Navigation path

20 years of the European Voluntary Service



European Voluntary Service celebrates 20 years in 2016

Join in the celebration next year and spread the message.


Over the last 20 years, close to 100,000 young people have taken part in international volunteering through the European Voluntary Service (EVS).

Have a look at the 20 years of EVS website.

On the occasion of the International Volunteer Day, let's pay tribute to all the EVS organisations and young people that have given their time and commitment to volunteer – as well as the many future young EVS volunteers to come.

EVS started in 1996 as a pilot action but given its successful start, the Commission launched the European Voluntary Service Community Action Programme that operated during 1998-1999.

EVS then became part of the YOUTH programme( 2000-2006), and continued to be a flagship activity under the Youth in Action programme (2007-2013) and within the current Erasmus+ programme (2014-2020).

Through EVS young people get the opportunity to volunteer abroad, contributing with their efforts to a cause they believe in – be it solidarity with refugees and migrants, work on environmental issues, activities for children or the elderly, support for non-governmental organisations, work for cultural events or a number of other topics.

Anyone between 17 and 30 years old can join and, to make this experience possible for everyone, every volunteer receives support to cover travel and living costs, as well as pocket money and insurance.

Close to 10,000 young people volunteered in 2014, through EVS under the Erasmus+ programme. With the budget available during the Erasmus+ programme, we expect to be able to support up to 100,000 EVS volunteers between 2014 and 2020.

In 2015, right before the 20th anniversary, the 100,000th EVS volunteer will get the opportunity to go abroad, counting from the beginning of the scheme in 1996.



How can we help?