European Solidarity Corps: opportunities for young people  

European Solidarity Corps  

If you’re aged between 18 and 30 and would like help make society a little better, register with the European Solidarity Corps.

MEPs extended the scope of the European Solidarity Corps and approved its programme for 2021-2027 on 18 May 2021.

The new programme includes humanitarian aid, which was previously a separate programme, and will be a stand-alone volunteering programme with its own budget for the first time

The new programme will be more inclusive than the previous one, with the European Commission and EU countries having to present plans to increase the participation of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Young people will also now be able to volunteer in their own country.

The programme proposes volunteering activities for young people aged 18 to 30 and the Parliament successfully negotiated to increase its budget by 15% compared to the previous programme (2018-2020).

About the European Solidarity Corps

Launched in 2016, the European Solidarity Corps aims to be the EU's main entry point for young people wanting to volunteer or work on projects to benefit communities and people across Europe.

The idea is to give young people the opportunity to acquire valuable competences for personal, social, civic and professional development, including learning and training, while helping other people.

Projects include education, health, environment protection, work with children and elderly people as well as with migrants and asylum seekers with priority given to charitable work.

The activities should not affect existing jobs or traineeships and contribute to reinforcing companies' corporate social responsibility commitments, but not replace them.

“Volunteering is a true form of solidarity and it is at the heart of our EU values. Our new programme is more focused and offers so much more to young people in Europe. Volunteering is a vital part of our modern democracy. We will be able to overcome this crisis together if we increase our civic engagement,” said lead MEP Michaela Šojdrova (EPP, Czech Republic).

It's possible to register for the European Solidarity Corps already at 17, but projects can only be started when participants are over 18.

Find out more about the EU's social policies.