Programme Guide Online

Table of contents

Mobility projects for young people: Volunteering projects

Volunteering activities allow young people aged 17-30 to express their personal commitment through unpaid and full-time voluntary service in another country within or outside the European Union. Young volunteers are given the opportunity to contribute to the daily work of organisations dealing with youth information and policies, young people's personal and socio-educational development, civic engagement, social care, inclusion of disadvantaged, environment, non-Participants resident in a Programme Country and volunteering in another Programme Country must be registered in the European Solidarity Corps Portalormal educa-tion programmes, ICTs and media literacy, culture and creativity, development cooperation, etc. Volunteers can do their voluntary service either individually or in group.

The participation in a volunteering activity must be free of charge for volunteers, with the exception of a possible contribution for travel costs (if the Erasmus+ grant does not fully cover these costs) and additional expenses not linked to the implementation of the activity. The essential costs for volunteers' participation in the activity are covered by the Erasmus+ grant or through other means afforded by the participating organisations. Young people with fewer opportunities can receive additional support to enable their participation.

The following activities are not considered as volunteering activities within the framework of Erasmus+: occasional, unstructured, part-time volunteering; a work placement in an enterprise; a paid job; a recreation or tourist activity; a language course; exploitation of a cheap workforce; a period of study or vocational training abroad.

ERASMUS+ CONTRIBUTION TO THE EUROPEAN SOLIDARITY CORPS INITIATIVE

In order to strengthen the cohesion and foster the solidarity in European society, a European Solidarity Corps has been set up by the European Commission1 to create a community of young people willing to engage in a wide range of solidarity activities, either by volunteering or gaining occupational experience in helping to resolve challenging situations across the European Union and beyond.

In its initial phase, the European Solidarity Corps builds on the currently existing EU Programmes. One of the principal funding schemes contributing to the European Solidarity Corps is the Erasmus+ Programme through its volunteering activities between Programme Countries. The European Solidarity Corps will thus give impetus and greater visibility to Erasmus+, while putting volunteering at European level within a larger framework and adding further volunteering opportunities.

A volunteering project can combine one or more of the below activities:

Individual Volunteering activities:

Individual volunteering activities are carried out for a period of 2 months to up to 12 months. Young people with fewer opportunities can volunteer abroad for a shorter duration starting from 2 weeks.

Besides the support provided to the volunteers by the participating organisations, the National Agencies or regional SALTOs organise a Training and Evaluation Cycle2 to be attended by each volunteer and consisting of: a) an on-arrival training for services lasting 2 months and longer; b) a mid-term evaluation, for voluntary services lasting 6 months and longer. On-arrival trainings for activities lasting less than 2 months and including young people with fewer opportunities could be organised by organisations.

Group Volunteering activities

Group volunteering activities are carried out by groups of at least 10 young people and a maximum of 40, for a period between 2 weeks and 2 months. For a given group, the volunteers carry out their activity jointly in the same time frame and place and the tasks are linked to a common thematic.

Complementary activities aiming at strengthening the impact of the project

Additionally, the project may include the organisation of relevant side activities to reach its objectives as well as to strengthen its systemic impact on the local, regional, and/or European level. These complementary activities could also aim at raising awareness of the value of volunteering for young people and for communities as well as strengthening the recognition of the skills and competences gained by the volunteers. Those activities could be job shadowing, meetings, workshops, conferences, seminars, training courses, coaching, etc.

 

What is the role of organisations participating in this project?

Participating organisations involved in the mobility project assume the following roles and tasks:

  • Coordinator of a project: applying for the whole project on behalf of all the partner organisations and responsible for the overall management of the project.
  • Sending organisation: in charge of sending volunteer(s) abroad (this includes: organising practical arrangements; preparing participants before departure; providing support to participants during all the phases of the project).
  • Receiving organisation: in charge of hosting the volunteer(s), developing a programme of activities, providing support to participants during all the phases of the project.

Associated partners: In addition to the organisations formally participating in the volunteering activities, a project may also involve associated partners from the public or private sector who contribute to the implementation of specific project tasks/activities or support the dissemination and sustainability of the project. For contractual management issues, associated partners are not considered as part of the project partners, and they do not receive funding. However, their involvement and role in the project and different activities have to be clearly described, as well as how they can bring added value to the planned activities by investing resources and know-how.

 

What are the criteria used to assess this project?

Here below are listed the formal criteria that the project must respect in order to be eligible for an Erasmus+ grant:

 

General eligiblity criteria

Eligible participating organisations

A participating organisation can be:

  • a non-profit organisation, association, NGO;
  • a European Youth NGO;
  • a social enterprise;
  • a public body at local level.

as well as:

  • a public body at regional or national level3;
  • an association of regions ;
  • a European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation;
  • a profit-making body active in Corporate Social Responsibility.

established in a Programme Country or in a Partner Country neighbouring the EU (regions 1 to 4; see section "Eligible Countries" in Part A of this Guide).

Who can apply?

Any participating organisation established in a Programme Country and holding a valid Coordinating Organisation accreditation or a relevant European Solidarity Corps Quality Label at the application deadline.

Number of participating organisations

A mobility activity is transnational and involves at least two participating organisations (sending and receiving organisation) from different countries, of which at least one needs to be a non-EU Programme Country or a Partner Country neighbouring the EU.

Accreditation

The participating organisations, with the exception of the applicant, must hold a valid accreditation or Quality Label at the first day of the volunteering activity in which the relevant organisation is involved.

Duration of project

From 3 to 24 months.

In all cases, projects must end not later than 31 August 2021.

Duration of the service

Individual volunteering activities: From 24 to 12 months, excluding travel time.
In the case of young people with fewer opportunities, the Service can start as from 2 weeks.

Group volunteering activities: From 2 weeks to 2 months5, excluding travel time.

Venue(s) of the service 6

The activity must take place in the country of one of the organisations participating in the activity.

A volunteer from a Programme Country must carry out her/his service in another Programme Country or in a Partner Country neighbouring the EU.

A volunteer from a Partner Country neighbouring the EU must carry out her/his service in a Programme Country.

Eligible participants

Young people aged between 17 and 307 , resident resident in the country of their sending organisation.

Participants resident in a Programme Country and volunteering in another Programme Country must be registered in the European Solidarity Corps Portal8.

Volunteers having already taken part in an Erasmus+ volunteering activity or a European Voluntary Service are not eligible.

Exception: volunteers who carried out a volunteering activity or an EVS lasting maximum 2 months can take part in an additional volunteering activity.

Number of participants Group volunteering activities: Minimum 10 and a maximum of 40 volunteers per activity.

Where to apply?

To the National Agency of the country in which the applicant organisation is established.

When to apply?

Applicants have to submit their grant application by the following dates:

  • 15 February at 12:00 (midday Brussels time) for projects starting between 1 May and 30 September of the same year;
  • 26 April at 12:00 (midday Brussels time) for projects starting between 1 August and 31 December of the same year;
  • 4 October at 12:00 (midday Brussels time) for projects starting between 1 January and 31 May of the following year.

How to apply?

Please see Part C of this Guide for details on how to apply.

Other criteria

The application must be submitted to the National Agency of the country of the applicant.

In order to maintain a clear link to the country where the National Agency is based, either the sending or the receiving organisation must be from the country of the National Agency to which the application is submitted.

For activities within Programme Countries, organisations must select their volunteers from the European Solidarity Corps database9.

Advance Planning Visit (APV):

If the project foresees an APV, then the following eligibility criteria must be respected:

  • duration of the APV: maximum 2 days (travel days excluded);
  • number of participants: 1 participant per Sending Organisation. The number of participants can be raised provided that all additional participants are volunteers with fewer opportunities taking part in the activity.

A timetable for each of the activities planned in the project must be annexed to the application form.

A Declaration of Honour of the legal representative must be annexed to the application form.

 

Applicant organisations will be assessed against the relevant exclusion and selection criteria. For more information please consult Part C of this Guide.

 

Award criteria

Projects will be assessed against the following criteria:

Relevance of the project

(maximum 30 points)

 

The relevance of the proposal to:

  • the objectives of the Action (see section "What are the aims of a mobility project"):
  • the needs and objectives of the participating organisations and of the individual participants:
  • the demonstrated understanding of the Erasmus+ volunteering prin-ciples as laid out in the Erasmus+ volunteering Charter.

The extent to which the proposal is suitable of:

  • reaching out to young people with fewer opportunities including refugees, asylum seekers and migrants;
  • promoting diversity, intercultural and inter-religious dialogue, common values of freedom, tolerance and respect of human rights as well as on projects enhancing media literacy, critical thinking and sense of initiative of young people;

The extent to which the proposal is suitable of:

  • producing high-quality learning outcomes for participants;
  • reinforcing the capacities and international scope of the participating organisations.
  • In cases where associated partners involved: including the associated partners in relevant tasks.

The extent to which the proposal involves newcomers to the Action.

Quality of the project design and implementation

(maximum 30 points)

 

 

  • The appropriate experience of the organisation to reach the objectives of the project;
  • The consistency between the project objectives and activities proposed;
  • The clarity, completeness and quality of all the phases of the project proposal (preparation, implementation of mobility activities and follow-up);
  • The quality of the practical arrangements, management and support modalities;
  • The quality of the preparation provided to participants;
  • The quality of the non-formal learning participative methods proposed;
  • The extent to which the participants are actively involved  at all levels of the project;
  • The appropriateness of measures for selecting and/or involving participants in the mobility activities;
  • The quality of arrangements for the recognition and validation of participants' learning outcomes, as well as the consistent use of European transparency and recognition tools;
  • In case of activities involving Partner Countries neighbouring the EU, the balanced representation of volunteers from Programme and Partner Countries;
  • The quality of the selection, cooperation and communication with project partners.

Impact and dissemination

(maximum 35 points)

 

  • The quality of measures for evaluating the outcomes of the project.
  • The potential impact of the project:
  • on participants and participating organisations during and after the project lifetime;
  • outside the organisations and individuals directly participating in the project, at local, regional, national and/or European levels.
  • The appropriateness and quality of measures aimed at disseminating the outcomes of the project within and outside the participating organisations.

 

To be considered for funding, proposals must score at least 60 points. Furthermore, they must score at least half of the maximum points in each of the categories of award criteria mentioned above (i.e. minimum 17,5 points for the categories "relevance of the project" and "impact and dissemination"; 15 points for the category "quality of the project design and implementation").

 

What else should you know about this Action?

Online Linguistic Support

Young volunteers doing a volunteering activity lasting two months or longer are eligible to receive linguistic support. Online linguistic support is being gradually implemented in the course of the Programme. It is made available by the European Commission to eligible participants to assess their foreign language competences and to offer, where necessary, the most appropriate language learning before and/or during mobility (for more details, see Annex I of this Guide).

 

Participants in mobility activities

Applicants of mobility projects will be allowed to claim financial support for travel costs of participants under the budget heading "exceptional costs" (up to a maximum of 80% of total eligible costs: see "What are the funding rules?"). This would be allowed provided that applicants can justify that the standard funding rules (based on contribution to unit costs per travel distance band) do not cover at least 70% of the travel costs of participants.

 

Other information

More compulsory criteria and additional useful information relating to this Action can be found in Annex I of this Guide. Interested organisations are invited to read carefully the relevant sections of this Annex before applying for financial support.

 

What are the funding rules?

The budget of the mobility project must be drafted according to the following funding rules (in euro):

 

A) Volunteering Project

Eligible costs

Financing mechanism

Amount

Rule of allocation

Travel

Contribution to the travel costs of participants, including accompanying persons, from their place of origin to the venue of the activity and return

In addition, if applicable, travel costs for a possible Advance Planning Visit.

Contribution to unit costs

For travel distances between 10 and 99KM:

20 EUR per participant

Based on the travel distance per participant. Travel distances must be calculated using the distance calculator supported by the European Commission10. The applicant must indicate the distance of a one-way travel to calculate the amount of the EU grant that will support the round trip11.

 

For travel distances between 100 and 499 KM:

180 EUR per participant

For travel distances between 500 and 1999 KM:

275 EUR per participant

For travel distances between 2000 and 2999 KM:

360 EUR per participant

For travel distances between 3000 and 3999 KM:

530 EUR per participant

For travel distances between 4000 and 7999 KM:

820 EUR per participant

For travel distances of 8000 KM or more:

1500 EUR per participant

Organisational Support

Costs directly linked to the implementation of mobility activities

Contribution to unit costs

A5.3 per day of activity per volulnteer12.

Based on the duration of the stay per participant (if necessary, including also one travel day before the activity and one travel day following the activity).

Individual support "Pocket money" to the volunteer for additional personal expenses. Contribution to unit costs A5.4 per day per volunteer Based on the duration of the stay per participant (if necessary, including also one travel day before the activity and one travel day following the activity)
Linguistic support Costs linked to the support offered to participants - prior to departure or during the activity – in order to improve the knowledge of the language they will use to carry out their volunteering tasks. Contribution to unit costs Only for activities lasting between 2 and 12 months:
150 EUR per participant needing linguistic support
Conditional: applicants must request the support in the instruction language of the activity, on the basis of participants' needs for languages not offered by the Erasmus+ Online Linguistic Support.

Special needs support

Costs for subsistence of accompanying persons and costs related to travel if justified and as long as a grant for these participants is not requested through budget category "travel". Additional costs directly related to participants with disabilities (including costs related to travel and subsistence, if justified and as long a grant for these participants is not requested through budget categories "travel" and "organisational support").

Real costs

100% of eligible costs

Conditional: the request for financial support to cover special needs support and exceptional costs must be motivated in the application form

Exceptional costs

Visa and visa-related costs, residence permits, vaccinations, medical certifications.

Costs to support the participation of young people with fewer opportunities on equal terms as others, including for specific preparation and reinforced mentorship (excluding costs for travel and organisational support for participants and accompanying persons).

Costs connected to board and lodging of participants during an Advance Planning Visit. 
Costs for providing a financial guarantee, if the National Agency asks for it.

Expensive travel costs of participants (for details, see section "what else you should know about this action").

Real costs

Costs for financial guarantee: 75% of eligible costs

Expensive travel costs: maximum up to 80% of eligible costs

Other costs: 100% of eligible costs

 

Complementary activity costs

Costs directly linked to the implementation of the complementary activities of the project.

Indirect costs:
A flat-rate amount, not exceeding 7% of the eligible direct costs of the complementary activities, is eligible under indirect costs, representing the beneficiary's general administrative costs which can be regarded as chargeable to the complementary activities (e.g. electricity or internet bills, costs for premises, cost of permanent staff, etc.)

Real costs Maximum up to 80% of eligible costs Conditional: the request for financial support must be motivated in the application form and justified in relation to the planned activities.

 

B) Organisational support

The amounts depend on the country where the mobility activity takes place. For projects submitted by: a public body at regional or national level; an association of regions; a European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation; a profit-making body active in Corporate Social Responsibility, the below amounts are reduced by 50%.

 

 

Volunteering activities

(euro per day)

 

 

 

A5.3

Belgium

26

Bulgaria

17

Czech Republic

17

Denmark

26

Germany

23

Estonia

18

Ireland

26

Greece

21

Spain

18

France

20

Croatia

19

Italy

21

Cyprus

21

Latvia

19

Lithuania

18

Luxembourg

26

Hungary

17

Malta

22

Netherlands

26

Austria

23

Poland

18

Portugal

20

Romania

17

Slovenia

20

Slovakia

19

Finland

26

Sweden

26

United Kingdom

26

former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

15

Iceland

21

Liechtenstein

24

Norway

26

Turkey

17

Partner Country

15

 

C) Individual support

The amounts depend on the country where the mobility activity takes place.

 

 

Volunteering activities

(euro per day)

 

 

A5.4

Belgium

4

Bulgaria

4

Czech Republic

5

Denmark

6

Germany

5

Estonia

4

Ireland

6

Greece

5

Spain

5

France

6

Croatia

5

Italy

5

Cyprus

5

Latvia

4

Lithuania

4

Luxembourg

5

Hungary

5

Malta

5

Netherlands

5

Austria

5

Poland

4

Portugal

5

Romania

3

Slovenia

4

Slovakia

5

Finland

5

Sweden

5

United Kingdom

6

former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

3

Iceland

6

Liechtenstein

6

Norway

6

Turkey

4

Partner Country

3

  • 1.  http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=COM:2016:942:FIN
  • 2. Detailed information can be found in the document " Training and Evaluation Cycle Guidelines and minimum quality standards for Erasmus+ volunteering activities": http://ec.europa.eu/programmes/erasmus-plus/sites/erasmusplus/files/library//evs-training-evaluation-guidelines_en.pdf
  • 3. In this context a public body at national or regional level is considered a public body that 1) provides services or has an administrative area of competence that covers the whole national or regional territory and b) has a monopoly, in the sense that there are no other bodies that carry out the same functions in the country or region (typical examples: Ministries, State Agencies, Regional public authorities, etc.). In this sense, schools, universities or other bodies, even if they are established by national law, are excluded from this category and qualify as public bodies at local level.
  • 4. As from 60 days, excluding travel days
  • 5. Up to 59 days, excluding travel days.
  • 6. Volunteering activities from EU Member States to EU Member States are financed through the European Solidarity Corps Programme.
  • 7. Please consider the following:
     lower age limits - participants must have reached the minimum age at the start of the activity.
     Upper age limits – participants must not be older than the indicated maximum age at application deadline.
  • 8. https://europa.eu/youth/solidarity_en
  • 9. More information about the European Solidarity Corps online database is available in Annex I , Mobility projects for young people and youth workers - Conditions of participation of volunteers - Selection
  • 10. https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/erasmus-plus/resources/distance-calculator_en
  • 11. For example, if a person from Madrid (Spain) is taking part in an activity taking place in Rome (Italy), the applicant will a) calculate the distance from Madrid to Rome (1365,28 KM); b) select the applicable travel distance band ( i.e. between 500 and 1999 KM) and c) calculate the EU grant that will provide a contribution to the costs of travel of the participant from Madrid to Rome and return (275 EUR).
  • 12. Including accompanying persons for volunteers with fewer opportunities.