"There are many young, socially minded people in Europe willing to make a meaningful contribution to society and help show solidarity. We can create opportunities for them to do so… Solidarity is the glue that keeps our Union together… Young people across the European Union will be able to volunteer their help where it is needed most, to respond to crisis situations… These young people will be able to develop their skills and get not only work but also invaluable human experience."
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, State of the Union Address, 14 September 2016
Dedicated legal base:
By giving the European Solidarity Corps its dedicated legal base, the Commission will consolidate the initiative and create more opportunities for young Europeans to engage in solidarity activities across Europe, to gain valuable experience and develop their personality and skills, while enhancing their chances on the labour market.
The Commission proposes to allocate €341.5 million to the European Solidarity Corps over the period 2018-2020. The aim is to have 100,000 young people involved in the European Solidarity Corps by the end of 2020.
Broadening the scope:
The European Solidarity Corps supports young people between the ages of 18 and 30 to volunteer (individually or in volunteering teams) or do a paid traineeship or job placement in order to address key societal challenges either in their home country or abroad. In addition, solidarity projects will allow young people to develop and implement their own projects at local level. Networking activities will enhance the European Solidarity Corps’ impact.
For the next phase of the European Solidarity Corps, the following types of activities are envisaged:
- Solidarity placements will support young people in carrying out volunteering activities for up to 12 months, traineeship placements for usually 2–6 months, and job placements in compliance with relevant national legislation for 2–12 months.
- Volunteering teams will allow groups of 10-40 young volunteers from different countries to make an impact together, for 2 weeks to 2 months.
- Solidarity projects will allow small groups of at least five participants to set up and implement solidarity projects at the local level on their own initiative, for 2 to 12 months.
- Networking activities will help attract newcomers to the European Solidarity Corps, allow the exchange of good practices, provide post-placement support and establish alumni networks.
How to Join
Interested young people can register with the European Solidarity Corps on europa.eu/solidarity-corps, indicating their preferred type and venue of placement. Once registered, young people can be contacted by interested organisations offering a placement.
Interested organisations (public or private entities or international organisations) can currently access the European Solidarity Corps via a number of EU programmes. With the entry into force of the new legal base, organisations will need to get a quality label first (depending on their profile, either through an Erasmus+ National Agency or through the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency). With this label they could apply for funding with the same body. Via a dedicated online tool on europa.eu/youth/solidarity/pass authorised organisations can easily search for candidates among the registered young people.
Find more information here.
Originally published June 1, 2017