European Solidarity Corps (ETUC): former European Voluntary Service
Verified 13 June 2022 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)
You have under 30 and you want engage in solidarity actions (combating exclusion, helping people with disabilities...)?
The European Solidarity Corps (ESC) offers you assignments in the European Union countries or in partner countries.
We present you with the information you need to know.
The European Solidarity Corps (ESC) allows you to volunteer in France or in a foreigner country.
You can participate in solidarity actions concerning in particular the following areas:
- Combating exclusion
- Education and training
- Reception of refugees and migrants
- Protection of nature
- Assistance for persons with disabilities
- Health, culture, sport
- Digital technologies
The majority of volunteer missions take place in:
- Member countries of the European Union (EU)
- Non-EU participating countries (Iceland, North Macedonia, Turkey, Liechtenstein, Norway)
Some ESC projects take place in countries European Union's neighboring partners (Albania, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Egypt, Georgia, Israel, Jordan, Kosovo, Lebanon, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, Palestine, Russia, Serbia, Syria, Tunisia, Ukraine).
You receive training, language support and mentoring during your volunteering.
This volunteering allows you to acquire skills that may be useful for your professional integration.
Volunteer organizations are labeled by the European Commission.
These organizations may include:
- Non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
- Local and regional authorities
- Public non-profit institutions or bodies
To join the ESC, you must have at least 18 and under 30.
You must be a citizen of a member country of the European Union.
You must be legally resident in a Member State of the European Union or in a partner country.
There's no no diploma requirement and foreign language proficiency.
for some projects, restrictions are imposed (age, country of residence...).
To participate in the ESC, you must register on the European Youth Portal.
The portal publishes offers from recognized organizations to which you can apply.
These organizations can also contact you directly after consulting your profile.
a period of 6 months is to be expected between the start of the procedures and the actual departure.
Once your application is accepted, you sign a contract.
The Civic Service Agency will then send you, by post, your volunteer card.
This card allows you to justify your volunteer status.
You get the same benefits as a student (for example, discounted museum tickets).
In the event of a breakdown in your ESC, you will have to hand over the card to the organization in which you carry out your mission.
You benefit from a payment of your expenses following:
- Round trip
You also have insurance coverage in case of need, especially medical and civil liability.
You receive a so-called allowance pocket money varies by country (e.g €6 per day in Sweden, €3 per day in Romania).
Volunteering occupies a full-time (30 to 38 hours per week).
For a young person aged between 18 and 30, the mission lasts between 2 and 12 months. In this case, we are talking about long-term.
For a young person with less opportunity (Jamo), the mission lasts from 2 weeks to 2 months. In this case, we are talking about short-term.
it is possible to make a long term after a short term, but the opposite is not possible.
The mission lasts from 2 weeks to 2 months.
You are part of a group of volunteers that includes disadvantaged people.
Return to employment assistance (Are)
You can be a job seeker and volunteer ESC.
During your mission, you remain registered in Pôle emploi, but you change category in the classification of jobseekers.
You will be classified in category D. It refers to people who are unemployed but not immediately available.
Payment of your unemployment benefits is suspended for the duration of your mission and resumes after your mission.
Your assignment has no effect on the amount and duration of your unemployment benefits.
At the end of your mission, you must update your situation with Pôle emploi.
also think about updating your situation before the start of your mission. You will avoid having to pay back an overpayment to Pôle emploi.
Active Solidarity Income (RSA)
If you receive the RSA or activity bonus, its payment shall be suspended throughout your ETUC volunteering period. It resumes at the end of the mission.
Remember to report your change of situation to your Caf: titleContent or your MSA: titleContent.
If your parents receive the RSA or activity bonus, you remain counted in their household.
Your so-called allowance pocket money shall not be taken into account in the calculation of their entitlements.
Volunteering with ESC has no impact on the amount of compensation received by your parents.
Disabled adult allowance (AAH)
The allowance and the AAH are cumulative.
The so-called allowance pocket money shall not be taken into account in the calculation of the AAH.
Being an ESC volunteer has no impact on your right to a student grant or its amount.
The so-called allowance pocket money shall not be taken into account in the calculation of the grant.
Who can help me?
Find who can answer your questions in your region
- National Service Code: Article L120-1Provisions on civic service
- National Service Code: Articles R121-47 to R121-50Volunteer Card
- Decision No 1031/2000/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of the European Union of 13 April 2000 (PDF - 143.7 KB)Youth Community Action Program
- European Youth PortalEuropean Commission
- European Solidarity Corps (ESC)Erasmus+ Agency France Youth and Sport/Civic Service Agency
- Discover the world (youths.gouv.fr)Ministry responsible for youth
- European Solidarity Corps (ESC): What is it?European Commission
- Accredited host organizations European Solidarity Corps (ESC)European Commission