European Solidarity Corps

European Solidarity Corps logo

The European Solidarity Corps is a major opportunity for organisations to involve young people in projects related to European solidarity.


What is it?

The European Solidarity Corps is the European Union initiative which funds opportunities for young people to volunteer or work in projects in the UK or abroad that benefit communities and people around Europe.

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 over the period 2018-2020.

UK organisations of all types can apply for funding to support young people on volunteering or working for projects that benefit communities and people around Europe or in the UK. The European Solidarity Corps has three application deadlines per year. In 2019, the deadlines are 7 February, 30 April and 1 October (all at 11am, UK time).

In the UK, the initiative is implemented by the Erasmus+ National Agency, a partnership between the British Council and Ecorys UK.

How does it work?

Over 93,000 young people have signed up to the European Solidarity Corps since its launch in December 2016. The matching tool, the Placement Administration and Support System (PASS), allows organisations to search the database of potential participants.

In order to participate, organisations must hold an accreditation called the Quality Label, designed to ensure consistently high standards in Solidarity Corps’ activities and to help organisations find partners.. If your organisation is already accredited under Erasmus+ Volunteering, or certified for EU Aid Volunteers, then it is already automatically able to access the pool of European Solidarity Corps participants and therefore search for participants for your projects. Organisations will need to subscribe to the European Solidarity Corps Mission and its Principles, and to adhere to the European Solidarity Corps Charter that sets out the rights and responsibilities during all stages of the solidarity experience. 

To find out more, check the European Solidarity Corps UK website.

What organisations can take part?

The European Solidarity Corps is open to a wide range of organisations to run projects. These include governmental organisations, municipalities, non-governmental organisations and companies. Organisations can be of all sizes, from big multinational companies to small NGOs working in a local community. The projects run by these organisations must be on solidarity related topics.

Through the European Solidarity Corps, all companies, NGOs and local authorities looking for employees, trainees or volunteers for solidarity-minded projects can have an easy, single-point access to information, placement and recruitment services. Moreover, the pool of motivated young people will be much broader than the typical local or national radius.

European Solidarity Corps projects are submitted and managed by organisations which have a European Solidarity Corps Quality Label. Organisations must be established in a Participating Country or a Partner Country. Find out more about the countries connected by the European Solidarity Corps.

If you have any questions, please contact the European Solidarity Corps team by email.


Who can join the Corps?

Young people can register for the European Solidarity Corps when they are 17 years old, but they cannot start a project until they are over 18. Young people must also complete the project before they turn 31.

They must be legally resident in or have the nationality of one of the European Union Member States. Volunteering Projects are also open for young people from Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Turkey, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and countries neighbouring the EU.

All young people registered in the European Solidarity Corps will need to declare their commitment to the mission of the Solidarity Corps and demonstrate their motivation. Organisations and companies will be able to pre-select the individuals that best fit the culture of their organisation and their specific needs.

Want to find out more about the European Solidarity Corps for young people? Check out our dedicated page for young people.