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EACEA National Policies Platform


2. Voluntary Activities

2.4 Youth volunteering at national level

Last update: 28 November 2023
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  1. National programme for youth volunteering
  2. Funding
  3. Characteristics of youth volunteering
  4. Support to young volunteers
  5. Quality assurance
  6. Target groups

National programme for youth volunteering

National voluntary services in Luxembourg have their legal basis defined in the 2007 Law on Youth Voluntary Service. The voluntary services address young people below the age of 30 years, who have successfully completed mandatory schooling (usually at the age of 12) (Art. 4,1), and who want to engage in a project of general interest with a duration of 3-12 months (Art. 5,2 (1)).

The law not only 'foresees measures that encourage volunteers to participate in voluntary activities, but also supports organisations through different financial incentives with the aim to encourage them to on as many volunteers as possible. Therefore, the law foresees that no taxes are to be imposed on volunteers' pocket money, food, accommodation or any other economic compensation granted to them. Furthermore, the burden of the social contributions is entirely assumed by the state. In this sense, volunteers are covered against sickness, accidents, professional illnesses, dependency, disability and old age' (Vasilescu & Reger-Beau, 2009, p. 227).

The National Voluntary Service (SVN; Service Volontaire National) is the main national programme for youth volunteering. It addresses young citizens (16 to 30 years of age) who have completed their compulsory education and who are motivated to engage in socio-cultural, socio-educational, cultural or environmental projects. Its duration is 3 to 12 months. The SVN helps young people acquire practical competences and provides personalised support. The service especially focuses on disadvantaged young people with fewer opportunities and aims at encouraging early school leavers to go back to school to successfully complete a degree. Participants in the National Voluntary Service in 2020-2021: 390 (MENJE, 2022, p. 100).

Targets for the level of youth participation in the voluntary services have not been defined by the public actors. However, the National Youth Service aims to increase the number of participants from year to year by promoting the opportunities to participate in voluntary activities (see also: 2.8 Raising awareness about youth volunteering opportunities).

Furthermore, the leave for youth workers (congé jeunesse) is another important programme that supports the development of voluntary activities among young people. The leave for youth workers was introduced in 2007 and entitles young people to time off from work so that they can participate in voluntary activities within the country and abroad: internships, study days or seminars, holiday camps or clubs, etc. The modalities are regulated by the grand-ducal regulation of 11 November 2008 defining the modalities of application of the leave for youth workers (règlement grand –ducal du 11 novembre 2008 déterminant les modalités d'application du congé-jeunesse).

The beneficiary of a leave for youth workers is entitled by law to a total of 60 days off throughout the full professional career, while not exceeding 20 days over a period of 2 years.

The duration of the youth worker's leave is recognised as an active working period, where the employer must pay the employee a compensatory allowance. This allowance will correspond to the average daily salary, but may not exceed 4 times the social minimum wage for unskilled workers.

In 2021, a total of 265 individuals requested this special leave; 257 applications were granted (corresponding to 1 196 days) (MENJE, 2022, p.106).


There is no detailed budget data available with respect to voluntary services at the national level. Funding is available to the overall budget of programmes supporting young people in the transition to working life (€ 3 500 000 planned in 2023).

The amount that employers received in 2015 for youth workers' leave was € 328 647, and in 2021 it corresponded to € 169 732.

A large number of voluntary activities (see: 2.2 Administration and governance of youth volunteering) take place in the framework of community life (sports clubs, music society, youth organisations, scouts movement, etc.) and are partly funded by the government. According to the 2016 Youth Law (loi du 24 avril 2016 portant modification de la moi modifiée du 4 juillet 2008 sur la jeunesse), organisations are eligible for subsidies for the activities they organise for young people. In this way, young people who volunteer in organisations are financially supported.

The Luxembourgish government supports activities for young people (2015: € 83 500; 2016: € 94 750; 2023 (planned): € 105 000).

Some youth organisations are also funded on the basis of an agreement with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Children. Detailed budget information is not available.

Characteristics of youth volunteering

The Youth Report 2015 shows main trends in youth volunteering and characteristics of young people participating in national volunteering in Luxembourg.

Compared with other European countries, Luxembourg is among the countries with the highest number of young people registered as members of a club or association and taking part in their activities. However, the proportion of those who are actively involved in their club is far smaller (data records from Eurobarometer 319a, 2011).

When it comes to characteristics of young volunteers, there are clear differences depending on social background, education and migration background. Young volunteers are more likely to have a higher level of education, usually have a higher income. The vast majority of these young people also have Luxembourg nationality, and many come from homes with a high level of education and a high level of interest in social engagement. Young people who do not have Luxembourg nationality are significantly underrepresented – especially those of Portuguese nationality. In addition, young men are more involved in clubs and associations than young women. The many services intended to promote civic engagement are also used almost exclusively by young people of Luxembourg nationality. Most of these young people are under the age of 25, have a high level of education and come from a middle-class home; many of them are socially engaged in several different ways.

Regarding the national voluntary service (SVN), the past evaluation (SNJ, 2011b) (Service volontaire pour jeunes, Évaluation intermédiaire) outlined that participants were more often from single parent households or households with both parents unemployed. Furthermore, the participants reported problems regarding their family, their financial situation, legal status and health.

Support to young volunteers

Legislation confers benefits on young volunteers (see: National programme for youth volunteering).


Target groups

The voluntary services address young people below 30 years of age who have completed mandatory schooling. Further criteria differ depending on the specific voluntary service (see: National Programme for Youth Volunteering).