What are European solidarity projects?
About Lesson

The third action of interest to us is the Solidarity Projects (ESC 31). This type of action focuses on positive change at local, regional or inter-regional level, implemented by a group of young people (at least 5 people aged 18-30). These initiatives can take place over a period of 2 or 12 months, during which the informal group can be facilitated and guided either by a coach or by an organisation. Their role is described later. The basic feature, however, is that the designated group leader will be the one to distribute the tasks, ensure effective coordination and communication between members and represent the case to stakeholders.

From the planning stage, you and your group should identify a challenge in your local community and region that is relevant to the ESC’s themes and priorities and target specific groups, with a particular focus on rural, marginalised and isolated communities. But beware, the project must have not only a local but also a European impact.

How can a local action have European added value? Here are some strategies to think about:

Some ESC projects may address common problems in border regions, which gives a transnational character to the Te So if you live along one of the borders of your country, this is definitely worth considering!

Look at other programmes and policies at local, regional, national, EU and international level and see if your projects complement If you are adding value, you are on the right track!

If your project has a European dimension in terms of the themes, objectives, learning outcomes or approaches discussed, this speaks for

Strengthening the diversity of the people involved in the project will also strengthen your

The use of the tools recommended by the European Union for recognition, transparency and dissemination is also expected practice for all successful projects. Examples of such tools are the Erasmus+ Results Platform, SALTO YOUTH Platform.

Once you have the project idea, you can now brainstorm concrete daily activities. The activities should be non-formal learning experiences that promote young people’s personal, educational, social and civic development. As the problem is local, the activities must take place in the country of residence of the applicant.

If you are planning to contact a public or private organisation for help, you are welcome to do so. You can ask experienced people for advice and they can apply on your behalf, but their role is mainly administrative, financial or documentation related. You and your team should still do 100% of the implementation.

Coaches can be hired to accompany the team throughout the project cycle and support you with their expertise and knowledge on project implementation. They can give you feedback, support inclusiveness and accessibility of activities, increase active participation and build beneficial relationships with stakeholders. This function is funded on a daily basis by the programme (current cost in Hungary, Romania and Poland is €74/day).

On the financial side, the project management will receive a grant of €500/month and may request exceptional costs to better accommodate participants with fewer opportunities, up to a total of €7000.

The expected results of the project can be divided into three categories based on the beneficiaries:

1. Participants:
➔ developing the skills and competences necessary for personal, educational, social, civic, cultural and professional development.

➔ conscious and proactive participation in democratic life and society in general
➔ better employability and transition to the labour market
➔ increased initiative and entrepreneurship
➔ increased independence and self-esteem
➔ improved foreign language competences
➔ increased intercultural awareness
➔ better understanding of the European project and the values shared by the EU
➔ increased motivation to continue participating in solidarity activities

2. Group of young people from participating organisations/organisers:
➔ increasing capacity to operate at EU/international level
➔ innovative and improved ways of working with target groups
➔ better understanding of and responding to diversity (social, linguistic, cultural, gender, ethnic, ability, etc.).
➔ a more modern, dynamic, engaged and professional environment within organisations
3. Local communities:
➔ increased ability to deal with societal challenges
➔ better understanding and responding to diversity (social, linguistic, cultural, gender, ethnic, ability, etc.).

Idea: What to write on the application form? You’ll find a template with the questions on the application form and some advice on how to answer them.

ESC solidarity projects template