The Commission has today launched the first call for proposals under the new European Solidarity Corps 2021-2027. The European Solidarity Corps supports young people wishing to engage in volunteering activities in a variety of areas ranging from helping people in need to supporting health and environmental action, across the EU and beyond. This year's priority will be health and will mobilise volunteers to work on projects addressing health challenges, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and recovery.
With a dedicated budget of over €1 billion for 2021-2027, the new programme offers opportunities to some 275,000 young people to help address societal and humanitarian challenges through volunteering or by setting up their own solidarity projects.
Solidarity projects and volunteering activities dealing with social issues are open to young people aged 18-30, and solidarity projects focusing on humanitarian aid activities are open to people between the ages of 18-35.
For the first year of action, more than €138 million are available. As of next year, the programme will also allow young people to volunteer in humanitarian aid activities worldwide, thus helping to tackle humanitarian challenges in safe third countries, supporting EU aid activities there.
The new European Solidarity Corps supports overarching EU political priorities, facilitating organisations and young people to address them. Four strands are particularly highlighted:
- Promoting of inclusion and diversity;
- Making projects ‘greener' and encouraging environmentally sustainable and responsible behaviour among participants and participating organisations;
- Supporting the digital transition through projects and activities that boost digital skills, foster digital literacy and develop understanding of the risks and opportunities of digital technology;
- Promoting participation of young people in democratic processes and civic engagement.
- In order to take part in the European Solidarity Corps, organisations need to obtain a quality label, which certifies that they carry out high quality solidarity activities in compliance with the principles, objectives and requirements of the programme. Any public or private body may apply for funding, with the help of the European Solidarity Corps National Agencies based in all EU Member States and non-EU countries associated to the programme - Iceland, Liechtenstein, Turkey and the Republic of North Macedonia. In addition, groups of young people registered in the European Solidarity Corps Portal may directly apply for funding for solidarity projects developed and led by them.
- The application period for both calls under the new 2021-2027 programme opens on 15 April, and ends on 5 October 2021. Applications for the quality label for solidarity volunteering can be submitted anytime. The deadline to apply for the quality label for humanitarian aid volunteering is 22 September 2021.
The national coordinator of the ESC Programme in Turkey is the Turkish National Agency: www.ua.gov.tr