European Parliament discuss #EUSolidarityCorps with the Youth Forum
On June 7th the European Youth Forum attended an event on the European Solidarity Corps (ESC) organised by the Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament. If the legal base of the programme has already published, there are still a lot of questions and areas of improvement around this milestone initiative.
The Youth Forum and its member organisations were a strong presence during the event. 11 of our member organisations took part in the discussion. Youth Forum Board Member Andrea Casamenti and Young European Federalists Secretary General Valentin Dupouey were keynote speakers along with different MEPs and Commission officials from DG EAC (Education and Culture) and DG Budget.
During the event the participants highlighted the problems linked to the lack of concrete separation between volunteering and occupational activities, the lack of direct involvement of youth organisations and civil society in the programme and the importance to ensure sufficient funding to benefit all and achieve its objectives. The impact of the ESC on the Erasmus+ budget and the need for the European Commission to prioritise Erasmus+ funding was also mentioned several times.
The discussion showed that this new initiative is welcomed but comes with some scepticism by civil society and political stakeholders. Many agree on the potential of the initiative to bring positive experiences to young people, but there are elements in which improvements or changes would be appreciated.
The European Youth Forum thanks the participants at the event for the productive debates, the S&D Group for hosting this first discussion on the ESC and especially MEPs Udo Bullmann, Petra Kammerevert, Silvia Costa, Brando Benifei and Victor Negrescu for their support.
Going forward there will be a trialogue between the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council. The European Commission would like the ESC approved by December in order to launch it in January 2018. The Youth Forum and its members will be following the developments closely.
Read the Youth Forum's press release on 'What we need for a better European Solidarity Corps' here.
Search #BetterESC on Twitter for more information.
Photo credit: S&D Group