The European Parliament today adopted its position on the European Solidarity Corps (ESC), a new European Union initiative which creates opportunities for young people to volunteer or work in another EU country, or, under certain circumstances, also in their home country on projects that benefit communities and people around Europe.
The programme will provide opportunities for over 350,000 participants between 2021 and 2027, and builds on the successful pilot launched in 2016. It aims to strengthen the spirit of solidarity among participants and encourage them to continue expressing their solidarity throughout their entire lives.
The EPP Group made sure that the programme focuses on volunteering (86% of the budget for activities will be dedicated to volunteering, the rest for jobs and traineeships and volunteering in humanitarian aid), empowers those with fewer opportunities and explicitly recognises religious institutions as potential participating organisations.
The overall budget available for the implementation of the European Solidarity Corps is set at €1.3 billion for the period 2021-2027.
EPP Group MEP Michaela Šojdrová is the European Parliament’s Rapporteur on the ESC: "The programme will be more diverse because participants will also have the chance to engage in humanitarian activities outside of the EU. It is essential that volunteering remains the main activity funded by the programme, that the programme continues to target young people up to the age of 30 and that meeting peers from other European countries is always part of the experience. We have introduced provisions which ensure this. We want to encourage and facilitate the participation of young people with fewer opportunities and to increase awareness of the programme."
Young people aged between 18-30 are the main target of the European Solidarity Corps. They will undertake volunteering activities or solidarity projects managed by organisations, institutions, bodies or groups.
For NGOs, churches, schools and other institutions, the European Solidarity Corps programme provides an opportunity to engage young people willing to gain work experience, skills and human experience.
Following the adoption by the European Parliament today, negotiations with the EU Council will follow.
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 217 Members from 28 Member States