“European Grand Tour Project successfully concludes, leaving a lasting Impact on Civic Service in Europe"

The European Grand Tour project, a pioneering initiative funded by the European Commission under the Erasmus+ Program, will officially conclude on 30 November 2023. Launched by the NGO "Collective for a European Civic Service," in collaboration with 8 international partners from 7 EU countries (Unis Cité -France, Scambi Europei -  Italy, Inco Trento – Italy, Malta Council for the Volunteering Sector -  Malta, Ecogenia - Greece, Estyes - Estonia, Creative Plus - Romania, Dobrovolnické centrum - Czech Republic), the project has achieved significant milestones during its 18-months strategic partnership.

he primary focus of the project was to create a cohesive network of European associations aimed at facilitating access to national and European voluntary activities for young people facing fewer opportunities. This collaborative effort culminated in the creation of the “guide on the quality of volunteering", a comprehensive booklet consolidating best practices and fostering a culture of volunteerism. 

Notably, the network also creates the "Dissemination Guide of Civic Service", further enhancing the impact of their initiatives. This guide, an integral part of the project's outcomes, serves as a comprehensive resource to promote the establishment of Civic Service program and spread the its principles across Europe.

To quote the network: "The collective efforts of the European Grand Tour project have laid the foundation for a more inclusive and collaborative volunteering landscape across Europe. The guide on the quality of volunteering along with the dissemination guide of Civic Service stands as a testament to our commitment to democratizing volunteering experiences for all young people in Europe".

The European Grand Tour project achieved significant milestones, notably the establishment of an online platform on the European Civic Service Network website. This centralized hub streamlines the application process for European and national missions, breaking down barriers for all young people. Efforts to promote long-term, remunerative volunteering opportunities resulted in pilot programs across Estonia, Greece, Romania, and the Czech Republic and inspired by France, Italy and Germany successful Civic Service Program. 

 The experiences gained from these initiatives were compiled into a groundbreaking guide on Civic Service dissemination, now distributed throughout 27 European countries to foster a culture of volunteering. Additionally, the production of a short documentary film showcased the diverse landscape of civic service in Europe, targeting and inspiring future young volunteers. The project organized also two major volunteer collection events in Strasbourg and Bologna, uniting over 300 volunteers. These gatherings provided platforms for participants to discuss their needs and collaboratively envision the future of volunteering missions in Europe.

In a further statement, the network emphasizes: "As the European Grand Tour project concludes, we celebrate not just the end of a partnership but the beginning of a new chapter in European Civic Service. The impact of our collaborative initiatives will resonate for years to come, fostering a sense of unity and purpose among young volunteers across the continent".