Volunteering as an activity has a long history in Estonia. However, only since the turn of the millennium, has volunteering been approached in an organized way. The first national strategy on volunteering – Estonian National Development Plan for Volunteering 2007-2010 – was adopted in 2006. Since the very beginning, the Ministry of Interior has played an important role in the process of institutionalization of volunteering and civil society, as a partner to voluntary organizations and civil society. In Estonia, there is no legal definition of volunteering in general. See more in Chapter 2.1.
In Estonia, no distinct governance system exists for youth volunteering. There is no legislation on youth volunteering as such, but the volunteering has been described in the fields of rescue services. The European Solidarity Corps (previous European Voluntary Service) is organized by the Education and Youth Board Department of Youth Programs of the Agency of Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps. See more in Chapter 2.2.
In 2018, a research was conducted that showed that 19% of all volunteers are young people aged 15-24 and 69% of all young people are volunteers. See more in Chapter 2.4.