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Today, the Ministers for Education, Culture, Youth and Sports of the EU met in Brussels to adopt Council Conclusions on European Solidarity Corps and Inclusive Education.

The Youth Forum supports the Conclusions urging the Commission to present a legislative proposal during the first half of 2017 on the European Solidarity Corps. The Commission has the responsibility to clearly state how the Solidarity Corps will be funded and implemented. Also, consulting with key stakeholders such as youth organisations is crucial for the success of the initiative.

We call for the Solidarity Corps to have additional funding that is on top of the existing Erasmus+ budget. EC must also ensure that it is part of a bigger strategy for volunteering that complements the existing and well-functioning European Voluntary service.

The Youth Forum also welcome the contents of the Council Conclusions on Inclusive Education and the renewed focus on ensuring the right to quality and inclusive education. We reaffirm, however, that inclusive education should not be seen as a tool to focus exclusively on preventing violent extremism. Onus should be on giving young people access to their rights, promote democratic values and empower young people to be agents of positive change in their communities.

Luis Alvarado, President of the European Youth Forum comments:

Great to see EU institutions putting the spotlight on volunteering. To make the Solidarity Corps a success, though, it is vital to put youth organisations in the driving seat! Also, when it comes to the occupational strand of the Corps, this should not be seen as a fake solution to tackle youth unemployment, creating precarious working conditions instead of quality jobs for young people.

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