European Solidarity Corps and EVS: how do they compare?

Four volunteers sitting on the lawn

The European Commission has recently announced an extension to the validity of current Quality Label and Erasmus+ volunteering accreditations, so activities will be covered even if the project end date is after 2020.

If your organisation holds a valid European Voluntary Service (EVS) or Erasmus+ volunteering accreditation, you can apply for Volunteering Projects funding on the next deadline (1 October 2020, 11am, UK time) without getting a new certification.

Over the last one and a half years, we have seen a steady increase in funding for the Solidarity Corps, with organisations across the UK taking advantage of the flexibility of the initiative to address social challenges, and providing valuable opportunities for young people to make a difference. 

Not a European Solidarity Corps applicant yet? Find out how your organisation can benefit by getting involved with the programme too:


Comparing EVS and European Solidarity Corps

If your organisation was previously involved in EVS and you have yet to look into the Solidarity Corps, this new resource comparing both initiatives (184 KB) can give you a head start. It highlights the key similarities and changes, so you can see at a glance how the two compare:

Graphic on the differences and similarities between EVS and European Solidarity Corps volunteering strand

Volunteering Projects under the Solidarity Corps have a lot of similarities to EVS. They involve the same mobility activities, so volunteering can take place with individual participants or a group of them. Complementary activities, such as workshops and training courses, can also take place to add value and expand the results of the project, as well as strengthen its impact.

The Solidarity Corps aims to simplify the application process and make funding more flexible for organisations, as well as increase inclusion to widen participation of young people. 


It aims to simplify the application process and make funding more flexible for organisations, as well as increase inclusion. 

The key differences of the European Solidarity Corps are:

  • applicants can hold accreditation for any role – supporting and/or host role;
  • partners do not have to be identified at application stage;
  • no partner mandates required; and
  • open to young people aged 18-30, however young people can register to take part from 17 years old, as long as they are aged 18-30 years at the start of the activity.

The most notable changes to promote inclusion and widen participation are:

  • Group volunteering activities can take place with 10-40 participants (instead of up to 30 participants under EVS); and
  • In-country activities are permitted. Opportunities are not only available for young people to undertake full time, unpaid voluntary work in another country (called cross-border activities), but these activities can take place in the UK too, by UK residents!

These changes allow organisations more flexibility in recruiting volunteers and to involve participants with fewer opportunities. 


Accreditation for Volunteering Projects

Although current Erasmus+ volunteering or EVS accreditation and Quality Label certification are due to expire on 31 December 2020, the European Commission has announced that these will be automatically extended to 31 December 2021 and will therefore cover activities funded in the 1 October 2020 deadline. This means:

  • successful applicants can complete projects funded under the current programmes (2014-2020) with their existing accreditation or certification, even if the project end date is after 2021. 
  • partner organisations can use their current accreditation to take part in activities or mobilities funded under the current programme up to 31 December 2021. 

Organisations without any existing Erasmus+ volunteering or EVS accreditation must apply for a Quality Label first, in order to apply for European Solidarity Corps funding on 1 October. 

European Solidarity Corps in a nutshell: find out the funding available on the next deadline


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