What is European Solidarity Corps?
The European Solidarity Corps is the new European Union initiative which creates opportunities for young people to volunteer or work in projects in their own country or abroad that benefit communities and people around Europe.
The young people who participate in the European Solidarity Corps will all agree with and uphold its Mission and Principles (see below).
You can register for the European Solidarity Corps when you are 17 years old, but you cannot start a project until you are over 18. European Solidarity Corps projects will be available to people up to the age of 30 years old.
After completing a simple registration process, European Solidarity Corps participants could be selected and invited to join a wide range of projects, such as helping to prevent natural disasters or rebuild afterwards, assisting in centres for asylum seekers, or addressing different social issues in communities.
Projects supported by the European Solidarity Corps can last from two to twelve months. They will usually be located within the European Union Member States.
European Solidarity Corps’ Mission and Principles
Young people planning to join the European Solidarity Corps should read this document carefully. As a European Solidarity Corps participant, one agrees to uphold the following principles:
- European Solidarity Corps participants embrace the values of solidarity, respect for human dignity and human rights, and believe in the promotion of a fair and equal society in which pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality prevail;
- European Solidarity Corps participants strive to enhance solidarity between people, while respecting their cultures and their traditions, and aim to build a community of shared responsibilities and mutual support;
- European Solidarity Corps participants are willing to make meaningful contributions to society and will show solidarity, cooperation and mutual understanding;
- European Solidarity Corps participants must not act in any way that could put others or themselves at risk of being harmed;
- European Solidarity Corps participants must respect the rules, organisational structure and practices that govern the hosting organisation, bearing in mind also that this frame may be necessary to respect the personal health, safety and dignity of individuals involved in the activity. European Solidarity Corps participants must also abide by the laws in force in the host country;
- joining the European Solidarity Corps must always be the voluntary choice of a young person, and they are free to resign from the initiative. They have the right to refuse to accept any offer of a Corps placement without affecting their chance to receive other offers in the future;
- the participation in the European Solidarity Corps does not involve the payment of any fee;
- at the end of their placement, European Solidarity Corps participants are entitled to receive a European Solidarity Corps certificate, confirming their participation in the activity;
- when accepting a placement for a volunteering activity, European Solidarity Corps participants will sign a Solidarity Contract with the participating organisation, detailing the conditions of their activity, in line with the principles of the European Solidarity Corps Charter. For an occupational activity, the employment contract will serve a similar purpose;
- prior to the start of the activity and during their deployment, European Solidarity Corps participants will receive clear information about the tasks they will carry out and, where appropriate, adequate training and linguistic support.