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Brussels, 30 September 2010

Commissioner Georgieva takes the first step to create a European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps

Kristalina Georgieva, the European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, launched today, a stakeholders' consultation for the creation of the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps (EVHAC). This initiative foreseen in the treaty of Lisbon, will give the possibility to European volunteers to contribute to the humanitarian aid operations of the Union.

"All trends show that volunteering in general is on the rise in the EU, including in the area of humanitarian aid, where more and more citizens want to be involved in EU efforts. The volunteers will have to be well prepared, and able to integrate seamlessly demand-driven teams", said Commissioner Georgieva today at the beginning of the stakeholders conference to launch the consultation

. This first phase of the process should lead to a Commission Communication before the end of the year, which is meant as a stocktaking exercise that will review existing voluntary schemes in order to identify trends, gaps and possible options. That will be followed by a pilot project, next year, and a legislative proposal the year after. The stakeholders conference will bring together representatives of the humanitarian aid, civil protection and volunteering communities to inform them about the state of play and invite them to participate in the public on-line consultation which will be organised afterwards.

The path to the EVHAC will be paved by discussions on the increased professionalism in humanitarian aid, the focus on local volunteering and capacity building, the complex political and security contexts in which humanitarian workers are employed, and the need to take into account existing voluntary schemes and avoid duplications.

For information on Commission's humanitarian aid:

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