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EACEA National Policies Platform


2. Voluntary Activities

2.5 Cross-border mobility programmes

Last update: 17 March 2023
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  1. EU programmes
  2. Other programmes
  3. Legal framework applying to foreign volunteers

EU programmes

Luxembourg participates in the European Solidarity Corps, an initiative of the European Union designed for young people between 17 and 30 years of age. The initiative supports participants to carry out volunteering activities, traineeships and jobs in their own country or abroad. It aims at strengthening cohesion, solidarity, democracy and citizenship in Europe, while also responding to societal challenges and strengthening communities, with particular effort to promote social inclusion. Luxembourg also participates in the EU Aid Volunteers programme. By this programme, young people can become volunteers in humanitarian projects worldwide, showing solidarity with people in need of assistance.

Other programmes

The Voluntary Cooperation Service (SVC; Service Volontaire de Coopération) was launched in March 2009 in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs and the Luxembourgish cooperation circle of development NGOs. It offers a volunteering opportunity for young people (18 to 30 years of age) who are interested in providing aid in developing countries. The objective is to raise the awareness of young people concerning the problems in developing countries in order to develop their solidarity via a concrete project, to provide learning opportunities to develop specific competences and to valorise the experience. They may participate in a cooperation project for 3 to 12 months. The total number of participants in the Voluntary Cooperation Service decreased to 8 in 2020 (MENJE, 2021a) and 5 in 2020-2021 (MENJE, 2022) (2019: 86). This comparatively low numbers in 2020 and 2021 result from the sanitary crisis and the related mobility and travel restrictions. 21 young people had to interrupt their voluntary service abroad in 2020 and returned to Luxembourg before the end of their mission. 

Legal framework applying to foreign volunteers

According to the 2007 Law on Youth Voluntary Service (loi du 31 octobre 2007 sur le service volontaire des jeunes) (Art. 4,(5)), foreign volunteers have to comply with the regulations on entry and residence requirements. They are required to come from another youth in action partner country or a country that shares a cooperation or cultural agreement with Luxembourg.

The law stipulates that the organisation must insure the volunteers for sickness, pension and accident insurance for the duration of their voluntary service, unless they do already have social protection in their country of origin. In addition, the organisation must take out civil liability insurance with an insurer duly approved in Luxembourg for the benefit of the volunteers for the duration of their stay.

Moreover, volunteers from non-EU member states must meet further specific requirements. The host organisation must guarantee him/her for the entire duration of his/her stay, in particular for the costs of the stay and the return. Volunteers from non-EU member states receive a residency permit for a maximum of one year.