This is the first of a series of calls that will allow at least 100,000 young people to take part in the Corps until the end of 2020.
Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources, Günther H. Oettinger, said: "With the launch of this new call under the European Solidarity Corps, we are delivering on our commitment to create more opportunities for young people to engage in solidarity activities. Funded by the EU budget, the European Solidarity Corps is the best framework for young people to learn, share and use their energy for the common good."
Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport said: "Solidarity is one of the key values of the European Union. Time and again, young people across the EU have shown their willingness to help those in need. By creating a dedicated framework and making available the necessary funding for the period 2018-2020, we want to give them more opportunities to engage, including the possibility to form a group of volunteers and come up with their own ideas for solidarity projects."
Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen, added: "The European Solidarity Corps helps young people in their professional development and their integration into the labour market. With its strong European dimension of solidarity, the Corps is an extraordinary opportunity for young people to develop interpersonal skills and acquire new knowledge, all of these bringing an added value to them and society in general."
Which projects are eligible?
The call launched today is open to a broader range of projects than ever before: in addition to longer-term individual volunteering, traineeships and jobs in solidarity fields, the following projects will be eligible:
Organisations will be able to offer short-term projects (from 2 weeks to 2 months) for teams of volunteers. Organisations will first need to receive a quality label, for which they can apply at any time by submitting a request to the Erasmus+ national agency, or in certain cases, to the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency.
Not only public and private bodies established in EU Member States can apply for funding. Young people registered in the European Solidarity Corps Portal will also be able to form a group of at least 5 participants and set up youth-led solidarity activities themselves.
Certain European Solidarity Corps projects in the field of volunteering are also open to the participation of non EU-organisations from Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Turkey, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and other partner countries.
Projects under the call for proposals launched today will be selected once the European Parliament and Council formally adopt the Commission proposal, following their political agreement in June 2018. The deadline to apply is 16 October 2018, except for projects of volunteering teams, who have time to apply until 18 February 2019.
The detailed conditions of the call for proposals launched today, including the priorities and instructions for submission of applications for each project can be found in the European Solidarity Corps Guide.
The European Solidarity Corps was launched in December 2016. Since then, 72,000 young people have registered and about 7,000 of them are involved in solidarity activities.
In May 2017, the Commission put forward a proposal to dedicate more than €340 million to the EU Solidarity Corps, and to strengthen its legal structure, so that 100,000 young people can participate by the end of 2020. In June 2018, the European Parliament and the Council reached a political agreement on this proposal, which must now be formally adopted by both. In the meantime, preparatory steps can be taken, including the launch of the call for proposals today.
On 11 June 2018, the Commission put forward its proposal for the European Solidarity Corps beyond 2020, allocating €1.26 billion to allow about 350,000 young people to take part in a solidarity activity.