ESC Programme

The European Solidarity Corps (ESC) provides opportunities for volunteering, networking and solidarity activities within projects that benefit the society.

The general objective of the Programme is to enhance the engagement of young people and organisations in accessible and high quality solidarity activities, primarily volunteering, as a means to strengthen cohesion, solidarity, democracy, European identity and active citizenship in the Union and beyond, addressing societal and humanitarian challenges on the ground, with a particular focus on the promotion of sustainable development, social inclusion and equal opportunities.

The specific objective of the Programme is to provide young people, including young people with fewer opportunities, with easily accessible opportunities for engagement in solidarity activities that induce positive societal changes in the Union and beyond, while improving and properly validating their competences, as well as facilitating their continuous engagement as active citizens.

As one of the most visible manifestation of solidarity, volunteering provides young people with the opportunity to take part in activities that address identified needs within local communities and contribute to overcoming important societal challenges on the ground. Volunteering also enables young people to acquire useful experience, skills and competences for their personal, educational, social, cultural, civic and professional development, thereby improving their employability and active citizenship. Activities supported under volunteering constitute a rich experience in a non-formal and informal learning context, which enhances young people's competences.

In order to achieve its objectives, the European Solidarity Corps implements four Actions structured into two strands:

- Participation of young people in solidarity activities:

  • Volunteering Projects;
  • Volunteering Teams in High Priority Areas;
  • Solidarity Projects.


- Participation of young people in humanitarian aid related solidarity activities (“Volunteering under the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps”):

  • Humanitarian Aid Volunteering projects.


For further details, refer to the programme guide of the relevant year.