European Solidarity Corps (ETUC): former European Voluntary Service

Verified 15 January 2024 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

You have under 30 and you want engage in solidarity actions (fight against exclusion, help for people with disabilities, etc.)? 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
  • Citizenship
  • 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)

Please note

Some ESC projects may also 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).

During your voluntary service, you benefit from the following aids:

  • Training (online and in-person)
  • Language support
  • Tutoring

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:

  • Associations
  • Non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
  • Local and regional authorities
  • Public non-profit institutions or bodies
  • Companies

To join the ESC, you must have at least 18 and under 30.

Please note

You can apply from the age of 17, provided you are 18 at the start of the project.

You must be a citizen of a member country of the European Union.

You must be a regular resident of a Member State of the European Union or a partner country.

There's no no diploma requirement or 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.

Please note

a period of 6 months is to be expected between the beginning of the steps 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 benefit from same benefits as a student (e.g. 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
  • Accommodation
  • Restore

You also have insurance coverage in case of need, especially medical and civil liability.

You receive a small allowance, so-called pocket money, which varies from €3 to €6 per day depending on the country.

Please note

If you have specific expenses, for example due to a disability, they can also be covered.

Volunteering occupies a full-time (30 to 38 hours per week).

Individual volunteering

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.

Team volunteering

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 at France Travail (formerly 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 France Travail.


also think about updating your situation before the start of your mission. You will avoid having to refund an overpayment to France Travail.

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.


To report your change of situation to your Caf: titleContent, you can use an online service.

Family Allowance Fund (Caf) online


To report your change of situation to your MSA: titleContent, you can use your personal space online.

MSA - Special spaces

If your parents perceive RSA or the activity bonus, you stay 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 cumulable.

The so-called allowance pocket money shall not be taken into account in the calculation of the AAH.

Student Grant

Being a volunteer ESC does not no impact on your scholarship entitlement student, not on her amount.

The so-called allowance pocket money shall not be taken into account in the calculation of the grant.

You receive a certificate of participation which attests that you have taken part in European Solidarity Corps activities.

Who can help me?

Find who can answer your questions in your region