Chapter News

Commission launches European Solidarity Corps

“There are many young, socially minded people in Europe willing to make a meaningful contribution to society and help show solidarity. We can create opportunities for them to do so.” – European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, 14 September 2016

On 7 December, European Commission Vice-President Kristalina Georgieva will launch the European Solidarity Corps as of 13.00 with the participation of a wide range of organisations and many young people in the Skyshelter dome on the Schuman roundabout in Brussels. Young people interested in a solidarity activity across Europe can inform themselves about the new Corps, exchange experiences, meet participating organisations, and be among the first ones to register for the European Solidarity Corps on the spot.

The event – which will take place in parallel to similar launch events in the Member States – will be preceded by a press conference in the Berlaymont press room after the meeting of the College with Commissioners Marianne Thyssen, Christos Stylianides, and TiborNavracsics.

The European Solidarity Corps will provide new opportunities for young Europeans to engage in solidarity activities across Europe. Young people between the ages of 18 and 30 will be able to volunteer or do an internship, apprenticeship, or work where it is needed most and to respond to challenging situations. The European Solidarity Corps will serve the needs of vulnerable communities, of national and local structures in a wide range of areas such as providing food, cleaning forests or helping with the integration of refugees.

Background

In his State of the Union speech of 14 September 2016, President Jean-Claude Juncker proposed to set-up a European Solidarity Corps: “Solidarity is the glue that keeps our Union together”, he had said. While fostering the core value of solidarity, participants will also be able to help, learn, and develop and acquire valuable skills at the start of their career.

The Solidarity Corps is part of an entire package of actions on youth employment and education. The proposals are a first deliverable of the priorities for action identified in the Bratislava Roadmap. At the Bratislava Summit on 16 September 2016, Heads of State and Government of 27 EU Member States committed to taking “decisions on EU support for Member States in fighting youth unemployment and on enhanced EU programmes dedicated to youth” before the end of the year.

Compliments of the European Commission