Today, the Commission has put the European Solidarity Corps on a firm footing by proposing a budget for the next three years and a dedicated legal base.
This will help consolidate the initiative and create more opportunities for young people. As well as offering volunteering, traineeships and job placements, the European Solidarity Corps will now also provide participants the opportunity to set up their own solidarity projects or to volunteer as a group.
During a first phase launched in December 2016, eight different programmes were mobilised to offer volunteering, traineeship or job opportunities under the European Solidarity Corps. More than 30,000 young people have already signed up and the first participants have now started their placements.
Under the leadership of Commissioners Oettinger, Navracsics and Thyssen, the Commission is today proposing to equip the European Solidarity Corps with one single legal base, its own financing mechanism and a broader set of solidarity activities. This will help further increase its coherence, impact and cost-effectiveness. The Commission proposes to allocate €341.5 million to the European Solidarity Corps over the period 2018-2020, to enable 100,000 young Europeans to take part by the end of 2020.
For the next phase of the European Solidarity Corps, the following types of activities are envisaged:
All of these actions will give young people across Europe new opportunities to engage in solidarity activities addressing societal challenges and strengthening communities. In parallel, they will help improve the skills and competences young people need for their own personal and professional development at the beginning of their careers. The European Solidarity Corps is an inclusive initiative. Targeted measures, such as additional funding or placements of shorter duration, will promote the participation of disadvantaged young people.
With today's proposal, the Commission is delivering on its promise made when launching the European Solidarity Corps to present a legal proposal by spring 2017. The draft Regulation now needs to be adopted by the European Parliament and the Council before it can enter into force. In their Joint Declaration, the EU institutions committed to delivering on the proposal by the end of this year.