The European Commission has launched a brand new initiative allowing cities and municipalities to involve young European citizens to build a more inclusive and sustainable society. Cities can present project proposals on a wide range of policy areas and receive funding for their implementation.
European solidarity corps give municipalities the unique opportunity to obtain substantial funding resources to support city projects related to integration of migrants, environmental challenges, prevention of natural disasters, education and youth activities or any other kind of activities devoted to respond to societal challenges or crisis.
The Commission can finance the work of volunteers, trainees and young workers, bringing additional human resources and capacities to support the implementation of on-going or new projects aimed at enhancing solidarity and social cohesion in the urban environment.
Cities and local authorities must go through two different application processes.
It certifies that an organisation participating in the European Solidarity Corps is able to ensure the necessary framework conditions for young people to take part in solidarity activities in compliance with the principles and objectives of the European Solidarity Corps.
Please note that if a municipality has already obtained in the past a European Voluntary Service (EVS) or Erasmus+ accreditations, those are considered equal to the ESC quality label.
Applications for ESC quality label are open on a continuous basis, i.e. cities can apply at any time. Moreoverthe quality labelis valid for the whole duration of the European solidarity corps programme, so until 2020.
- Volunteering projects are the most common type of project, which allow cities to receive the grant to implement the activities.
- Volunteering Teams in high priority areas is a distinct project format that supports activities specifically focused on thematic priorities defined each year at the EU level.
In a nutshell, grants are essentially based on the number of participants involved in project. They cover travel expenses, project management and activities´costs, inclusion support, pocket money, linguistic support and possible exceptional costs. Moreover, the amount of the grant differs depending on the country where the receiving institution is based.
- Jobs and traineeships with a concrete solidarity scope.
Traineeships can last from 2 to 6 months, and in exceptional circumstances they can be renewable for 6 extra months.
Jobs contracts must have a minimum duration of three months, with no maximum duration. Although, financial provision from European solidarity corps can last up to 12 months. It covers travel expenses, project management and activities’costs, inclusion support, pocket money, linguistic support and possible exceptional costs.
- Local authorities involved in the application must register in the Participant Portal and receive a Participant Identification Code (PIC). Those that already obtained a PIC through their participation in other EU programmes do not need to register again. The PIC obtained from this previous registration is valid also for applying under the European Solidarity Corps;
- check the compliance with the criteria for the relevant Action;
- check the financial conditions (only applicable to requests for funding, not relevant for Quality Label);
- fill in and submit the application form.
The only exception concerns volunteering team projects in high priority areas, whose deadline is on 18 February 2018.
To reach all these goals, WE NEED CITIES!