The reason of EVS
EVS Project
Partner's obligations
Special participants
Training sessions
Support Activities
Funding Priorities
Project Financing
Initiate & Apply
Europe-wide Projects

Partner's obligations


The EVS Action is open to all young people who are legally resident in a Program country or in an eligible third country (see sections B.2 and B.3) and are, in principle, aged between 18 and 25. Certain exceptions regarding the upper age-limit are allowed for young people with less opportunities, if justified, and are judged on a case-by-case basis.

Participation fees are not allowed. Volunteers' travel costs, insurance, food, accommodation and a small allowance are covered by the grant from the YOUTH program.

Volunteers give their time and efforts for a project benefiting the local community in exchange for an opportunity to practice their skills, acquire cultural and social skills, and build for their future. During their voluntary service, volunteers are responsible for the practical tasks assigned to them and have a general obligation to contribute to the host organization and community.

All volunteers who have completed their EVS project are entitled to an EVS certificate signed by the Member of the European Commission responsible for the YOUTH program. These certificates are distributed by the National Agencies or, in some cases, by the European Commission.

Sending organization

European Voluntary Service involves a sending partner known as the "sending organization". Any type of non-governmental organization, an association, a local authority or any other non-profit-making local initiative can be a sending organization. For a sending organization, EVS offers an opportunity to establish a cooperation and to exchange experience with a partner in a Program country.

The sending organization is responsible for arranging the following:

  •  Preparation
    The preparation required includes helping the volunteer to find and contact a host organization. In addition, volunteers need to be prepared for their stay abroad according to their individual needs (including possible visa requirements etc.). The sending organization is obliged to make sure that the volunteer attends a pre-departure training session.
  •  Contact during voluntary service
    The sending organization should keep in contact with the volunteer and with the host organization during the project in order to avoid crises. It will also help organize follow-up after the volunteer's return.


  •  Evaluation and follow-up
    The sending organization should ensure proper evaluation of the EVS project together with the volunteer.

Volunteers should receive help with reintegrating into their home community. The sending organization should give volunteers an opportunity to exchange and share their experiences and must also support them, e.g. by providing information about other possibilities within the YOUTH program (especially Action 3 - Future Capital, see section E.4) and by helping them into further education, training or employment.

  •  Visa and insurance
    The sending organization has a shared responsibility with the host organization to arrange a visa for the volunteer. The National Agency/National Coordinator and the European Commission can issue visa support letters if required. It is also the responsibility of the sending organization to make sure that the volunteer's contact details are sent to the insurance company contracted by the European Commission.

Host organization

The basis for European Voluntary Service is the existence of a number of places where volunteers can do their voluntary service. These are called "host organizations". European Voluntary Service brings together a large number of different organizations, projects, local authorities and other initiatives. Their contribution to European Voluntary Service is essential. By welcoming a volunteer, a host organization will bring new ideas and intercultural elements into its regular activities. It could also have an interesting exchange of experience with the sending organization through the volunteer.

Any type of non-governmental organization, an association, a local authority or any other non-profit-making local initiative can be a host organization.

If you would like to participate in EVS as a host organization, please note the following criteria:

  •  Learning opportunities
    Clear learning opportunities for the volunteer have to be identified.
  •  Job substitution
    The use of volunteers to replace paid employees is not allowed.
  •  Access to the host organization
    Host organizations cannot specify that volunteers should be of a specific ethnic group, religion, sexual orientation or political opinion. They must be open to all young people and cannot impose any specific selection criteria such as previous qualifications, experience and more than basic language knowledge.
  •  Tasks

EVS volunteers must have the opportunity to carry out a well-defined set of tasks. Enough leeway should be left for integrating the volunteer’s ideas, creativity and experiences into the project. The voluntary activity (training included) should take up between 30 and 35 hours per week.

A detailed task description providing examples and percentages of the tasks as well as an indicative daily or weekly timetable are required.
In order to avoid double funding and to ensure that the philosophy of EVS is respected, an EVS volunteer may not carry out tasks which serve to support another EVS-funded project (i.e. may not be responsible for project management or for the recruitment or training of other EVS volunteers).

Concerning routine tasks, please pay particular attention to the fact that the volunteer must not carry out routine tasks or tasks of professional staff, in order to avoid job substitution and/or excessive responsibility for the volunteer. The volunteer must be supervised and guided by experienced staff.

These general rules are applicable to all project types, and of special importance in the following project settings:

- Social care projects, where volunteers have to deal with vulnerable clients or patients (babies, children, the ill, elderly, disabled, etc.); a volunteer cannot be solely responsible for the day-to-day care of individuals.
- Teaching projects: as EVS is about non-formal education, teaching assistance in the formal education system is ineligible. Projects taking place at institutions within the formal education system must focus on extra-curricular tasks.
- In office-based projects (e.g. at ENGYOs), the volunteer should have a specific set of tasks, preferably project-based, to carry out.

The host organization is responsible for arranging the following: 

  •  Task-related support
    Volunteers' tasks should reflect their individual abilities and desires. Persons who are familiar with those tasks should guide them. The host organization is also responsible for sending the volunteer to the mid-term meeting.
  •  Personal support
    To avoid and overcome any difficulties, either in volunteers' personal lives or in their activities in the host organization, sufficient personal support should be provided for volunteers. They should be given opportunities to integrate into the local community, to meet other young people, to socialize, to participate in leisure activities, etc. Contacts with other E. V. S volunteers should be encouraged whenever possible.
  •  Mentor
    Each host organization must identify a mentor who is directly responsible for training, personal support and language training for the volunteer and to whom the volunteer can turn in case of problems. The mentor should not be the volunteer's supervisor or another person involved in the volunteer's project.
  •  Language training
    Language skills have long-term benefits in addition to helping the volunteer to integrate into the host culture. The host organization is responsible for arranging language learning opportunities. The format, duration and frequency of this training can vary depending on volunteers’ needs and abilities, their tasks in the host project, and the possibilities of the host organisation. Language training must be free of charge for the volunteer and included in regular working time.
  •  Accommodation
    The host organization has to provide suitable accommodation for the volunteer.
  •  Food
    The host organization is responsible for providing meals, or a food allowance, for the volunteer.
  •  Local transport
    The host organization must provide means of local transport for the volunteer.
  •  Allowance
    The host organization must pay an allowance to the volunteer on a weekly or monthly basis (the amount is included in the grant from the YOUTH program).
  •  Visa
    The host organization has a shared responsibility with the sending organization to arrange a visa for the volunteer. The National Agency/National Coordinator and the European Commission can issue visa support letters if required.

Coordinating organization

An umbrella organization which coordinates the work of a number of sending or host organizations in a country within a network is known as a national or regional "coordinating organization". A coordinating organization may have a considerable amount of voluntary work experience and belong to an efficient network, either at national, European or international level.

Its responsibilities may vary depending on the agreements it has concluded with the sending or host organizations. Its primary role is to form relationships with host organizations, and to coordinate, prepare and offer support to the volunteers it places in these organizations.

It undertakes to carry out all or some of the host or sending organizations' administrative tasks. The budget item Contribution to the host activities or Contribution to the sending activities is then shared between the host, sending and coordinating organizations (see section D.8), according to the division of tasks and in agreement between the partners.

The coordinating organization is principally responsible for ensuring that EVS philosophy and rules are complied with. It also has to provide training for volunteers or ensure they attend the training sessions organized by the National Agencies.

Foreword Glossary Introduction "YOUTH" Participation Action 1: Youth for Europe Action 2 : EVS Action 3 : Youth Initiatives Action 4: Joint Action Action 5 : Support Measures Third Countries List of contact details 

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 Action 5.1 activity 9 “Support for quality and innovation of the Program Youth.”
Project no: 5.1/R1/2003/06 Made by Hienet working Teams in cooperation with T.E.S.