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What is the European Solidarity Corps? And what will happen after 2020?

The European Solidarity Corps offers young people who want to learn and grow the opportunity to get involved in projects to help communities and people throughout Europe.

Promoting the values of the EU, giving young people aged between 18 and 30 the opportunity to live an inspiring experience, reducing the rate of youth unemployment and at the same time responding to difficult situations in the European territory, this is the ambition of the European Solidarity Corps (ESC). This initiative launched in December 2016 has enabled a significant number of young Europeans to participate in solidarity projects as volunteers or through internships or professional experience.

The ESC aims to solve the EU’s major issues – immigration, poverty, cross-border cooperation, aid in the case of natural disasters, environmental protection, culture, social services, etc. – through different projects. For example, last August, a group of ESC volunteers contributed to cultural heritage restoration projects in the earthquake-affected regions of Italy.

What future for the ESC in a slower construction Europe?

Despite the agreement on immigration policy, the construction of the European Union remains too slow. This raises the question of the effectiveness of instruments such as the ESC. Moreover, the European Parliament and Council recently voted for a 375,6 million euro budget until 2020, but this makes us wonder about how few resources have been allocated to address such complex and resource-intensive issues.

However, it would be a mistake to have such a short vision. After the first good results and the strong demand for participation from young people, the Commission’s objective is to consolidate the ESC by providing a new programme for the new multiannual financial framework 2021-2027. The new programme, with a budget of 1.26 billion euro, will enable more young people to participate and will also support voluntary activities for humanitarian aid operations in countries outside the EU and more targeted measures. We therefore see a determination from the European government to speed up the movement and promote this initiative.


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