European Solidarity Initiative

1.009 billion euros
Duration of the program:
01. January 2021 – December 31, 2027
Additional information:

Program website:

European Solidarity Corps (European Solidarity Corps) is a European Union program that enables young people, in their own countries or abroad, to volunteer or work on projects that benefit communities and people across Europe. As the name suggests, solidarity represents a common value in European society and provides unity with the aim of overcoming current and future crisis situations.

What activities does the program support for the period 2021 – 2027?


Volunteering gives young people the opportunity to contribute to the daily work of organizations specialized in solidarity activities for the benefit of communities. These activities can take place abroad or in the participant's country of residence. Individual volunteering can last up to 12 months, and team volunteering usually lasts from 2 weeks to 2 months.


Solidarity projects are "bottom-up" activities established and implemented by a group of young people with the aim of solving key problems in their communities.

The new program will therefore focus on volunteering and solidarity projects. Internships and employment, which was a possibility in the 2018-2020 period of the European Solidarity Corps, will not continue.


Subprogram of humanitarian assistance

Building on the EU Volunteers for Humanitarian Aid program, the European Solidarity Corps for the first time includes volunteer activities that support humanitarian aid operations.

This sub-program is intended for young people aged 18 to 35 to provide emergency aid based on the fundamental principles of neutrality, humanity, independence and impartiality to help provide support, humanitarian aid and protection where it is most needed. This will contribute to the fulfillment of humanitarian needs in safe third countries where EU humanitarian aid activities are carried out. Volunteers in the field of humanitarian aid will be trained and prepared in order to have the skills and competencies needed to really help those in need. Volunteers and organizations will be able to rely on additional support, for example from experienced trainers and experts.



In line with the digital transformation and the aim to support the learning experience of young people, the European Solidarity Corps offers online training to all young people registered in the program. A new online training section is available on the European Youth Portal.

They contain modules in 28 languages so that young people can see what they are interested in, improve their skills and knowledge and prepare for participation in the program.

The European Solidarity Corps offers young people between the ages of 18 and 30 the opportunity to make a significant contribution to society, gain invaluable experience and develop new skills. The program also applies to organizations that want to involve young people in their solidarity activities. The European Solidarity Corps advances the European dimension of solidarity, complementing existing public and private policies, programs and activities without creating competition or substitution effects. For young people, the program promotes personal development, active inclusion in society and employability. 83% of volunteers who participated in Solidarity Corps activities state that they have acquired additional skills and knowledge that they believe will be useful in their future careers. The European Solidarity Corps also helps NGOs, public bodies and companies in their efforts to deal with social and other challenges. As a result, the European Solidarity Corps addresses the needs of vulnerable communities in a wide range of geographical areas and themes. The program supports volunteering, business internships and jobs. It also offers young people the opportunity to set up their own solidarity projects. A wide range of quality and support measures have been introduced to meet the needs of the program's target audience. By the end of 2019, almost a quarter of a million young people were registered in the European Solidarity Corps, expressing their desire to engage in various solidarity activities, from helping the elderly to fighting climate change. In just over a year of implementation, 27,316 young people had the opportunity to participate in solidarity activities. As many as 2,300 organizations submitted their project proposals that deal with unresolved social challenges at the local, regional, national or cross-border level by the end of 2019, and the support allocated to the selected projects amounts to 113.4 million euros.

At least 270,000 young people will be able to participate in the European Solidarity Forces Program, who will help in humanitarian work and solving social problems by volunteering or starting their own solidarity projects.

The goal is to make the program more inclusive, but also greener and more digital. In addition, for the first time, young people will be given the opportunity to participate as volunteers in the provision of humanitarian aid throughout the world.

Audience development
• Participation, intercultural dialogue, greater participation of citizens in culture, development of a common European space and market.
• Unique European space, common cultural heritage, professional development of individuals, exchange of knowledge and experiences.
Capacity strengthening
• Digital transition, new technologies, creation of new professions, Lisbon strategy, intersectoral and interdepartmental cooperation.

Funding for the European Solidarity Corps is provided in the form of grants to organizations through calls for proposals. Young people who want to engage in such activities need to register on the European Solidarity Corps portal. The portal of the European Solidarity Corps offers a place for those young people and organizations, who have a grant, to realize activities and find each other.

Currently, all 27 member states of the European Union, along with Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Turkey and North Macedonia, are fully participating in ESC. In certain parts of ESC (Volunteering) can participate in the so-called third countries that do not fully participate in the Program, namely countries from the neighborhood of the EU, among which is Serbia. Given that the ESC program is independent of the program Erasmus, the continuation of the status of the Republic of Serbia as the third country associated with the Program within the Erasmus program does not mean a change in its status within ESC.

The current status of Serbia in the European Initiative for Solidarity implies the following possibilities:

    • that organizations from Serbia can submit a request and receive a quality label (Quality Label) and fulfill the prerequisite for participation in ESC, if they meet the quality prerequisites;
    • for organizations from Serbia to be partners in the field of volunteering and send young people to short-term and long-term projects/activities, as well as to host young people from countries that are full participants in the ESC


  • on short-term and long-term volunteer projects/activities;
  • that young people from Serbia volunteer in countries that are full participants in the program;
  • that young people from fully participating ESC countries can volunteer in Serbia.

The European Solidarity Corps is managed by the European Commission.

It is implemented on the ground by various bodies:

  • European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA)
  • National agencies in each participating country
  • SALTOs
  • Resource Center of the European Solidarity Corps.

All relevant documents can be found on the website:

Follow the program on social networks:

Facebook @EuropeanYouthEU   @European Solidarity Corps Official

Instagram @European_Youth_EU

Twitter @EuropeanYouthEU