The initiative

EU Aid Volunteers is an international volunteering opportunity in the humanitarian aid sector. The initiative involves European citizens and long-term residents while also strengthening the competences of local communities and organisations

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What it is

EU Aid Volunteers is a programme comprising three types of project: Technical Assistance (training European organisations regarding the programme and humanitarian aid sector), Capacity Building (strengthening the humanitarian aid response and volunteer management in non-European countries) and Deployment (the sending of EU volunteers).

Discover the portal dedicated to EU Aid Volunteers created by GVC

Capacity Building (CB)

The Capacity Building project goal is to improve non-European hosting organisations’ competences in preventing and managing humanitarian crises through support from EU Aid Volunteers. The organisations are also trained to host and manage these volunteers.

Deployment (D)

Through the Deployment projects, volunteers are selected, trained and sent to third (non-EU) countries, to provide support to the international and local communities carrying out humanitarian activities there. These volunteers are EU citizens or long-term residents aged 18 or over whose profiles are singled out based on the local organisations’ needs, which are set out on the Vacancies page of the dedicated website.

Technical Assistance (TA)

Technical Assistance projects aim to reinforce European organisations’ capacities in humanitarian aid and to improve competences (standards) in volunteer management, in order to achieve the EU Aid Volunteers certification and become a sending organisation in Deployment projects.


Birth and evolution of the EU Aid Volunteers initiative


the Lisbon Treaty

The Lisbon Treaty sets up a humanitarian aid corps of volunteers from the European Union

Pilot projects

The first 12 pilot projects deploying European Union volunteers in non-EU countries begin

Official European voluntary humanitarian aid corps is set up

An official European voluntary humanitarian aid corps is set up, which results in the EU Aid Volunteers initiative

First EUAV project

Funds are allocated to starting EU Aid Volunteers projects involving about 4,000 European citizens, to be trained and sent to non-EU countries for humanitarian aid activities

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The regulations

The EU Aid Volunteers programme is based on three European regulations which stand as its legal foundations, define its structure and set its standards.

Regulation No.

Implementing Regulation No.

Delegated Regulation No.

Regulation No.

n° 375
Year 2014

Established the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps

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Implementing Regulation No.

n° 1244
Year 2014

Defines procedures regarding volunteer management, training programmes and certification mechanisms

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Delegated Regulation No.

n° 1398
Year 2014

Sets standards regarding recognition, equal opportunities, partnering and competence frameworks

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