European Voluntary Service (EVS) is the European Commission's project that allows a young person (18–30 years) to become a volunteer in another country for a specified period of time, usually between 2–12 months.

Definition of volunteering: According to the European Youth Forum an activity can only be defined as volunteering if it is:

  • undertaken of a person’s own free will and involves the commitment of time and energy to actions that benefit others and society as a whole;
  •  unpaid (although it can involve reimbursement of expenses directly related to the activity) for a non-profit cause, primarily undertaken within a nongovernmental organisation, and thus clearly isn't motivated by material or financial gain; 
  • not used to substitute or replace paid employment.


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The EVS activities – the Service:

EVS is a “learning” service: throughout non-formal learning experiences young volunteers improve and/or acquire competences for his /her personal, educational and professional development as well as for the social integration. EVS is implemented through activities organised in partnership between the involved project-promotors who are legally established structures that fit the criteria set by the “Erasmus+” Programme Guide valid for the year in which the grant has been allocated.

An EVS activity includes the following phases:

- Preparation.

- Voluntary activities, called “the service”. Each volunteer will be involved for an estimated time of 25-30h per week in the service activities. 

- Follow-up activities.

The volunteer carries out the service in a country other than his/her country of residence.

The volunteer is entitled to received a proper language course of the hosting country, in order to be facilitated in the adaptation in the new context. 

The activities are unpaid, non-profit making, full-time and without interruption.

The duration is set beforehand upon common agreement between the signing partners to a limited period (max. 12 months).

The activities serve the benefit of the local community.

The partners make sure that job-substitution is avoided.