European Solidarity Corps: what is in it for cities?


Is your city working on migrant integration, fighting poverty or other ambitious project with a strong solidarity component? Would you need extra helping hands to realise your project? Would you be willing to employ and train young people from a different European country to help you? Then, look no further and get involved in the European Solidarity Corps initiative!


The European Solidarity Corps is a recent EU 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. It was announced by the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, during his annual State of the European Union speech in September 2016, and officially launched in December 2016.

It aims to foster solidarity in the European society, engaging young people and organisations in accessible and high-quality solidarity activities such as integration of migrants, environmental challenges, prevention of natural disasters, education and youth activities or measures to prevent radicalisation. It offers young people opportunities to show solidarity, express their commitment to the benefit of communities and help resolve challenging situations across Europe. At the same time, these young people have the opportunity to develop their skills and get some invaluable human experience in the process.

With a budget of €375.6 million for 2018-2020, it offers opportunities to young people to carry out volunteering activities, traineeships and jobs and run their own solidarity projects.

The European Solidarity Corps builds on the achievements of more than 25 years of European programmes in the fields of volunteering and youth, especially on the experience of the European Voluntary Service. 

What's in it for cities?

Local authorities running solidarity projects - in sectors such as environment, social projects, integration of migrants and refugees or other areas - can benefit by receiving support (technical and financial) to hire young people into their projects. Young people should be aged 18-30 and be offered the possibility to volunteer or work on solidarity projects abroad (outside their country of origin) to benefit communities around Europe. 

The main objective is to offer 4,000 fixed-term work placements to young people across the EU in occupations with a solidarity dimension. The work placements can be in form of a job, a traineeship, or an apprenticeship for a period from 2 to 12 months.

The monetary compensation to the young person hired (salary or wage) should be covered by the organisation offering the work placement (city or employer). However, the organisation receives 2,000 EUR for the integration plan of each young person (language courses, housing support, mentoring etc.) 

Advantages for cities as employers:

  • easy way to post vacancies and find skills across Europe
  • administrative burden is much reduced since the pre-selection of suitable candidates is done by public employment services in the programme
  • financial assistance of 2,000 EUR for the integration plan of each young person
  • support by dedicated employment counsellors all along the process
  • young, talented and motivated people rapidly available for solidarity projects
  • broadening the multicultural dimension of the solidarity projects of the city

More information is available in the presentation below and in the recording of the webinar held by EUROCITIES together with Eurochambres and Pole Emploi on 30 April. 


   Webinar_European_Solidarity_Corps_30_April_2019download/preview this file

EUROCITIES staff contact

Anja Katalin De Cunto