European Solidarity Corps: three years on

solidarity

(Credit: European Union)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.


On 14 September it was the third anniversary of President Juncker’s 2016 State of the Union announcement to set up a European Solidarity Corps, offering young people the opportunity to take part in a wide range of solidarity activities across the EU.

Since then, more than 161,000 young people between 18 and 30 have signed up to join the Corps, and the initiative has made a difference in many people’s lives. Most of the activities funded offer opportunities to volunteer – individually or in teams. But young people can also benefit from traineeships and jobs. Moreover, young people themselves can set up solidarity projects where they initiate, develop and run activities to contribute to positive change in their community, while living abroad and gaining valuable skills.

Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Tibor Navracsics, said: “We have achieved a lot in the last three years. In record time we put in place a new programme opening up opportunities for young people and organisations to support others, helping us build a more cohesive, caring society. I am proud to see so many young people eager to get involved and active in projects on the ground. Their enthusiasm is truly inspiring. This is why I have proposed to extend and strengthen the European Solidarity Corps after 2020.”

Inclusion is one of the most common topics tackled by European Solidarity Corps projects but not the only one. Other topics are youth work, climate change, community development, citizenship, education and culture. Tens of thousands more opportunities are expected to be created in the following months and years in these fields. Moreover, one in three of the activities funded by the European Solidarity Corps are reserved for participants with fewer opportunities who face obstacles such as disabilities, educational difficulties, or economic, social or geographical obstacles.

For instance, in Latvia, a project entitled “A special place for special people” promotes the integration of young people with disabilities into the labour market by employing them and involving them in all the activities of a social enterprise café in Riga. In Greece, volunteers help protect the forest of Xylokastro and Derveni by taking care of watering and planting trees, as well as cleaning the forest paths. And in Sweden, through the project “Climate Awareness”, volunteers learn about climate change and biodiversity by helping in the organic garden and ecovillage and participating in outreach activities. As an example of a project initiated by volunteers themselves, in Lithuania, five participants from a centre for disabled young people set up their own Solidarity Coffee project, enabling them to form new friendships and build personal connections with the wider community.

Background

In his State of the Union address of September 2016, President Juncker announced the creation of a European Solidarity Corps, providing opportunities for young Europeans to engage in solidarity activities and contribute to society as part of the Commission’s broader strategy to invest in young people. The Corps responds to a real interest among young people to engage in social projects. In a Eurobarometer survey published in spring 2019, more than half of the young respondents said they had participated in volunteering activities or local community projects. Three in four stated that they had been engaged in organised movements or volunteering.

A mere 3 months after President Juncker’s announcement, on 7 December 2016, the Solidarity Corps was launched, with the aim of having 100,000 young people taking part by the end of 2020. During an initial phase, eight different EU funding programmes were mobilised to offer volunteering, traineeship or job opportunities.

On 30 May 2017, the Commission put forward a proposal to equip the European Solidarity Corps with a single legal base, its own financing mechanism and a broader set of solidarity activities. The new Regulation came into force on 5 October 2018 and the Corps has its own budget of €375.6 million until 2020.

The first calls for proposals were launched in August and November 2018, creating some 20,000 new opportunities. Another call for proposals is currently open, with an application deadline of 1 October 2019, and is set to create another 7,000 opportunities. This call invites organisations with a quality label to apply for grants and set up projects for young people to volunteer, work or go on traineeships. Groups of young people can also apply to run a solidarity project themselves. Young people interested in taking part in a funded project can directly sign up on the European Solidarity Corps Portal.

On 11 June 2018, the Commission put forward its proposal for the European Solidarity Corps under the EU’s next long-term budget 2021-2027, allocating €1.26 billion to enable about 350,000 young people to go on a solidarity placement over seven years.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

The EU Commission fails to draw the right conclusions about corruption

Climate change brings a host of other risks for businesses

Monsoon rains turn millions of children’s lives ‘upside down’ across South Asia

Gas pipeline in the European Union. (Copyright: EU, 2012 / Source: EC - Audiovisual Service / Photo: Ferenc Isza)

EU Investment Bank approves € 1.5bn loan for Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP)

Use “blockchain” model to cut small firms’ costs and empower citizens, urge MEPs

Microplastic and nanoplastic pollution threatens our enviroment. How should we respond?

Reduce costs, save lives: how healthcare data can help emerging economies

Commission launches debate on responding to the impact of an ageing population

Von der Leyen announces Global Response and calls for united world front against coronavirus

How virtual tourism can rebuild travel for a post-pandemic world

Capital transaction tax on Ecofin table

Holocaust survivors rebuild lives and traditions in Rio de Janeiro

These are the world’s 10 most competitive economies in 2019

MWC 2016 LIVE: Mobile has power to tame transaction fees – PayPal CEO

Syria: UN chief welcomes first aid convoy to Rukban camp since January, joint agency operation assists 50,000

COVID-19: A new drug is tested, and other top science stories of the week

COP21 Breaking News_03 December: Unprecedented Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction to Combat Climate Change

Monday’s Daily Brief: human rights in the Near East and a Forum for Refugees

17 ways technology could change the world by 2025

Development aid drops in 2018, especially to neediest countries

These 11 EU states already meet their 2020 renewable energy targets

This afternoon Britain will be once more isolated from mainland Europe

UN chief appeals for calm as Mali presidential election draws to a close

These 4 trends are shaping the future of your job

Eurovignette: provisional deal on new road haulage charging rules

Strength in unity: Commission makes recommendations for the EU’s next strategic agenda 2019-2024

Hunger in Yemen: WFP considers aid suspension in face of repeated interference by some Houthi leaders

It’s time to ‘eliminate the scourge of conflict-related sexual violence’, urges UN chief

Scotland in United Kingdom: It’s either the end or the beginning of the end

Geopolitics and investment in emerging markets after COVID-19

COVID-19: MEPs want safe vaccines, full transparency and liability for companies

Bacteria vs. humans: how to fight in this world war?

India’s Largest Entrepreneurship Event is Back! (23-24th August 2016)

This Mexican company is making biofuel from cactus plants

Aid stepped up to Syria camp; new arrivals say terrorists blocked their escape

Youth2030: UN chief launches bold new strategy for young people ‘to lead’

Youth unemployment: think out of the box

We need to talk: UN gears up for 75th anniversary with Global Conversations

A woman would have to be born in the year 2255 to get equal pay at work

As we switch to cleaner energy, there are three dangers we must not overlook

These 5 charts show our shifting behaviour around coronavirus

COP24: green, gender focus, as UN’s crucial climate change conference gets underway

Caravan of Mothers of Missing Migrants kick off a global migration search movement

Lessons learned from Medical Education in the times of COVID-19

The big five EU telecom operators in dire straights

EU mobilises international donors to support Venezuelan refugees and migrants and countries in the region

To be fair or to be sustainable? That is the (retirement) question

MEPs highlight impact of pandemic on children’s health and education

Eurozone: Retail sales and inflation point to recession

Coronavirus update: Countries urged to fight ‘controllable’ pandemic

This is where teachers are paid the most

Boeing WTO case: The EU puts in place countermeasures against U.S. exports

Female representation is a weapon against patriarchal prejudice

Young? You should work out the entrepreneurial heart before the mind

How to build public trust in a sustainable energy future

European Health Union: European Commission welcomes step towards better access to medicines and medical devices during crisis

State aid: Commission approves German aid scheme to support airports affected by the coronavirus outbreak

Aviation Safety: Commission adopts new EU Air Safety List

EU-Japan trade agreement enters into force

Annexing Jordan Valley would end ‘illusion’ of a meaningful two-State solution: UN rights expert

More Stings?

Comments

  1. That sounds like a lot of money for solidarity. How much do this youngsters get paid a month? Just asking… for a friend…

Leave a Reply to FN Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s