • Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine
  • Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia
  • Russian Federation

Jobs and traineeships are open to organisations from the EU Member States.

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Read more on European Solidarity Corps website

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