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IP/11/456

Brussels, 11 April 2011

The European Voluntary Corps – we want to hear from you!

Public consultations on the creation of the European Voluntary Humanitarian Corps are drawing to a close – the interested citizens, public authorities and non-governmental organisations have three more weeks to contribute their ideas and proposals for the future service, which is one of the most exciting innovations of the Treaty of Lisbon. The consultations continue online until May 3rd, with the goal to explore the options and settle on the best way to match the potential of this initiative with the needs, and plug it into the European volunteering sphere in the most practical and value-adding way.

The creation of the voluntary corps, which will be launched with a pilot phase this year, has been entrusted upon Kristalina Georgieva, the EU Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response. Commenting on the ongoing public consultation, the Commissioner said: "Volunteering is on the rise across the European Union. The majority of our citizens have also expressed resounding support for humanitarian aid. We want to match these two trends and create an exciting platform through which Europeans can express their solidarity with people in need, and pitch in with their time and effort to making a real change in the world". Commissioner Georgieva expressed her gratitude to all who have already engaged in the consultations, and invited more interested parties to use the remaining time to join the effort for making the future voluntary corps a successful and meaningful project.

The outcome of the consultations will serve as a building block in the Corps's construction, for which a legislative proposal will be presented in 2012. The EU is committed to setting-up the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps in order to empower Europeans to contribute practically to the EU's humanitarian work.

The online consultation is part of a wider preparatory phase that started in 2010 with the review of existing voluntary schemes, bilateral and public consultations with stakeholders and the adoption of a Communication by the European Commission.

For more info:

Link to the public consultation:

http://ec.europa.eu/echo/policies/evhac-consultation_en.htm

Link to the European Voluntary Corps's website:

http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/georgieva/themes/voluntary_humanitarian_en.htm

Link to Commissioner Georgieva's blog:

http://blogs.ec.europa.eu/georgieva/europe%e2%80%99s-future-voluntary-humanitarian-corps-we-want-to-hear-from-you/


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