Youth organisations to monitor Solidarity Corps
22 July, 2017
European Solidarity Corps and the Youth Initiative were the topics of the public hearing with the EP, the Commission, civil society organisations and social partners that took place at the EESC in Brussels on 18 July. It was in the context of the opinion the committee is preparing on both Commission’s initiatives.
The main point is how we can ensure high quality standards able to respond to today's societal challenges and to offer a better future to Europe's youth, Pavel Trantina, EESC opinion rapporteur specified.
To Andrea Casamenti from the European Youth Forum, the idea of Solidarity Corps is very welcome, but “if we want to ensure this programme is accessible and successful some elements in it need to be improved.” As a weak point he underlined that it does not foresee involvement of youth organisations in the co-management, implementation and monitoring of the programme. He insisted that they should participate in deciding on budget allocation for different types of activities. Volunteering is defined as activity that takes 35 hours per week, 5 days a week, but there is diversity of types, he argued. Casamenti also named the selection process on the online platform “passive” and suggested how to make it more inclusive. He accented on the need of support before, during and after the placement of the volunteers and said that the geographical scope of the programme should be wider, even covering the Western Balkan countries.