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Brussels, 25 February 2014
Commissioner Georgieva welcomes the European Parliament's approval of "EU Aid Volunteers" legislation
Today the European Parliament voted in favour of the legislation that will create "EU Aid Volunteers" - an initiative that will give European citizens a new and exciting opportunity to make a personal impact in humanitarian work.
I am grateful to the Members of the European Parliament for their constructive contribution and support for this initiative. It builds on the solidarity of European citizens - a solidarity which we express through our strong support for the European Union's assistance to the victims of crises and disasters around the world. Volunteering on humanitarian projects is a way in which our citizens can make a concrete, positive difference.
A lot of work has gone into making sure that "EU Aid Volunteers" will live up to its goals, bringing value to humanitarian work, producing and deploying well-trained volunteers and allowing citizens to put their skills and energy at the service of people in need. I am positive that the political support and the positive opinion that Europeans have voiced about this programme will be well-deserved. I look forward to the launch of EU Aid Volunteers by the end of 2014.
EU Aid Volunteers will offer more than 18.000 opportunities for volunteering worldwide over the next 7 years. The programme will be open for a variety of profiles, from newcomers to experienced humanitarian experts.
Through the initiative, volunteers will be trained and matched with humanitarian organisations for deployment in EU-funded projects in countries affected by disasters.
The EU Aid Volunteers initiative has already had three rounds of pilot projects (from 2011 to 2014), deploying 250 volunteers worldwide.
For more information
Memo "EU Aid Volunteers: the initiative takes shape"
Factsheet on "EU Aid Volunteers" http://ec.europa.eu/echo/euaidvolunteers/index_en.htm
Website of Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva:
The lessons learned and ways forward for "EU Aid Volunteers" (speech by Commissioner Georgieva): http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_SPEECH-13-712_en.htm