Questions & answers

What's the difference between the European Civic Service and the European Solidarity Corps?

In a classic European Solidarity Corps, it's up to the volunteer wishing to carry out civic service in another European Union Member State to apply, sometimes in a foreign language, and find a sending and host organization. This requires a great deal of canvassing and research into mission opportunities and destinations for the volunteer, in order to find those best suited to his or her needs.

Our approach, to make it easier for everyone to leave, is to require only that you volunteer, and then, once you've joined the program, you can choose your 6-month mobility in another country from among the destinations and missions proposed by our network of partners. What's more, starting out with 6 months of civic service in your own country means that you can prepare yourself gradually, taking language courses throughout, while already carrying out assignments alongside young people from all over Europe, who are themselves engaged in their mobility phase.

How does European Civic Service work?
European Civic Service is simply 6 months of national civic service in your country, to prepare you, followed by 6 months of civic service, thanks to the European Solidarity Corps, in another Member State, all for missions of your choice. The first period prepares you to leave, as you work alongside young people from all over Europe who are involved in this second phase of mobility. This takes place in the homes of the partners we've brought together for this project, who will welcome and supervise you on a daily basis. As in a classic civic service, you receive an allowance of €580 per month for the first 6 months at home, and once you've left for another country, as in any European Solidarity Corps, you're provided with accommodation, food and access to transport, as well as an allowance of less than €200 for your "pocket money". And all along the way, you'll have access to language courses. Discovering yourself, discovering other places and discovering other people, while being fully supported, to enable you to get involved in missions of general interest that you feel are important - that's what European civic service is all about.
What's the difference between European civic service and national civic service?
European Civic Service (SCE) takes the best of national civic service and makes it an all-round European experience. During the first 6 months of your civic service in France, unlike any other civic service, you are never alone, but constantly on assignment with other volunteers from all over Europe, monitored by a supervisor who will act as a reference for you and all your fellow volunteers. You'll also be fully prepared for your 6-month mobility abroad, with educational support and, above all, language courses to help you make the most of your experience in another country.
Who manages the European Civic Service?
European Civic Service is the brainchild of a group of committed young volunteers grouped together in an association - the Collectif pour un Service Civique Européen - which coordinates and develops the project throughout Europe. On the ground, other associations with proven experience in civic service and the supervision of young volunteers run the project, managing your missions, providing day-to-day support and meeting all your needs. Leading the way is Unis-Cité, a major civic service association in France (10,000 young people a year), which initiated the country's national civic service scheme, and alongside us launched the first experiment in European Civic Service.
Who funds European civic service and how?
Your national civic service phase, which you carry out at home, is financed by your home country, like all civic service, and your European Solidarity Corps, which enables you to go to another country, by the European Union. The Collectif pour un Service Civique Européen, along with all the partners who will welcome you in the field and enable you to live out your experience, are then in charge of finding other funds, from public and private partners, to finance your entire experience.
Who can take part in European Civic Service?
There are two distinct access routes, with no prerequisites in terms of academic background, skills or language proficiency - quite the contrary! The first is an innovative scheme for 17-25 year-olds, who will complete the entire SCE program, with 6 months of civic service in their own country followed by 6 months in another Member State with the European Solidarity Corps. The second concerns young people aged between 18 and 30 who have already, or are in the process of, carrying out a civic service in their own country, and who can then directly carry out a 6-month European Solidarity Corps with one of our partners in another country of their choice, after preparation.
How do I apply?
There are two stages to the application process: -A registration stage: you register within our "Do you SCE" form to take advantage of the scheme. No prerequisites are required. - A visio recruitment stage: you talk to the partner organization that will be supervising you during your assignment. This is an opportunity to explain your motivation and show that you'll go all the way with your project. But hurry, as our project is still in its infancy and has a limited number of places: first come, first served.
What are the criteria for selection?
There are no selection criteria, and the whole idea of the program is to be as open as possible to give everyone access to mobility. That's why the interviews we carry out are primarily aimed at determining volunteers' desires in terms of missions and destinations, and then measuring their motivation.
What am I committing to if I join the European Civic Service?
To experience a unique human adventure for 6 months, by carrying out community service projects of your choice, helping to welcome your fellow students from all over Europe, and working with you, before benefiting from this welcome yourself for your 6-month assignment in another country.
Who are the associated partners?
For the time being, the program is being rolled out entirely in France, Germany and Italy, but gradually the whole of the European Union will be covered, and it is already possible to carry out mobility in all member countries, even if the only guaranteed places and assignments are in the above-mentioned countries.
What types of missions are available?
All major mission themes (environment, support for the elderly, social, educational, cultural development, etc.) are accessible in each operational partner promotion. The precise missions will be determined with the volunteers once they have joined the scheme. Each partner who can support you during your experience details the missions they offer.
Can I work alongside SCE?
Your SCE is the equivalent of a full-time job in the country where you are, in terms of working hours, but if you wish and think you can combine it with another job outside daytime hours, this is possible and facilities will be put in place. However, this is not recommended.
What types of organization can manage European Civic Service projects?
Any association or public organization with experience of working with young people is actively sought to join our scheme. We aim to provide the best possible experience for our volunteers, so it's very important that they are well supervised in their day-to-day work and in their assignments. It is possible, however, simply to be an organization able to welcome this type of volunteer to help with your missions of general interest. The fact that you are already listed, and that you regularly welcome volunteers as part of your national civic service and/or the European Solidarity Corps, is of course a plus, but we can also guide you towards these schemes.
I'm a ESC organization, how can I join the project?
Simply contact and we'll arrange a meeting with our management team as soon as possible, to explain the scheme to you and, if necessary, to start the formalities for you to be awarded the "civic service" and "European Solidarity Corps" labels, so that you can receive funding to host volunteers.
How can you help finance your project?
Simply contact for full details of the project, and we'll explain what type of activities (general funding, funding language courses for volunteers, hosting volunteers in your organization and company, funding public events and conference activities, etc.) you can fund within the project, to highlight your commitment to us.