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EACEA National Policies Platform: Youthwiki


2. Voluntary Activities

2.5 Cross-border mobility programmes

On this page
  1. EU programmes
  2. Other Programmes
  3. Legal framework applying to foreign volunteers

EU programmes

European Voluntary Service - EVS and European Solidarity Corps projects are being implemented in Poland. The programmes are co-ordinated in Poland by the Foundation for the Development of the Education System (Fundacja Rozwoju Systemu Edukacji - FRSE), the National Agency for the Erasmus+ Programme. FRSE is also responsible for monitoring the course and outcomes of the programme and disseminating the results of research and analysis. Erasmus+: Youth is aimed at young people, people working with them, and organisations that work for the youth, as well as institutions that have an impact on the development of non-formal education. It consists of three key actions: Learning Mobility of Individuals, Co-operation for Innovation and Exchange of Good Practices, and Support for Policy Reform.

Those interested in participating in the European Solidarity Corps must find a sending organisation in Poland that will deal with the formalities related to their trip. Any person aged 17 to 30 legally residing in Poland. Any organisation wishing to participate in the European Solidarity Corpsand host or send volunteers must obtain Quality Label for this purpose.

Other Programmes


Information materials on international volunteering programmes do not provide data on the extent of the involvement of the Polish state in its funding. The Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs finances the “Polish Aid Volunteering” (Wolontariat polska pomoc) programme, which involves Polish organisations sending volunteers to work under projects and with partner organisations in the countries where those projects are being implemented. The programme has been implemented since 2008 and its aim is to support the direct involvement of Polish citizens in assisting the inhabitants of developing countries and dissemination of knowledge about the problems of those countries in the Polish society. Unfortunately, information on the funds spent for this purpose only includes aggregated data on bilateral and multilateral Official Development Assistance, the most recent being a summary for 2015.

Other major international volunteering programmes include:


Legal framework applying to foreign volunteers

Since volunteering is a service equivalent to work (but not work as such), a foreigner is not required to obtain a permit to provide voluntary services. The rules that apply to foreigners are the same as for volunteers who are Polish citizens. If a foreign national is entering into a co-operation agreement for a beneficiary in the Republic of Poland and the volunteering agreement is for a period longer than 30 days, then personal accident insurance must be taken out for such a volunteer. In addition, as part of the co-ordination of social security systems in the European Union, citizens of the EU Member States benefit from the protection granted to them under European legislation. On the other hand, liability insurance is available in cases defined in specific regulations, i.e. where volunteers provide services in care institutions, and in other cases the beneficiary may take it out at its own discretion. Unfortunately, no information on this topic is available on the website of the Office for Foreigners, where volunteering is incorrectly equated with traineeship at the Office (the differences are discussed in Section 2.4.3 Laws and Regulations on Youth Volunteering).