The  European Solidarity Corps aims to enable more young people to take part in a wide range of solidarity activities to address challenging situations across the European Union. It creates opportunities for young people to volunteer or work (in their own country or abroad) in projects that benefit communities and people around Europe. Young people can volunteer as individuals or in groups, or can take up traineeships and jobs.

The European Solidarity Corps brings together two complementary strands:

  • Through a grant, the volunteering strand enables young people to carry out full-time voluntary service of between two and 12 months.
  • The occupational strand provides young people with jobs or traineeships in a wide range of sectors where organisations engaged in solidarity activities have a demand for highly motivated and socially minded young people.


Visit the European Solidarity Corps Video Gallery.

What does it involve?

Young people will be able to engage in a broad range of actions and projects in areas such as education, health care, social and labour market integration. Activities may include assistance in the provision of food and other items, shelter construction, site construction, renovation and management, reception and integration of migrants and refugees, and environmental protection.

Participation will not only benefit young people, but also national and local authorities, non-governmental organisations and companies in their efforts to cope with various challenges and crises.


For European Solidarity Corps participants in a volunteering placement, accommodation, food, travel, insurance and pocket money will normally be covered. For European Solidarity Corps traineeship placements, travel costs and a subsistence allowance will normally be paid. For those in a European Solidarity Corps employment placement, there will always be a labour contract as well as a wage, in accordance with local laws, regulations and collective agreements. All participants will receive a certificate detailing the actions they have undertaken through the European Solidarity Corps.


The European Solidarity Corps is designed for people who are ready for a challenge and willing to dedicate themselves to helping others. Young people can improve their practical, social and cultural skills, while they express their personal commitment to the community. The experience can also be a stepping stone to employment or to further learning.

Organisations can connect quickly to a dedicated and enthusiastic group of young people who share their aims. This allows organisations to be more creative and flexible when working towards their goals.

For those who have existing EVS projects from earlier deadlines, the following information still holds.


The European Voluntary Service (often shortened to EVS) allows young people aged 17-30* to be full-time volunteers in a range of countries. Projects can last from two to 12 months. EVS Volunteers work in a wide range of fields, including:

  • Culture
  • Youth
  • Sports
  • Animal welfare
  • Environment
  • Development cooperation
  • and more.

EVS is part of the Volunteering Projects (KA125) strand of Erasmus+.

Young people with fewer opportunities, and groups of ten or more volunteers, can also choose a shorter-term project. These can last between two weeks and two months.

EVS is a partnership between a Sending Organisation in the volunteer’s home country, a Receiving Organisation in the destination country, and the volunteer. Both organisations have to be approved (known as ‘accredited’) by the Erasmus+ National Agency in their country.

Check the EVS database and choose ‘Ireland’ under ‘organisation country’ to see if your organisation has valid accreditation. Click the organisation name and look for the expiry date on the left.

If your organisation is not EVS accredited, you must submit the KA110 Accreditation Form to start the process. This must be done at least one application round before you apply for funding. It is  not possible to receive accreditation and submit an application under the same deadline.

*17 year olds can take part only if their receiving organisation can show that child protection procedures are in place.


EVS volunteers are unpaid but receive funding from their sending organisation to cover accommodation, insurance, daily living costs and most travel costs. Volunteers have to contribute a small part of their travel costs themselves.

Sending organisations can apply for funding for volunteers’ costs, and costs directly linked to coordinating the project.

Extra funding for participants with special needs is available. This must be requested and justified in the application form.

Funding is determined by the number of people who take part, and the receiving country involved. See the Erasmus+ Programme Guide for details.


EVS benefits both volunteers and organisations. Young people discover new cultures, people and places and at the same time contribute to the daily work of organisations active in the community. Taking part in EVS helps young people develop their skills in communication, organisation, intercultural learning, self-reliance and more.

Organisations can use the skills and competences of volunteers to work in more innovative ways, develop specific projects and bring new approaches to their organisation.

Read the stories of EVS volunteers and organisations on our blog or hear from volunteer Michael Ward in this video made for European Youth Week.

For those who have Strategic EVS projects from earlier deadlines, the following still holds.


Strategic EVS is for organisations already experienced in EVS. It allows them to use volunteer experience to strengthen the impact of their work, and build capacity to create a strategic change in their organisation.

Strategic EVS is part of Erasmus+ Volunteering Projects, KA125.

Strategic EVS projects involve standard EVS activities, but happen over a period of three years. This allows organisations to be more flexible and pro-active in planning their work. Projects should involve several volunteers, working individually or as a group. There is no upper limit to the number of volunteers that can be involved.

Find out more on our blog, ‘Introducing Strategic EVS’ 


Sending organisations can apply for funding for volunteers’ costs, and costs directly linked to coordinating the project.

Extra funding for participants with special needs is available. These costs must be requested and justified in the application form. Funding is determined by the number of people who take part, and the receiving country involved. See  the Erasmus+ Programme Guide for details.


Strategic EVS allows organisations with a long term plan and vision to work towards their goals, with certainty that the funding and volunteers will be there to complete the project. It gives organisations a chance to be innovative and dynamic in a way that traditional funding may not facilitate.


Short-term placements can make a big difference! Great to launch & discuss my research on impact of #ErasmusPlus work placements on Wednesday. Thanks to the panel of Dr Justin Rami @FETRC_DCU Erica Daly @RathminesCFE & Frances Kelly, Moate Business College bit.ly/2NF3QQ6 Retweeted by Léargas


Léargas is a not-for-profit organisation that operates under the aegis of the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs. Léargas manages European, national and international exchange and cooperation programmes in education, training and youth and community work and has been managing such programmes for over 30 years. Léargas currently has 40 staff based in our Dublin office. Our staff come from Ireland, Poland, France, Croatia, Denmark and Spain and have wide-ranging experience in education, training, community, youth and development work; and in IT and finance. The National Centre for Guidance in Education operates under the aegis of Léargas.
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