European Solidarity Corps Update
By Rebecca Wright
Posted: 10 March, 2017
Three months after the European Solidarity Corps (ESC) was launched and interested young Europeans could start to sign up, accredited organisations that will provide solidarity placements can now use the database to find potential employees, trainees or volunteers for their activities.
Several hundred placements will be available as of this spring and thousands more will follow in the months ahead.
Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Tibor Navracsics, said: “Today, the European Solidarity Corps is taking a huge step towards delivering on the ground. Now that we are opening our database to organisations and public authorities, matching can start and the first young Europeans will soon begin their activities. I am proud to see that many young people have already joined the Corps and are ready to make a difference. Now I encourage organisations to follow suit and provide as many placements a possible.”
Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen, said: “Today we lay another building block of the European Solidarity Corps. With the opening of the online matching tool to organisations and partners providing placements European Solidarity Corps members can start making a positive impact on the ground while acquiring invaluable skills for their future life and career.”
A wide range of organisations can offer European Solidarity Corps placements: non-governmental organisations, civil society organisations, national, regional and local authorities or social enterprises, for example. In this first phase, organisations interested in participating in the European Solidarity Corps can apply for funding through existing EU funding programmes. Currently, eight programmes support the European Solidarity Corps. More information is available in this fact sheet.
To participate, each organisation will need to subscribe to the European Solidarity Corps Mission Statement and its Principles, and to adhere to the European Solidarity Corps Charter that sets out the rights and responsibilities during all stages of the solidarity experience. Organisations who are already accredited with one of the funding programmes have access to the online tool automatically.
The online system of the European Solidarity Corps allows for direct matching between organisations and young people interested in a solidarity placement. When registering, apart from their personal details, young people can indicate their skills, experiences, availabilities, preferences, and motivation, as well as upload their CVs.
On 7 December 2016, the Commission launched the European Solidarity Corps. It offers young people between the ages of 18 and 30 fresh opportunities to take part in a range of solidarity activities that address challenging situations across Europe. This will not only allow them to gain invaluable experience and acquire important skills at the start of their careers, but is also a valuable tool to promote and strengthen the value of solidarity, one of the most fundamental values of the European Union. Since the launch, almost 24,000 young Europeans have registered with the European Solidarity Corps – the objective is to have 100,000 young people joining by the end of 2020.
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 drawing up a proposal for a self-standing legal instrument for the first half of 2017. To prepare the legal proposal, the Commission has launched a public consultation, complemented by targeted consultations with key stakeholders. A Stakeholder Forum will be held on 12 April 2017 to discuss the key elements of the Corps for the future.