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EU Aid Volunteers

This summary has been archived and will not be updated. See 'European Solidarity Corps programme 2021–2027' for an updated information about the subject.

EU Aid Volunteers

This European Union (EU) regulation sets up the EU Aid Volunteers initiative as a tangible expression of the EU’s humanitarian values, strengthening the EU’s capacity to provide needs-based humanitarian aid and support the resilience of vulnerable communities.


Regulation (EU) No 375/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 3 April 2014 establishing the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps (‘EU Aid Volunteers initiative’)


The EU Aid Volunteers initiative is designed to empower Europeans from different backgrounds to jointly demonstrate solidarity with the victims of disasters (natural disasters or provoked by human activity outside the EU). By means of disaster preparedness, reducing disaster risk and reinforcing the links between relief, rehabilitation and development, the initiative seeks to increase the EU’s capability worldwide to:

  • preserve lives;
  • alleviate suffering and maintain human dignity;
  • strengthen the capacity and resilience of vulnerable or disaster-affected communities;
  • support capacity building of humanitarian organisations contributing to effective humanitarian action.


EU citizens aged 18 or older are eligible to participate in the initiative. Citizens from a range of associated states, including candidate countries and partner countries of the EU Neighbourhood policy, may also participate. The participation is based on bilateral agreements between the EU and these non-EU countries, which also financially contribute to the initiative.

Training and deployment of volunteers

The initiative provides training and organises placements for volunteers with humanitarian organisations, based on the needs of beneficiary countries.

The training programmes prepare EU Aid Volunteers before their deployment and help them acquire specific skills and competences as laid down in the Competence Framework.

These competencies include for example:

  • Developing and maintaining collaborative relationships;
  • Developing a volunteering mind-set;
  • Working in a pressured environment;
  • Demonstrating leadership;
  • Achieving results.

It is planned that the deployment of EU Aid Volunteers will begin in early 2016. Volunteers will not be deployed to operations conducted in the context of armed conflicts.

Deployment contract

Before starting, volunteers must sign a deployment contract with the sending organisation. This contract includes standards such as the specification of the volunteers' role, performance management, working conditions, expected conduct, and learning capabilities.

Volunteer sending and hosting organisations

Sending and hosting organisations must demonstrate in a self-assessment that they have a policy or practice in place, to fulfil the necessary requirements regarding candidate volunteers and EU Aid Volunteers that cover all standards and procedures as laid down in the legislation. The self-assessment will be reviewed by the Commission as part of the certification mechanism. Only certified organisations can participate in the initiative.

A complement to national and international volunteering initiatives

The EU Aid Volunteers initiative seeks to avoid duplication and to complement other EU initiatives and actions, as well as national and international projects.

Online volunteering

As an alternative to volunteering abroad, volunteers may participate in the initiative by online volunteering from home.


The EU Aid Volunteers initiative has a budget of €147.9 million for the 2014-20 period. This funding is to be used for the selection, training and deployment of the volunteers, capacity building in host organisations in beneficiary countries and support measures.



Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EU) No 375/2014



OJ L 122, 24.4.2014, pp. 1-17

Successive amendments and changes to Regulation (EU) No 375/2014 have been incorporated in the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.


Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 1398/2014 of 24 October 2014 laying down standards regarding candidate volunteers and EU Aid Volunteers (OJ L 373, 31.12.2014, pp. 8-23)

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 1244/2014 of 20 November 2014 laying down rules for the implementation of Regulation (EU) No 375/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps (‘EU Aid Volunteers initiative’) (OJ L 334, 21.11.2014, pp. 52-83)

last update 17.09.2015