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New legal base

Commission launches public consultation to further shape the European Solidarity Corps

The European Commission has launched a public consultation to consult young people, teachers, youth workers, organisations, employers and other stakeholders on the priorities and the strengthening of the recently launched European Solidarity Corps.

On 7 December 2016, the Commission launched the European Solidarity Corps. It enables young people between the ages of 18 and 30 to take part in a range of solidarity activities that address challenging situations across the EU. This will not only allow them to gain invaluable experience and acquire important skills at the start of their career, but also to promote and strengthen the value of solidarity, one of the fundamental values of the European Union.

In its Communication on the European Solidarity Corps, the Commission adopted a gradual approach, building on existing programmes and instruments in an initial phase, while preparing its proposal for a self-standing legal instrument for adoption in the first half of 2017.

Since the launch, more than 21,000 young people have already registered with the European Solidarity Corps. Participating organisations are expected to be able to start searching for suitable candidates early March, with the first participants joining solidarity activities already in spring. The objective is to have 100,000 young people joining the European Solidarity Corps by the end of 2020. 

As announced at the launch last December, the Commission is preparing a legislative proposal in the first half of 2017 to create a dedicated legal base for the European Solidarity Corps. The results of the consultation will further shape and consolidate the European Solidarity Corps by feeding into the Commission's work on that legislative proposal.

Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen, said: “I am happy to see that the set-up of the European Solidarity Corps is advancing well and as planned. With so many young people already registered we can conclude that young Europeans embrace this new opportunity to enhance their employability while expressing their solidarity, and I am looking forward to hearing their views, and those of all stakeholders involved.”

Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Tibor Navracsics, added: "We have launched the European Solidarity Corps successfully and I highly appreciate the great interest by so many young people who are ready to dedicate their time and effort to helping others. We now need to prepare the next steps carefully. The feedback from young people as well as organisations, who are putting the Corp's values and aspirations into practice, is crucial to get it right."

The public consultation will run for eight weeks and builds on an earlier stakeholder consultation that took place in late 2016 in preparation of the launch of the European Solidarity Corps in December. Young people and organisations participating in the public consultation will get the opportunity to evaluate the different aims of the initiative, inform about their motivation to participate, communicate their needs on information and guidance, and share best practice. It will be complemented by targeted consultations with key stakeholders involved in youth work in the EU.

Of interest