The European Parliament and the Council have reached a political agreement on the Commission's proposal to provide the European Solidarity Corps with its own budget and legal framework until 2020. Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources, Günther H. Oettinger, and Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen, welcomed the agreement with the following statement:
"We are very pleased that the European Parliament and the Council have found a political agreement on the legal framework for the European Solidarity Corps.
The European Union is built on solidarity; it is one of our fundamental values connecting European citizens. The Solidarity Corps is a key part of our efforts to empower young people and enable them to become engaged, caring members of our society, playing their part in building a resilient, cohesive Europe for the future. Since the launch of the European Solidarity Corps in December 2016, we have seen just how much interest young people have in participating in solidarity activities. So far, almost 67,000 young people have signed up, and thousands have begun volunteering, training or working in support of people and communities in need.
The European Solidarity Corps is already making a difference. In central Italy, for instance, a number of volunteers from all over Europe have been, in 2017 and 2018, participating in projects helping to restore cultural heritage in regions affected by devastating earthquakes in 2016. Now that the Corps will have its own legal framework and its own budget of €375.6 million until 2020, we can hold our promise to have 100,000 young people in placements by the end of 2020. In addition, today's agreement will enable us to increase the opportunities available and provide more help across Europe. It will also pave the way for the additional 350,000 placements we want to offer under the proposal for the next long-term EU budget.
We would like to thank the Maltese, Estonian and Bulgarian Presidencies as well as the European Parliament's Committees on Culture and Education and Employment and Social Affairs, for their hard work and commitment. We would also like to thank the rapporteurs, Ms Helga Trüpel and Mr Brando Benifei. We hope that the Parliament and the Council will swiftly adopt the final text reflecting this agreement, so we can take the next step towards making the European Solidarity Corps even more successful and relevant on the ground."
Once the European Parliament votes on the agreement and the Council formally adopts the text, the Commission can start awarding projects under the European Solidarity Corps. Preparatory steps can already be taken before and the first call for funding is expected this year.
On 30 May 2017, following targeted consultations with stakeholders, the Commission put forward a proposal to equip the European Solidarity Corps with a single legal base, its own financing mechanism and a broader set of solidarity activities. This will help further increase its coherence, impact and cost-effectiveness.
On 11 June 2018, the Commission put forward its proposal for the European Solidarity Corps beyond 2020, allocating €1.26 billion to allow about 350,000 young people to go on a solidarity placement.
For more information
Press release: European Solidarity Corps – dedicated legal base and budget (May 2017)
Q&A: European Solidarity Corps – dedicated legal base and budget (May 2017)