In an effort to tackle unemployment among young Europeans and growing euroscepticism and nationalism, the European Commission launched European Solidarity Corps. This initiative is part of a broader campaign « Investing in Europe’s Youth ».
The European Solidarity Corps is made for young people who want to invest themselves with the aim of building « a more inclusive society, supporting vulnerable people and responding to societal change ». Every young European, aged from 18 to 30, can participate for a period from 2 months up to one year. Each party will have to sign the European Solidarity Corps Charter stating their rights and duties, in order to respect fundamental values of the European Union. The participant can be placed with a project for volunteering, traineeship, apprenticeship or a job.
However, no fund will be allocated to this project, it is established on existing funding programs. Placement for European Solidarity Corps are offered by national and local authorities, municipalities, NGOs or private companies. For volunteers, their travel costs, lodge, food, insurance and pocket money will be covered. For those who have an occupational strand, travel costs are covered and a wage or subsistance allowance is paid. The European Commission hope that by 2020 there will be 100 000 young people joining the European Solidarity Corps. Commission’s outgoing Vice President Kristalina Georgieva it is a chance to help « our young people do what you are best at – excite the rest of us about the unity of Europe ».
Allan Pall, Secretary General of the European Youth Forum said he was concerned about running down funding for much larger programs, saying volunteering is « perhaps not the most effective answer now. ». For Brando Benifei, a centre-left EU lawmaker other types of efforts were needed for tackle unemployment « to create jobs, we need stronger economies, weened growth, we need investments ».
To find out more:
- European Youth Portal: https://europa.eu/youth/solidarity_en
- Press release : http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-16-4165_en.htm