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Procedure : 2018/0230(COD)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0079/2019

Texts tabled :

A8-0079/2019

Debates :

PV 11/03/2019 - 18
CRE 11/03/2019 - 18

Votes :

PV 12/03/2019 - 9.16
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2019)0150

Texts adopted
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Tuesday, 12 March 2019 - Strasbourg Final edition
European Solidarity Corps programme ***I
P8_TA(2019)0150A8-0079/2019
Resolution
 Consolidated text

European Parliament legislative resolution of 12 March 2019 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the European Solidarity Corps programme and repealing [European Solidarity Corps Regulation] and Regulation (EU) No 375/2014 (COM(2018)0440 – C8-0264/2018 – 2018/0230(COD))

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2018)0440),

–  having regard to Article 294(2) and Articles 165(4), 166(4) and 214(5) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C8-0264/2018),

–  having regard to Article 294(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee of 17 October 2018(1),

–  having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions of 6 December 2018(2),

–  having regard to Rule 59 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Culture and Education and the opinions of the Committee on Development, the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, the Committee on Budgets and the Committee on Regional Development (A8-0079/2019),

1.  Adopts its position at first reading hereinafter set out;

2.  Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it replaces, substantially amends or intends to substantially amend its proposal;

3.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the national parliaments.

(1) OJ C 62, 15.2.2019, p. 201.
(2) OJ C 86, 7.3.2019, p. 282.


Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 12 March 2019 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EU) …/… of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the European Solidarity Corps programme and repealing [European Solidarity Corps Regulation] and Regulation (EU) No 375/2014
P8_TC1-COD(2018)0230

(Text with EEA relevance)

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and in particular Articles 165(4), 166(4) and 214(5) thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the European Commission,

After transmission of the draft legislative act to the national parliaments,

Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee(1),

Having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions(2),

Acting in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure(3),

Whereas:

(1)  The European Union is built on solidarity, among its citizens and among its Member States. This common value, enshrined in Article 2 of the Treaty on the European Union, guides its actions and provides the necessary unity to cope with current and future societal challenges, which young Europeans are willing to help address by expressing their solidarity in practice. [Am. 1]

(1a)   Given the significant increase in humanitarian crises and global emergencies, and with a view to enhancing the promotion of solidarity and the visibility of humanitarian aid among Union citizens, there is a need to develop solidarity between Member States and with third countries affected by man-made or natural disasters. [Am. 2]

(1b)  Humanitarian aid is based on the principles of impartiality, neutrality and non-discrimination, which are embedded in international humanitarian law and Union law. Humanitarian aid provides a needs-based emergency response aimed at preserving life, preventing and alleviating human suffering, maintaining human dignity and providing protection for vulnerable groups affected by man-made or natural disasters. Disaster risk reduction and preparedness through capacity and resilience building activities are also essential elements of humanitarian aid. [Am. 3]

(2)  The State of the Union address of 14 September 2016 emphasised the need to invest in young people and announced the establishment of a European Solidarity Corps (the ‘Programme’) with a view to creating opportunities for young people across the Union to make a meaningful contribution to society, show solidarity and develop their skills, thus getting not only work but also invaluable human experience.

(3)  In its Communication ‘A European Solidarity Corps’ of 7 December 2016(4), the Commission emphasised the need to strengthen the foundations for solidarity work across Europe, to provide young people with more and better opportunities for solidarity activities covering a broad range of areas, and to support national, regional and local actors, in their efforts to cope with different challenges and crises. The Communication launched a first phase of the European Solidarity Corps whereby different Union programmes were mobilised to offer volunteering, traineeship or job opportunities to young people across the Union. [Am. 4]

(4)  Article 2 of the Treaty of the European Union highlights solidarity as one of the principles key to the European Union. That principle is also referred to in Article 21(1) of the Treaty of the European Union as one of the foundations of the EU’s external action.

(4a)  Within the context of this Regulation, solidarity is understood as a sense of responsibility on the part of everyone with regard to everyone to commit oneself to the common good, which is expressed through concrete actions without consideration of return service. [Am. 5]

(4b)   Providing assistance to people and communities outside the Union which are confronted with disasters or which are particularly vulnerable to disasters and in need of humanitarian aid, based on the fundamental principles of neutrality, humanity, independence and impartiality, is an important expression of solidarity. [Am. 6]

(4c)   Participating volunteers and organisations implementing actions under the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps should abide by the principles set out in the European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid. [Am. 7]

(4d)  There is a need to further develop solidarity with victims of crises and disasters in third countries and to raise both awareness levels and the visibility of humanitarian aid and volunteering in general as a lifelong activity among Union citizens. [Am. 8]

(4e)  The Union and the Member States have committed to implement the United Nations (UN) 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals thereof, both internally and through external actions. [Am. 9]

(4f)  In its conclusions of 19 May 2017 on operationalising the humanitarian-development nexus, the Council recognised the need to strengthen resilience by better linking humanitarian assistance and development cooperation and to further strengthen the operational links between the complementary approaches of humanitarian assistance, development cooperation and conflict prevention. [Am. 10]

(5)  Young people should be provided with easily accessible, inclusive and meaningful opportunities to engage in solidarity activities, which could enable them to express their commitment to the benefit of communities while acquiring useful experience, knowledge, skills and competences for their personal, educational, social, civic and professional development, thereby improving their employability. Those activities should also support the mobility of young volunteers, trainees and workers and a multicultural exchange. [Am. 11]

(6)  The solidarity activities offered to young people should be of high quality, in the sense that; they should respond to aim to tackle unmet societal needs, enhance solidarity and contribute to strengthening communities, and democratic participation. They should offer young people the opportunity to acquire valuable knowledge, skills and competences, . They should be financially accessible to young people, and be implemented in safe, inclusive and healthy conditions. Dialogue with local and regional authorities and European networks specialised in urgent social problems should be encouraged in order to best determine unmet societal needs and ensure a needs-oriented programme. Solidarity activities should not have a negative impact on existing jobs or traineeships and should contribute to reinforcing the corporate social responsibility commitments of companies, while not replacing them. [Am. 12]

(7)  The European Solidarity Corps provides a single entry point for solidarity activities throughout the Union and beyond. Consistency and complementarity should be ensured with other relevant Union policies and programmes. The European Solidarity Corps is built on the strengths and synergies of predecessor and existing programmes, notably the European Voluntary Service(5) and the EU Aid Volunteers(6). It also complements the efforts made by Member States to support young people and ease their school-to-work transition under schemes such as the Youth Guarantee by providing them with additional opportunities to make a start on the labour market in the form of traineeships or jobs in solidarity-related areas within their respective Member State or across borders. Complementarity with existing Union level networks pertinent to the activities under the European Solidarity Corps, such as the European Network of Public Employment Services, EURES and the Eurodesk network, are and relevant civil society organisations, including social partners and networks representing young people and volunteers, is also ensured. Furthermore, complementarity between existing related schemes, in particular national solidarity schemes, such as volunteering, civil service and mobility schemes for young people, and the European Solidarity Corps should be ensured, building on good practices where appropriate, to mutually enhance and enrich the impact and qualities of such schemes and build upon good practices. The European Solidarity Corps should not substitute national schemes. Access for all young people to national solidarity activities should be ensured. The Commission should develop practical guidelines on the complementarity of the Programme with other Union programmes and sources of funding and on synergies between them. [Am. 13]

(8)  With respect to the interpretation of related legislation at Union level, both the cross-border volunteering activities under the European Solidarity Corps and the volunteering activities that continue to be supported under Regulation (EU) No 1288/2013 should be considered equivalent to those carried out under the European Voluntary Service.

(8a)  The certification of sending and hosting organisations, carried out in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 375/2014, should not be duplicated under the Programme and equivalence should be recognised when implementing this Regulation from 2021 onwards. [Am. 14]

(9)  The European Solidarity Corps opens up new non-formal and informal learning opportunities for young people to carry out volunteering, traineeship or job activities in solidarity-related areas as well as to devise and develop solidarity projects based on their own initiative. These opportunities contribute to enhancing their personal, educational, social, civic and professional development. The European Solidarity Corps also supports networking activities for European Solidarity Corps participants and organisations as well as measures to ensure the quality of the supported activities and to enhance the validation of their learning outcomes. It will thus also contribute to European cooperation relevant to young people and raising awareness of its positive impact. It should also contribute to strengthening communities and supporting existing organisations that implement solidarity actions. [Am. 15]

(10)  These activities should have a clear European added value and be to the benefit of communities while also fostering the individual’s personal, educational, social, civic and professional development, which may . It should be possible for those activities to take the form of volunteering, traineeships and jobs, projects or networking activities, developed in relation to different areas, such as education and training, employment, gender equality, entrepreneurship – in particular social entrepreneurship –, citizenship and democratic participation, intercultural and interreligious dialogue, social inclusion, inclusion of people with disabilities, environment and nature protection, climate action, disaster prevention, preparedness and recovery, agriculture and rural development, provision of food and non-food items, health and wellbeing, culture, including cultural heritage, creativity and culture, physical education and sport, social assistance and welfare, reception and integration of third-country nationals, with a focus on overcoming the challenges faced by migrants, territorial cooperation and cohesion, and cooperation across borders. Such solidarity activities should include a solid learning and training dimension through relevant activities that can be offered to participants before, during and after the solidarity activity. [Am. 16]

(11)  Volunteering activities (both within and beyond the Union) constitute a rich experience in a non-formal and informal learning context which enhances young people’s personal, socio-educational and professional development, active citizenship, democratic participation and employability. Volunteering should be based on a written volunteering agreement and volunteering activities should not have an adverse effect on potential or existing paid employment, nor should they be seen as a substitute for it. The Commission and the Member States should cooperate regarding volunteering policies in the youth field via the open method of coordination. [Am. 17]

(12)  Easily accessible traineeships and jobs should be clearly separated from volunteering, both from a financial and an organisational point of view. Traineeships should never lead to job substitution. Paid traineeships and jobs, however, can represent an incentive for disadvantaged young people and young people with fewer opportunities to participate in solidarity-related areas can offer additional opportunities for activities that they might not otherwise be able to access while giving a clear European added value in contributing to addressing key unmet social challenges and to strengthening local communities. Traineeships can ease the transition of young people to make a start on the labour market while contributing to addressing key societal challenges. This from education to employment and can help foster the employability and productivity of young people while easing their transition from education to employment, which is key to enhancing achieving their chances on sustainable integration into the labour market. The traineeship activities The traineeships and jobs offered constitute a stepping stone for young people to enter the labour market. Traineeships and jobs offered under the European Solidarity Corps should always be paid by the participating organisation hosting or employing the participant. Traineeships should be based on a written traineeship agreement in accordance with the applicable law of the country where the traineeship takes place, as appropriate, and should follow the quality principles outlined in the Council Recommendation of 10 March 2014 on establishing a Quality Framework for Traineeships(7). The Jobs should be based on an employment contract in accordance with the national law or applicable collective agreements, or both, of the participating country where the job is being carried out. Financial support to participating organisations offering jobs should not exceed twelve months. The participating organisations should apply for funding via the competent implementing body of the European Solidarity Corps in view of intermediating between the young participants and employers offering traineeship and job activities in solidarity sectors. Traineeships and jobs offered constitute a stepping stone for young people to enter the labour market and are should be accompanied by adequate post-activity preparation, on-the-job training and post-placement support in relation to the participation of the participant. The traineeship and job activities are Traineeships and jobs could be facilitated by relevant labour market actors, in particular public and private employment services, social partners and Chambers of Commerce, and are remunerated by the participating organisation. As participating as well as the member organisations, they should apply for funding via the competent implementing body of the European Solidarity Corps in view of intermediating between the young participants and employers offering traineeship and job of EURES, in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2016/589 of the European Parliament and of the Council(8) in the case of cross-border activities in solidarity sectors. [Am. 18]

(12a)  Efforts should be made to ensure that traineeships and jobs are open to the participation of all young people, in particular to young people with fewer opportunities, including young people with disabilities, social or cultural disadvantages, migrants and residents in isolated rural areas and the outermost regions of the Union. [Am. 19]

(13)  Young people’s spirit of initiative is an important asset for society and for the labour market. The European Solidarity Corps contributes to fostering this aspect by offering young people the opportunity to devise and implement their own projects aimed at addressing specific challenges to the benefit of their local communities. These projects are an opportunity to try out ideas to develop innovative solutions to common challenges through a bottom-up approach and support young people to be themselves drivers of solidarity actions. They also serve as a springboard for further engagement in solidarity activities and are a first step towards encouraging European Solidarity Corps participants to engage in self-employment or setting up and continue to be active citizens either as volunteers, trainees or as employees in associations, non-governmental organisations or other bodies active in the solidarity, non-profit and youth sectors. The European Solidarity Corps should essentially create an atmosphere in which young people are increasingly motivated to engage in solidarity activities and serve the public interest. [Am. 20]

(13a)  Volunteers can contribute to strengthening the Union's capacity to provide needs-based and principled humanitarian aid and can contribute to enhancing the effectiveness of the humanitarian sector where they are adequately selected, trained and prepared for deployment so as to ensure that they have the necessary skills and competences to help people in need in the most effective way, and provided that they can count on sufficient on-site support and supervision. Therefore, highly skilled, highly trained and experienced coaches or mentors on the ground play an important role in contributing to the effectiveness of the humanitarian response as well as towards supporting volunteers. [Am. 21]

(14)  Young people and organisations participating in the European Solidarity Corps should feel that they belong to a community of individuals and entities committed to enhancing solidarity across Europe. At the same time, participating organisations need support to strengthen their capacities to offer good quality activities to an increasing number of participants. The European Solidarity Corps supports networking activities aimed at strengthening young people and participating organisations’ engagement in this community, at fostering a European Solidarity Corps spirit, as well as at encouraging the exchange of useful best practices and experience. These activities also contribute to raising awareness about the European Solidarity Corps among public and private actors as well as to collect detailed and meaningful feedback from participants and participating organisations on various stages of the implementation of the European Solidarity Corps. Feedback should include questions regarding the Programme´s objectives in order to better evaluate their fulfilment. [Am. 22]

(14a)  Ensuring successful implementation of the Programme requires increased visibility and awareness and further promoting the funding opportunities available through information campaigns, including an annual European Solidarity Corps Information Day, and dynamic means of communication, with a strong focus on social media, ensuring the largest possible awareness among the target groups, both individuals and organisations. [Am. 23]

(15)  Particular attention should be given to ensuring the quality of, and the aim of inclusiveness to be achieved through, the activities and other the opportunities offered under the European Solidarity Corps, in particular by offering adequate online or offline training, language support, reasonable accommodation, insurance, simplified administrative procedures and pre- and post-activity support to participants as well as the validation of the knowledge, skills and competences acquired through their European Solidarity Corps experience. Support measures should be developed and provided in collaboration with youth organisations and other non-profit and civil society organisations in order to tap into their expertise in the field. Security and safety of the volunteers participants as well as of the intended beneficiaries remain of paramount importance and volunteers. All activities should comply with the ‘do no harm principle’. Participants should not be deployed to operations conducted in the theatre of international and non-international armed conflicts, or to facilities that contravene international human rights standards. Activities involving direct contact with children should be guided by the ‘best interests of the child’ principle and should entail, where appropriate, the carrying out of background checks on participants or the adoption of other measures with a view to ensuring the protection of children. [Am. 24]

(15a)   In line with the EU Guidelines for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of the Child (2017) and Article 9 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Union and the Member States are to promote and support the transition from institutionalisation of vulnerable people, such as persons with disabilities and children, to family and community-based care. In that context, the Programme should not support measures or initiatives that hamper the commitment to end institutionalisation or any placement that would be harmful to children or persons with disabilities. [Am. 25]

(15b)   The Union’s principles of equal opportunities and non-discrimination should be fully respected at all stages of the implementation of the Programme, including the identification and selection of participants and organisations. [Am. 26]

(16)  To ensure the impact of European Solidarity Corps activities on the personal, educational, social, cultural, civic and professional development of the participants, the knowledge, skills and competences that are the learning outcomes of the activity should be properly identified and documented, in accordance with national circumstances and specificities, as recommended in Council Recommendation of 20 December 2012 on the validation of non-formal and informal learning(9). To ensure that registered candidates are offered appropriate solidarity activities, the learning outcomes of solidarity activities should be made available to them before they choose to participate. To that end, the use of effective instruments at Union and national level for the recognition of non-formal and informal learning, such as Youthpass and Europass, should be encouraged, as appropriate. [Am. 27]

(16a)  National agencies should also encourage young volunteers to become ambassadors of the Programme in order to share their experiences through youth networks, educational establishments and workshops. Former volunteers or ambassadors could also contribute to the training of future candidates. [Am. 28]

(17)  A quality label should ensure compliance of the participating organisations with the values, principles and objectives of the Union as well as with the principles and requirements of the European Solidarity Corps, as regards their rights and responsibilities, and safety standards, during all stages of the solidarity experience, including the pre-activity and post-activity phases. Obtaining a quality label is a precondition for participation but should not automatically lead to funding under the European Solidarity Corps. Quality labels should be differentiated by type of solidarity activity. [Am. 29]

(18)  Any entity willing to participate in the European Solidarity Corps should receive a quality label provided that the appropriate conditions are fulfilled. To ensure the effective compliance of participating organisations with the principles and requirements of the European Solidarity Corps as regards their rights and responsibilities, separate quality labels should be put in place for volunteering in solidarity activities, volunteering in support of humanitarian aid operations, and for traineeships and jobs, and should also vary depending on the function of the participating organisation. The process that leads to the attribution of a quality label should be carried out on a continuous basis by the implementing bodies of the European Solidarity Corps. The attributed quality label should be reassessed periodically and could regularly and should be revoked if, in the context of the checks to be performed, the conditions that led to its attribution were found to be no longer fulfilled. The administrative process should be reduced to a minimum in order to avoid discouraging smaller organisations. [Am. 30]

(19)  An entity willing to apply for funding to offer activities under the European Solidarity Corps should have first received a quality label as a precondition. This requirement does not apply to natural persons seeking financial support on behalf of an informal group of European Solidarity Corps participants for their solidarity projects.

(19a)   As a general rule, grant requests should be submitted to the national agency of the country in which the participating organisation is based. Grant requests for solidarity activities organised by Europe-wide or international organisations, solidarity activities of volunteering teams in priority fields identified at the European level, and solidarity activities in support of humanitarian aid operations in third countries should be submitted to the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) established by Commission Implementing Decision 2013/776/EU(10). [Am. 31]

(20)  Participating organisations may perform several functions in the framework of the European Solidarity Corps. In a host function they will carry out activities related to receiving the participants, including the organisation of activities and providing guidance and support to participants during the solidarity activity as well as feedback after the activity, as appropriate. In a support function they will carry out activities in relation to the sending and the preparation of participants before departure, during and after the solidarity activity, including training and guiding participants to local organisations after the activity in order to increase opportunities for further solidarity experiences. National agencies should also encourage volunteers to become ambassadors for the Programme and share personal experiences through youth networks and educational establishments, thus contributing to the promotion of the Programme. To that end, national agencies should provide volunteers with support. [Am. 32]

(20a)  In order to support solidarity activities among young people, participating organisations should be public or private entities or international organisations, non-profit or profit making, and may include youth organisations, religious institutions and charity associations, secular humanistic organisations, NGOs or other actors from civil society. The Programme should only provide funding to cover the non-profit part of the activities of participating organisations. [Am. 33]

(21)  The scaling-up of European Solidarity Corps projects should be facilitated. At the same time, accurate and continually updated information regarding those opportunities should be provided for potential beneficiaries. Specific measures should be put in place to help promoters of European Solidarity Corps projects to apply for grants or develop synergies through the support of the European Structural and Investment Funds and the programmes relating to migration, security, justice and citizenship, health and culture. [Am. 34]

(22)  European Solidarity Corps Resource Centres should assist the implementing bodies, the participating organisations and the young people taking part in the European Solidarity Corps in order to raise the quality of the implementation of the activities of the European Solidarity Corps as well as to enhance the identification and validation of competences acquired through these activities including through producing Youthpass certificates.

(23)  The European Solidarity Corps Portal should be continuously developed in order to ensure easy, barrier-free and user friendly access to the European Solidarity Corps and to provide, in compliance with the standards established by Directive (EU) 2016/2102 of the European Parliament and of the Council(11). The European Solidarity Corps Portal provides a one-stop shop for both interested individuals and organisations as regards, inter alia, registration, identification and matching of profiles and opportunities, networking and virtual exchanges, online training, language and pre-activity and post-activity support, feedback and evaluation mechanisms as well as other useful functionalities, which may arise in the future. While a one-stop shop provides the advantage of integrated access to diverse activities, individuals may encounter physical, social and other obstacles in accessing the European Solidarity Corps Portal. In order to overcome such obstacles, participating organisations should provide participants with registration support. [Am. 35]

(24)  The European Solidarity Corps Portal should be further developed taking into account the European Interoperability Framework(12), which gives specific guidance on how to set up interoperable digital public services and is implemented in the Member States and other member of the European Economic Area through National Interoperability Frameworks. It offers public administrations 47 concrete recommendations on how to improve governance of their interoperability activities, establish cross-organisational relationships, streamline processes supporting end-to-end digital services, and ensure that both existing and new legislation do not compromise interoperability efforts. Additionally, the Portal should be built in accordance with the standards established by Directive (EU) 2016/2102. [Am. 36]

(24a)  In order to enhance the transparency of the implementation process and increase the Programme´s effectiveness, the Commission should regularly consult key stakeholders, including participating organisations, on the implementation of the Programme. [Am. 37]

(24b)  In order to ensure the proper functioning of the Programme and the timely deployment of the Programme’s actions, it is essential that mechanisms are put in place within the Programme’s work programmes to guarantee that offers are presented to registered candidates within a reasonable and relatively predictable amount of time. Periodic information and updates on available placements and actively involved participating organisations should therefore be sent to registered candidates in order to stimulate their engagement with the Programme after their registration, while also offering them the opportunity to directly get in touch with the actors involved in the field of solidarity at both the national and European level. [Am. 38]

(25)  Regulation [the new Financial Regulation] (13) (the ‘Financial Regulation’) applies to this Programme. It lays down rules on the implementation of the Union budget, including the rules on grants, prizes, procurement, indirect implementation, financial assistance, financial instruments and budgetary guarantees.

(26)  In particular, in accordance with Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 883/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council(14) and Council Regulation (Euratom, EC) No 2185/96(15), the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) may carry out administrative investigations, including on-the-spot checks and inspections, with a view to establishing whether there has been fraud, corruption or any other illegal activity affecting the financial interests of the Union. In accordance with Council Regulation (EU) 2017/1939(16), the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) may investigate and prosecute fraud and other criminal offences affecting the financial interests of the Union as provided for in Directive (EU) 2017/1371 of the European Parliament and of the Council(17). In accordance with the Financial Regulation, any person or entity receiving Union funds is to fully cooperate in the protection of the Union’s financial interests, to grant the necessary rights and access to the Commission, OLAF, the EPPO and the European Court of Auditors (ECA) and to ensure that any third parties involved in the implementation of Union funds grant equivalent rights.

(27)  The European Solidarity Corps targets young people aged 18-30, and participation in the activities offered by the European Solidarity Corps should require prior registration in the European Solidarity Corps Portal.

(27a)   The Union's principles of equal opportunities and non-discrimination suggest that Union citizens and long-term residents in the Union of all walks of life and ages should be able to engage as active citizens. In view of the specific challenges of humanitarian action, participants in the EU Aid Volunteers initiative should be at least 18 years of age and may represent a wide variety of profiles and generations whose skills are relevant to the successful conduct of such humanitarian operations. [Am. 39]

(28)  Special attention should be given to ensuring that the activities supported by the European Solidarity Corps are accessible to all young people, notably the most disadvantaged ones in particular those with fewer opportunities, as further detailed in the Inclusion and Diversity Strategy developed and applied within the framework of the Erasmus+ programme. Special measures, such as appropriate formats of solidarity activities and personalised guidance, should be in place to promote social inclusion, the participation of disadvantaged young people with fewer opportunities, as well as to take into account the constraints imposed by the remoteness of a number of rural areas and of the outermost regions of the Union and the Overseas Countries and Territories. To that end, young people with fewer opportunities should, without prejudice to the possibility to participate full-time and in a country other than the country of residence, also have the possibility to participate part-time or in the country of residence, and should benefit from other measures aimed at facilitating their participation in the Programme. Similarly, the participating countries should endeavour to adopt all appropriate measures to remove legal and administrative obstacles to the proper functioning of the European Solidarity Corps. This should resolve, where possible, and without prejudice to the Schengen acquis and Union law on the entry and residence of third-country nationals, administrative issues that create difficulties in obtaining visas and residence permits, as well as the issuing of a European Health Insurance Card in the case of cross-border activities within the European Union. [Am. 40]

(28a)  Particular attention and support should be given to the capacity of hosting partner organisations in third countries and the need to embed the activities of volunteers within the local context and to facilitate volunteers’ interaction with local humanitarian actors, the hosting community and civil society. [Am. 41]

(29)  Reflecting the importance of tackling climate change in line with the Union's commitments to implement the Paris Agreement and achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, this Programme will contribute to mainstream climate action and to the achievement of an overall target of at least 25 % of the Union budget expenditures supporting climate objectives over the 2021-2027 period of the Multiannual Financial Framework, and an annual target of 30 % as soon as possible and not later than 2027. Relevant actions will be identified during the Programme's preparation and implementation, and reassessed in the context of the relevant evaluations and review processes. [Am. 42]

(30)  This Regulation lays down a financial envelope for the period 2021-2027 which is to constitute the prime reference amount, within the meaning of Point 17 of the Interinstitutional Agreement between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline, on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management, for the European Parliament and the Council during the annual budgetary procedure(18).

(30a)  An adequate part of the budget should be dedicated to the exchange of best practices among Member States and the development of youth networks. [Am. 43]

(31)  The types of financing and the methods of implementation under this Regulation shall be chosen on the basis of their ability to achieve the specific objectives of the actions and to deliver results, taking into account, in particular, the costs of controls, the administrative burden, and the expected risk of non-compliance. For grants, this shall include consideration of the use of lump sums, flat rates and scales of unit costs.

(32)  Third countries which are members of the European Economic Area (EEA) may participate in the Programme in the framework of the cooperation established under the European Economic Area (EEA) agreement, which provides for the implementation of Union programmes by a decision under that agreement. Third countries may also participate on the basis of other legal instruments. This Regulation should grant the necessary rights for and access to the authorising officer responsible, the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) as well as the European Court of Auditors to comprehensively exert their respective competences. The full participation of third countries in the Programme should be subject to the conditions laid down in specific agreements covering the participation of the third country concerned to the Programme. Full participation entails, moreover, the obligation to set up a national agency and managing some of the actions of the Programme at decentralised level. Individuals and entities from third countries that are not associated to the Programme should be able to participate in some of the actions of the Programme, as defined in the work programme and the calls for proposals published by the Commission.

(33)  In order to maximise the impact of the European Solidarity Corps, provisions should be made to allow participating countries and other Union programmes to make additional funding available in accordance with the rules of the European Solidarity Corps.

(34)  Pursuant to [Article 88 of New Council Decision on association of OCTs](19), persons and entities established in overseas countries and territories are eligible for funding subject to the rules and objectives of the Programme and possible arrangements applicable to the Member State to which the relevant overseas country or territory is linked.

(35)  In line with the Commission's communication on 'A stronger and renewed strategic partnership with the Union's outermost regions'(20), the Programme should take into account the specific situation of these regions. Measures will be taken to increase the outermost regions' participation in all actions, including reinforced publicity. Such measures will be monitored regularly and evaluated. [Am. 44]

(36)  Given that the Programme is implemented over a seven-year period, it is necessary to provide for adequate flexibility to enable the Programme to adapt to changing realities and political priorities for the implementation of solidarity activities. As such, this Regulation does not set out in detail how the actions will be designed and it does not prejudge political priorities or respective budgetary priorities for the next seven years. Instead, the secondary policy choices and priorities, including details of specific actions, to be implemented through the different activities should be determined through an annual work programme in compliance with Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2018/1046 of the European Parliament and of the Council(21) (the Financial Regulation), the Commission should adopt work programmes and inform the European Parliament and the Council thereof. The work programme should set out the measures needed for their implementation in line with the general and specific objectives of the Programme, the selection and award criteria for grants, as well as all other elements required. Work programmes and any amendments to them should be adopted by implementing acts in accordance with the examination procedure means of a delegated act. To ensure equal participation in the preparation of delegated acts, the Commission, when preparing and drawing up delegated acts, should carry out appropriate consultations during its preparatory work, including at expert level and ensure a simultaneous, timely and appropriate transmission of relevant documents to the European Parliament and to the Council. [Am. 45]

(37)  Pursuant to paragraph 22 and 23 of the Interinstitutional agreement for Better Law-Making of 13 April 2016, there is a need to evaluate this Programme on the basis of information collected through specific monitoring requirements, while avoiding overregulation and administrative burdens, in particular on Member States. Such requirements should include specific, measurable and realistic indicators which can be measured over time as a basis for evaluating the effects of the Programme on the ground.

(38)  Appropriate outreach, publicity and dissemination of the opportunities and results of the actions supported by the Programme should be ensured at European, regional, national and local level. The Programme should be promoted through dynamic means of communication, with special focus on social media, in order to reach out to a large number of potential candidates. Special attention should be paid to social enterprises encouraging them to support the European Solidarity Corps activities. The outreach, publicity and dissemination activities should rely on all the implementing bodies of the Programme, including, on Union websites, Union programmes associated with the European Solidarity Corps, and should, when relevant, with involve the support of other key stakeholders. [Am. 46]

(39)  In order to better achieve the objectives of the Programme, the Commission, Member States and national agencies should preferably work closely together in partnership with non-governmental organisations, social enterprises, youth organisations, organisations representing people with disabilities, and local stakeholders having expertise in solidarity actions, including volunteer infrastructure and support agencies such as volunteer centres. [Am. 47]

(40)  In order to ensure greater efficiency in communication to the public at large and stronger synergies between the communication activities undertaken at the initiative of the Commission, the resources allocated to communication under this Regulation should also contribute to covering the corporate communication of the political priorities of the Union in a barrier-free way, provided that these are related to the general objective of this Regulation. [Am. 48]

(41)  In order to ensure efficient and effective implementation of this Regulation, the Programme should make maximum use of existing management arrangements already in place. The implementation of the Programme should therefore be entrusted to existing structures, namely the Commission and the national agencies designated for the management of the actions referred to in Chapter III of [New Erasmus Regulation]. The Commission should regularly consult key stakeholders, including participating organisations, on the implementation of the European Solidarity Corps.

(42)  In order to ensure sound financial management, cost optimisation and legal certainty in each participating country, each national authority should designate an independent audit body. Where feasible, and in order to maximise efficiency, the independent audit body could be the same as the one designated for the actions referred to in Chapter III of [New Erasmus Regulation]. [Am. 49]

(43)  Member States should endeavour to adopt all appropriate measures to remove legal and administrative obstacles to the proper functioning of the Programme. This includes resolving, where possible, and without prejudice to Union law on the entry and residence of third-country nationals issues that create difficulties in obtaining visas and residence permits and other legal difficulties that could prevent young people’s access to the Programme. In line with Directive (EU) 2016/801 of the European Parliament and of the Council(22), Member States are encouraged to establish fast-track admission procedures. [Am. 50]

(44)  The performance reporting system should ensure that data for monitoring programme implementation and evaluation are collected efficiently, effectively and in a timely manner, and at the appropriate level of granularity. Such data should be communicated to the Commission in a way that complies with relevant data protection rules.

(45)  In order to ensure uniform conditions for the implementation of this Regulation, implementing powers should be conferred on the Commission. Those powers should be exercised in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council(23). [Am. 51]

(46)  In order to simplify requirements for beneficiaries, simplified grants in the form of lump-sums, unit-costs and flat-rate funding should be used to the maximum possible extent. The simplified grants to support the mobility actions of the Programme, as defined by the Commission, should take into account the living and subsistence costs of the host country. In accordance with national law, Member States should also be encouraged to exempt those grants from any taxes and social levies. The same exemption should apply to public or private entities awarding such financial support to the individuals concerned.

(47)  In accordance with the Financial Regulation, Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 883/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council, Council Regulation (Euratom, EC) No 2988/95(24), Council Regulation (Euratom, EC) No 2185/96 and Council Regulation (EU) 2017/1939, the financial interests of the Union are to be protected through proportionate measures, including the prevention, detection, correction and investigation of irregularities, including fraud, the recovery of funds lost, wrongly paid or incorrectly used and, where appropriate, the imposition of administrative sanctions. In order to review and/or complement the performance indicators of the Programme, the power to adopt acts in accordance with Article 290 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union should be delegated to the Commission. It is of particular importance that the Commission carries out appropriate consultations during its preparatory work, including at expert level, and that those consultations be conducted in accordance with the principles laid down in the Interinstitutional Agreement on Better Law-Making of 13 April 2016. In particular, to ensure equal participation in the preparation of delegated acts, the European Parliament and the Council should receive all documents at the same time as Member States' experts, and their experts systematically have access to meetings of Commission expert groups dealing with the preparation of delegated acts.

(48)  This Regulation respects the fundamental rights and observes the principles recognised in particular by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union(25). In particular, this Regulation seeks to ensure full respect for the right to equality between men and women and the right to non-discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation, socioeconomic background and to promote the application of Articles 21 and 23 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. [Am. 52]

(49)  Horizontal financial rules adopted by the European Parliament and the Council on the basis of Article 322 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union apply to this Regulation. These rules are laid down in the Financial Regulation and determine in particular the procedure for establishing and implementing the budget through grants, procurement, prizes, indirect implementation, and provide for checks on the responsibility of financial actors. Rules adopted on the basis of Article 322 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union also concern the protection of the Union's budget in case of generalised deficiencies as regards the rule of law in the Member States, as the respect for the rule of law is an essential precondition for sound financial management and effective Union funding.

(50)  Since the objective of this Regulation, namely to enhance the engagement of young people and organisations in accessible and high-quality solidarity activities, cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States but can rather, by reason of its scale and effects, be better achieved at Union level, the Union may adopt measures, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity as set out in Article 5 of the Treaty on European Union. In accordance with the principle of proportionality, as set out in that Article, this Regulation does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve those objectives.

(51)  [European Solidarity Corps Regulation] should be repealed with effect from 1 January 2021.

(52)  In order to ensure continuity in the funding support provided under the Programme, this Regulation should apply from 1 January 2021.

HAVE ADOPTED THIS REGULATION:

CHAPTER I

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Article 1

Subject matter

This Regulation establishes the European Solidarity Corps (the ‘Programme’).

It lays down the objectives of the Programme, the budget for the period 2021 – 2027, the forms of Union funding and the rules for providing such funding.

Article 2

Definitions

For the purposes of this Regulation, the following definitions apply:

(1)  ‘solidarity activity’ means a high-quality temporary inclusive and adequately funded activity addressing important societal challenges to the benefit of a community or of society as a whole, contributing to the achievement of the objectives of the European Solidarity Corps, which may take the form of volunteering, traineeships, jobs, solidarity projects and networking activities in various fields, including those referred to in paragraph 13, ensuring the European added value and compliance with health and safety regulations and international human rights standards; [Am. 53]

(2)  ‘registered candidate’ means an individual aged between 17 and 30 years who is legally residing in a participating country and who has registered in the European Solidarity Corps Portal to express the interest to engage in a solidarity activity but is not yet participating in such activity; [Am. 54]

(3)  ‘participant’ means an individual aged between 18 and 30 years who is legally residing in a participating country, who has registered in the European Solidarity Corps Portal and who takes part in a solidarity activity under the European Solidarity Corps; [Am. 55]

(4)  ‘young people with fewer opportunities’ means young people facing some who need additional support due to various obstacles that prevent them from having effective access to opportunities under the Programme for economic, social, cultural, geographical or arising from, for example disability, health reasons or for reasons such as disabilities and problems, educational difficulties, their migrant background, cultural differences, their economic, social and geographical situation, including people from marginalised communities or at risk of facing discrimination based on any of the grounds enshrined in Article 21 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union; [Am. 56]

(5)  ‘participating organisation’ means any public or private entity, whether non-profit or profit making, local, regional, national or international, that has been attributed the European Solidarity Corps quality label, in a host function, in a support function, or in both functions, ensuring that the entity is able to implement the high-quality solidarity activities in accordance with the objectives of the Programme; [Am. 57]

(6)  ‘volunteering’ means a an optional solidarity activity taking place as voluntary unpaid consisting in the performance of an activity for the public benefit that contributes to the achievement of public welfare, which a participant performs in his or her free time and of his or her free will, without an entitlement to remuneration, for a period of up to 12 months; [Am. 58]

(7)  ‘traineeship’ means a paid solidarity activity that takes the form of work practice within a participating organisation for a period from two three to six months, renewable once and for a maximum duration of 12 months, that is offered and paid by the participating organisation hosting the European Solidarity Corps participant and that involves a learning component to gain relevant skills and experience; [Am. 59]

(8)  ‘job’ means a decently paid solidarity activity for a period from 2 three to 12 months, which includes a learning and training component, is based on a written agreement and is offered and paid by the participating organisation employing the European Solidarity Corps participant, not replacing or substituting an existing employment opportunity; [Am. 60]

(9)  ‘solidarity project’ means an unpaid in-country or cross-border solidarity activity for a period of up to 12 months, carried out by groups of at least five European Solidarity Corps participants, with a view to addressing key challenges within their communities while presenting a clear European added value; [Am. 61]

(10)  ‘quality label’ means the certification attributed, on the basis of varying specific requirements depending on the type of solidarity activity provided, to a participating organisation willing to provide solidarity activities under the European Solidarity Corps, in the role of a host and/or in a support function, that certifies that the organisation is able to ensure the quality of solidarity activities, during all stages of the solidarity experience, in accordance with the principles and objectives of the Programme; [Am. 62]

(11)  ‘European Solidarity Corps Resource Centres’ means the additional functions performed by designated national agencies to support the development, implementation and quality of activities under the European Solidarity Corps as well as the identification of the competences acquired by the participants through their solidarity activities;

(12)  ‘Union transparency and recognition tools’ means instruments that help stakeholders to understand, appreciate and, as appropriate, recognise non-formal and informal learning outcomes throughout the Union. All participants will receive, after completion of their activities, a certification stating the learning outcomes of, and skills developed during their activities, such as Youthpass or Europass;

(13)  ‘humanitarian aid activity’ means an activity supporting humanitarian aid operations in third countries intended to provide needs-based emergency assistance aimed at preserving life, preventing and alleviating human suffering, and maintaining human dignity in the face of man-made crises or natural disasters, including assistance, relief and protection operations in humanitarian crises or their immediate aftermath, supporting measures to ensure access to people in need and to facilitate the free flow of assistance, as well as actions aimed at reinforcing disaster preparedness and disaster risk reduction, linking relief, rehabilitation and development, and contributing towards strengthening resilience and capacity to cope with, and recover from crises;

(14)  ‘third country’ means a country that is not member of the Union;

(15)  ‘third country associated to the programme’ means a third country which is party to an agreement with the Union allowing for its participation in the Programme and which fulfils all the obligations laid down in this Regulation in relation to Member States;

(16)  ‘third country not associated to the programme’ means a third country which does not participate fully in the Programme but whose legal entities may exceptionally benefit from the Programme in duly justified cases in the Union’s interest.

Article 3

Programme objectives

1.  The general objective of the Programme is to promote solidarity as a value, mainly through volunteering, enhance the engagement of a generation of young people more likely to engage in solidarity activities and organisations in accessible and high-quality solidarity activities as a means to contribute to strengthening social cohesion, solidarity and, democracy, European identity and active citizenship in the Union and abroad, addressing to support communities and respond to societal and humanitarian challenges on the ground, with particular effort to promote social inclusion and equal opportunities. [Am. 63]

2.  The specific objective of the Programme is to provide young people, including those with fewer opportunities, with easily accessible and inclusive opportunities for engagement in solidarity activities inducing positive societal changes in Europe and abroad while improving and properly validating their competences for personal, educational, social, cultural, civic and professional development, as well as facilitating their continuous engagement as active citizens, employability and transition into the labour market. [Am. 64]

2a.  Feedback provided by participants and participating organisations shall also include an evaluation of the fulfilment of the Programme’s objectives. [Am. 65]

3.  The objectives of the Programme shall be implemented under the following strands of actions:

(a)  participation of young people in solidarity activities addressing societal challenges as referred to in Article 6 and efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals; [Am. 66]

(b)  participation of young people and people with expertise in humanitarian aid related solidarity activities (European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps) as referred to in Article 10 and actions inside and outside the Union aimed at building hosting organisations’ capacity for humanitarian aid in third countries as referred to in Article 11. [Am. 67]

3a.   The operational objectives and corresponding policy priorities of the actions to be implemented through the activities under the strands referred to in paragraph 3 of this Article shall be specified in detail in the annual work programmes to be adopted pursuant to Article 18. [Am. 68]

CHAPTER II

ACTIONS OF THE EUROPEAN SOLIDARITY CORPS

Article 4

Actions of the European Solidarity Corps

1.  The Programme shall pursue the objectives set out in Article 3 through the following types of actions:

(a)  volunteering, as referred to in Articles 7 and 11;

(b)  traineeships and jobs, as referred to in Article 8, which shall be of high quality; [Am. 69]

(c)  solidarity projects, as referred to in Article 9;

(d)  networking activities, as referred to in Article 5;

(e)  quality and support measures, as referred to in Article 5.

2.  The Programme shall support the solidarity activities which present a clear European added value, for example through:

(a)  their transnational character, particularly with regard to learning mobility and cooperation;

(b)  their ability to complement with other programmes and policies at local, regional, national, Union and international level;

(c)  their European dimension regarding the topics, aims, approaches, expected outcomes and other aspects of these solidarity activities;

(d)  their approach inclusiveness and their effective ability to involve young people from different backgrounds, including young people with disabilities; [Am. 70]

(e)  their contribution to the effective use of Union transparency and recognition tools.

2a.   Annual work programmes adopted pursuant to Article 18 shall include a list of activities which are potentially harmful to participants, beneficiaries and society, or inappropriate for participants, and which shall not be carried out in the framework of the Programme or which shall be subject to special training, background checks or other measures. [Am. 71]

3.  The solidarity activities shall be implemented in accordance with specific requirements set for each type of activity carried out in the framework of the Programme as referred to in Articles 5, 7, 8, 9 and 11, as well as with applicable regulatory frameworks in participating countries.

4.  References to the European Voluntary Service in the Union legislation shall be read as including volunteering activities under both Regulation (EU) No 1288/2013 and this Regulation.

Article 5

Actions common to both strands

1.  Networking activities, as referred to in Article 4.1, point (d), shall aim at:

(a)  reinforcing the capacities of the participating organisations to offer good high quality, easily accessible and adequately funded projects to an increasing number of European Solidarity Corps participants; [Am. 72]

(b)  attracting newcomers, both young people and those with some experience in the EU Aid Volunteers initiative and participating organisations; [Am. 73]

(ba)  facilitating the access of people with disabilities to all activities offered; [Am. 74]

(c)  providing opportunities to give feedback on solidarity activities as well as to promote the Programme as an ambassador; and [Am. 75]

(d)  contributing to exchange of experiences and strengthening the sense of belonging among the individuals and entities participating in the European Solidarity Corps and thus support its wider positive impact.

2.  Quality and support measures, as referred to in Article 4.1, point (e), shall include:

(a)  measures aimed at ensuring the quality of volunteering, traineeships or jobs, including training, language support, complementary insurance, support before or after the solidarity activity as well as the further use of Youthpass that identifies and documents the competences acquired during the solidarity activities for participants, and capacity building and, administrative support for participating organisations;

(aa)  measures to protect beneficiaries of solidarity activities, including the targeted training of participants who undertake their solidarity activities for the benefit of vulnerable groups, including children, and background checks of participants working with children; [Am. 76]

(ab)   measures aimed at promoting social inclusion and equal opportunities, in particular for the participation of young people with fewer opportunities, such as appropriate formats of solidarity activities and personalised support; [Am. 77]

(ac)  measures aimed at ensuring capacity building and administrative support for participating organisations; [Am. 78]

(b)  the development and maintenance of a the quality label labels for entities willing to provide solidarity activities for the European Solidarity Corps; [Am. 79]

(c)  the activities of European Solidarity Corps Resource Centres to support and raise the quality of the implementation of the actions of the European Solidarity Corps and enhance the validation of their outcomes;

(d)  the establishment, maintenance and updating of the an accessible European Solidarity Corps Portal in at least all official languages of the Union and other relevant online services as well as the necessary IT support systems and web-based tools which shall comply with the accessibility requirements of Directive (EU) 2016/2102; [Am. 80]

(da)   measures to encourages social enterprises to support Programme activities or to allow employees to engage in volunteering activities in the framework of the Programme; [Am. 81]

(db)   the development of a clear and detailed procedure addressed to participants and participating organisations, establishing the steps of, and timeframes for, all phases of the solidarity activities; [Am. 82]

CHAPTER III

PARTICIPATION OF YOUNG PEOPLE IN SOLIDARITY ACTIVITIES ADDRESSING SOCIETAL CHALLENGES

Article 6

Purpose and types of actions

1.  Actions implemented under the strand ‘Participation of young people in solidarity activities addressing societal challenges’ shall in particular contribute to strengthening cohesion, solidarity, citizenship and democracy in the Union and abroad, while also responding to societal challenges with particular effort to promote social inclusion and equal opportunities. [Am. 83]

2.  The strand shall support activities as referred to in Article 4.1, in points (a), (b), (c), (d) and (e) in the following ways:

(a)  volunteering, as referred to in Article 7;

(b)  traineeships and jobs, as referred to in Article 8, which shall be of high quality; [Am. 84]

(c)  solidarity projects, as referred to in Article 9;

(d)  networking activities for individuals and organisations participating in this strand in accordance with Article 5;

(e)  quality and support measures in accordance with Article 5.

Article 7

Volunteering in solidarity activities

1.  Volunteering as referred to in point (a) of Article 4.1, point (a) 4(1) shall include a solid education and learning and dimension, and online and offline training component tailored to the activity in question to take place before and during the activity, shall strive for a clear impact on identified community needs, shall not substitute traineeships or jobs, shall not be equated with employment and shall be based on a written volunteering agreement in accordance with relevant national law. Such an agreement shall ensure the adequate legal, social and financial protection of the participant. [Am. 85]

2.  Volunteering may shall as a rule take place in a country other than the country of residence of the participant (cross-border) or . Volunteering may take place in the country of residence of the participant (in-country), but shall only be open to the participation of young people with fewer opportunities and shall include the participation of participants residing in a country other than the country in which the activity is taking place. [Am. 86]

Article 8

Traineeships and jobs

1.  A traineeship as referred to in Article 4.1, point (b) shall be paid and based on a written traineeship agreement concluded at the beginning of the traineeship in accordance with the applicable regulatory framework of the country where the traineeship takes place, as appropriate,. The traineeship agreement shall indicate the educational objectives, the working conditions and the duration of the traineeship, the remuneration which the participant is to receive and the rights and obligations of the parties and taking shall take into account the principles of the Quality Framework for Traineeships (2014/C 88/01). Traineeships shall not substitute jobs. [Am. 87]

2.  A job as referred to in Article 4.1, point (b) shall be based on an a written employment contract which respects all the terms and conditions of employment as established in accordance with the national regulatory framework law, applicable collective agreements, or both, of the participating country where in which the job is being carried out. The financial support to participating organisations offering jobs shall not exceed 12 twelve months in cases when the duration of the employment contract exceeds 12 twelve months. [Am. 88]

3.  Traineeships and jobs shall include a solid education and learning and training component before and during the activity, to help the participant gain relevant experience with a view to developing competences useful for the participant’s personal, educational, social, civic and professional development. [Am. 89]

4.  Traineeships and jobs may shall as a rule take place in a country other than the country of residence of the participant (cross-border) or. Traineeships and jobs may take place in the country of residence of the participant (in-country), but shall only be open to the participation of young people with fewer opportunities and shall include the participation of participants residing in a country other than the country in which the activity is taking place. [Am. 90]

4a.   An adequate budget shall be allocated to fund the reasonable accommodation enabling the effective participation of persons with disabilities on an equal basis with others, in accordance with Article 27 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and with Council Directive 2000/78/EC(26). [Am. 91]

Article 9

Solidarity projects

A solidarity project as referred to in Article 4.1, point (c) shall not substitute traineeships and/or jobs.

CHAPTER IV

EUROPEAN VOLUNTARY HUMANITARIAN AID CORPS

Article 10

Purpose and types of actions

1.  Actions implemented under the strand ‘European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps’ shall in particular contribute to providing needs-based humanitarian aid aimed at preserving life, preventing and alleviating human suffering and maintaining human dignity in the context of natural or man-made disasters and to strengthening the capacity and resilience of communities that are vulnerable or disaster-affected communities, fragile or affected by natural or man-made disasters, and to facilitate the transition from the humanitarian response to long-term sustainable and inclusive development. [Am. 92]

2.  The actions Actions under this Chapter shall be carried out in compliance with the European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid, promoting the fundamental humanitarian aid principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence while reiterating the Union’s firm commitment to a needs-based approach, without discrimination between or within affected populations, and respecting international law. [Am. 93]

2a.  The Union's humanitarian aid is delivered in situations where other instruments related to development cooperation, crisis management and civil protection might operate. The European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps shall work in a coherent and complementary manner and avoid overlaps with relevant Union policies and instruments, in particular with the Union's humanitarian aid policy, development cooperation policy and the Union Civil Protection Mechanism. [Am. 94]

2b.  In promoting a coherent international response to humanitarian crises, the actions under this Chapter shall be in accordance with those coordinated by United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. [Am. 95]

2c.  The European Humanitarian Aid Corps shall contribute to strengthening the gender perspective in Union humanitarian aid, promoting adequate humanitarian responses to the specific needs of women. Special attention shall be paid to cooperation with women's groups and networks in order to promote the participation and leadership of women in humanitarian aid and to draw on their capacities and expertise to contribute to recovery, peace building, disaster risk reduction and resilience of affected communities. [Am. 96]

2d.  The specific terms of deployment shall be set out, in close consultation with the hosting organisations, in an agreement between the sending organisation and the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps, including rights and obligations, the duration and location of deployment and the tasks to be carried out. [Am. 97]

3.  The strand shall support activities as referred to in Article 4.1, in points (a), (d), and (e) in the following ways:

(a)  volunteering, as referred to in Article 11;

(aa)   solidarity projects; [Am. 98]

(b)  networking activities for individuals and organisations participating in this strand in accordance with Article 5;

(c)  quality and support measures in accordance with Article 5 with particular focus on measures to ensure safety and security of participants.

3a.   On the basis of a prior assessment of needs in third countries, this Regulation shall support actions aimed at strengthening humanitarian aid capacity in order to enhance local preparedness and response to humanitarian crises and to ensure that volunteers' work has an effective and sustainable impact on the ground, including:

(a)  management of risks associated with natural disasters, preparedness and response, coaching, training in volunteer management, and other relevant areas for staff and volunteers from hosting organisations;

(b)  exchange of best practices, technical assistance, twinning programmes and exchange of staff and volunteers, creation of networks and other relevant actions. [Am. 99]

3b.   The Commission shall continue, maintain and update the EU Aid Volunteers database, regulate access thereto and use thereof, including with regard to the availability and suitability of EU Aid Volunteers, thus enabling the continued participation of returning volunteers. The processing of personal data collected in or for that database shall be carried out, where relevant, in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council(27) and Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 of the European Parliament and of the Council(28). [Am. 100]

Article 11

Volunteering in support of humanitarian aid operations

1.  Volunteering in support of humanitarian aid operations as referred to in Article 4.1, point (a) shall include a adequate learning and training component, including before the placement, linked to the projects in which young volunteers will be involved, with due emphasis on the humanitarian aid principles referred to in Article 10(2) and the ‘do no harm principle’, and it shall not substitute traineeships or jobs and shall be based on a written volunteering agreement. [Am. 101]

1a.   The EU Aid Volunteers initiative shall foster the participation of local volunteers from third countries. [Am. 102]

2.  Volunteering under this strand may only take place in third countries: [Am. 103]

(a)  where humanitarian aid activities and operations take place; and

(b)  where there are no ongoing international or non-international armed conflicts.

2a.  On the basis of a prior assessment of the needs in third countries by sending and hosting organisations, and other relevant actors, the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps shall support actions aimed at:

(a)  strengthening the hosting organisations' capacity for humanitarian aid in third countries in order to enhance local preparedness and response to humanitarian crises and to ensure the effective and sustainable impact of the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps’ work on the ground through disaster risk management, preparedness and response, the transition from humanitarian response to sustainable local development, coaching, and training in volunteer management;

(b)  the exchange of best practices, technical assistance, twinning programmes and the exchange of staff and volunteers. [Am. 104]

2b.   Assessing the level of risk with regard to the safety and security of volunteers shall be a priority, in particular in countries or areas considered to be unstable or where there are immediate risks. [Am. 105]

2c.   Communication campaigns on the European Solidarity Corps pertaining to the EU Aid Volunteers initiative shall be carried out primarily on the territory of the Union and shall focus on work undertaken by volunteers and humanitarian aid workers under the humanitarian aid principles of humanity, independence, neutrality and impartiality that inform their actions. [Am. 106]

2d.   Volunteering shall meet the real needs and gaps identified at local level by the host organisations. [Am. 107]

Article 11a

Identification and selection of candidate volunteers

1.   On the basis of a prior assessment of needs in third countries, the Commission shall identify and select candidate volunteers for training in cooperation with national agencies and host organisations.

2.   The identification and selection of candidate volunteers shall be carried out in accordance with Article 14, respecting the principles of non-discrimination, gender equality and equal opportunities.

3.   The age limits referred to in Articles 2 and 15 shall not apply to volunteering in support of humanitarian aid operations under this Article. [Am. 108]

Article 11b

Training of candidate volunteers

1.   Building on existing programmes and procedures, the Commission shall establish a training programme to prepare candidate volunteers to support and complement humanitarian aid actions.

2.   Candidate volunteers who have been identified and selected in accordance with the application procedure shall be eligible to participate in the training programme implemented by qualified organisations. The individual scope and content of the training to be undertaken by each volunteer candidate shall be determined in consultation with the certified host organisation according to needs, taking into account the previous experience of the volunteer candidate and the planned volunteering location.

3.   The training programme shall include an assessment of the readiness of candidate volunteers to be seconded to support and complement humanitarian aid activities in third countries, as well as to meet local needs. [Am. 109]

CHAPTER V

FINANCIAL PROVISIONS

Article 12

Budget

1.  The financial envelope for the implementation of the Programme for the period 2021-2027 shall be EUR 1 112 988 000 in 2018 prices [EUR 1 260 000 000 in current prices]. [Am. 110]

2.  The amount referred to in paragraph 1 may be used for technical and administrative assistance for the implementation of the Programme, such as preparatory, monitoring, control, audit and evaluation activities, including corporate information technology systems. An adequate amount of the budget shall also be dedicated to the exchange of best practices among Member States and the development of youth networks. [Am. 111]

2a.   The Commission shall adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 29 to amend this Regulation to allow for flexibility and adaptation of the indicative budgetary breakdown by activities under Article 12a. The delegated acts adopted under this Article shall reflect the new political priorities by readjusting the breakdown respecting a maximum margin of 20 %. [Am. 112]

3.  Without prejudice to the Financial Regulation, expenditure for actions resulting from projects included in the first work programme may be eligible as from 1 January 2021.

4.  Resources allocated to Member States under shared management may, at their request, be transferred to the Programme. The Commission shall implement those resources directly in accordance with [point (a) of Article 62.1] of the Financial Regulation or indirectly in accordance with [point (c) of that Article]. Where possible those resources shall be used for the benefit of the Member State concerned.

Article 12a

Breakdown of the budget dedicated to activities under Articles 7, 8, 9 and 11

The indicative breakdown of the budget dedicated to activities under Articles 7, 8, 9 and 11 shall be as follows:

(a)  for volunteering in solidarity activities and solidarity projects, as specified in Articles 7 and 9: 86 %;

(b)  for traineeships and jobs, as specified in Article 8: 8 %; and

(c)  for volunteering in support of humanitarian aid operations, as specified in Article 11: 6 %. [Am. 113]

Article 13

Forms of EU funding and methods of implementation

1.  The Programme shall be implemented in a consistent manner in direct management in accordance with the Financial Regulation and in indirect management with bodies referred to in Article [62.1, point (c)] of the Financial Regulation.

2.  The Programme may provide funding in any of the forms laid down in the Financial Regulation, in particular grants, prizes and procurement. In order to simplify requirements for beneficiaries, lump sums, unit costs and flat-rate funding shall be used to the maximum possible extent. [Am. 114]

3.  Contributions to a mutual insurance mechanism may cover the risk associated with the recovery of funds due by recipients and shall be considered a sufficient guarantee under the Financial Regulation. The provisions laid down in [Article X of] Regulation XXX [successor of the Regulation on the Guarantee Fund] shall apply.

4.  For selections under both direct and indirect management, the evaluation committee may be composed of external experts.

CHAPTER VI

PARTICIPATION IN THE EUROPEAN SOLIDARITY CORPS

Article 14

Participating countries

1.  Volunteering, traineeships, jobs, solidarity projects, networking activities and quality and support measures as referred to in Articles 5, 7, 8, 9 and 11 shall be open to the participation of the Member States and overseas countries and territories.

2.  Volunteering, networking activities and quality and support measures as referred to in Articles 5 and 7 shall also be open to the participation of:

(a)  members of the European Free Trade Association, which are members of the European Economic Area (EEA), in accordance with the conditions laid down in the European Economic Area agreement;

(b)  acceding countries, candidates and potential candidates, in accordance with the general principles and general terms and conditions for the participation of those countries in Union programmes established in the respective framework agreements and Association Council decisions, or similar agreements, and in accordance with the specific conditions laid down in agreements between the Union and those countries;

(c)  countries covered by the European Neighbourhood Policy, in accordance with the general principles and general terms and conditions for the participation of those countries in Union programmes established in the respective framework agreements and Association Council decisions, or similar agreements, and in accordance with the specific conditions laid down in agreements between the Union and those countries;

(d)  other third countries, in accordance with the conditions laid down in a specific agreement covering the participation of the third country to any Union programme, provided that the agreement:

–  ensures a fair balance as regards the contributions and benefits of the third country participating in the Union programmes;

–  lays down the conditions of participation in the programmes, including the calculation of financial contributions to individual programmes and their administrative costs. These contributions shall constitute assigned revenues in accordance with Article [21(5)] of the Financial Regulation;

–  does not confer to the third country a decisional power on the programme;

–  guarantees the rights of the Union to ensure sound financial management and to protect its financial interests.

3.  The countries referred to in paragraph 2 shall fully take part in the Programme only insofar as they fulfil all the obligations which this Regulation imposes on Member States.

3a.   The financial contributions made by and expected from third countries to the Programme shall, once sufficient information is available, be reported to both arms of the budgetary authority as part of the annual or interim reporting of the Programme. [Am. 115]

4.  Volunteering and networking actions as referred to in Articles 5 and 7 may be open to participation of any third country not associated to the programme, in particular neighbourhood countries.

Article 15

Participation of individuals

1.   Young people aged 17 to 30 years willing to participate in the European Solidarity Corps shall register in the European Solidarity Corps Portal. However, at the moment of commencing volunteering, traineeship, job or a solidarity project a young person shall be at least 18 years of age and not older than 30.

1a.  Participants moving to another country shall be guaranteed the full health care they enjoy in their Member State of residence, not merely urgent health care. Health care shall be provided both through the public health services of the Member State in which the activity is carried out and, in the absence of such services or in the event of a clear case of non-compliance with the quality standards of the Member State of residence, through private health services in the Member State in which the activity is carried out. [Am. 116]

1b.  When implementing this Regulation, the Commission, the Members States and other participating countries shall promote social inclusion and equal access conditions, including for the participation of young people with fewer opportunities. [Am. 117]

Article 16

Participating organisations

1.  The European Solidarity Corps shall be open to the participation of public or private entities, whether non-profit or profit making, and international organisations, including youth organisations, religious institutions, charity associations, secular humanistic organisations, NGOs or other actors from civil society, provided that they offer solidarity activities, that they have legal personality under the law of the country in which they are registered and provided that they have received a European Solidarity Corps quality label. The quality label shall certify that the activities can meet the objectives under Article 3 and provide the actions under Article 4. [Am. 118]

2.  An application from an entity to become a European Solidarity Corps participating organisation shall be assessed by the competent implementing body of the European Solidarity Corps on the basis of the principles of equal treatment; equal opportunities and non-discrimination; avoidance of job substitution; provision of high quality, easily accessible and inclusive activities with clear added value for identified community needs, a learning dimension focusing on personal, socio-educational and professional development; adequate training, working and volunteering arrangements; safe and decent environment and conditions; and the 'no-profit principle' in compliance with the Financial Regulation. The above principles ascertain whether its activities meet the requirements and objectives of the European Solidarity Corps. The quality label shall only be attributed to organisations committing to comply with these principles. [Am. 119]

3.  As a result of the assessment the entity may be attributed the European Solidarity Corps quality label. The specific requirements to be fulfilled in order to obtain a quality label shall vary depending on the type of solidarity activity and the function of the entity. The obtained label shall be re-assessed periodically and may in the event that the label is misused or of failure to comply with the principles set out in paragraph 2, the label shall be revoked. Any entity which substantially changes its activities shall inform the competent implementing body for reassessment. [Am. 120]

4.  Any entity which has received the European Solidarity Corps quality label shall be given access to the European Solidarity Corps Portal in the role of a host function, in a support function, or both, and shall be able to make offers for solidarity activities to registered candidates.

4a.  Participating organisations that have been attributed a quality label shall have access to a platform to easily search for suitable applicants in order to make the process easier for both participants and participating organisations to engage in solidarity activities. [Am. 121]

4b.  Participating organisations shall facilitate the promotion of the Programme by offering former participants the possibility to share their experiences and act as ambassadors to the potential next generation of participants in the Programme by means of a network. [Am. 122]

5.  The European Solidarity Corps quality label shall not automatically lead to funding under the European Solidarity Corps.

5a.  Participating organisations shall perform several functions in the framework of the European Solidarity Corps. In a host function they shall carry out activities related to making offers for solidarity activities to registered participants, selecting and receiving the participants, including the organisation of activities, providing guidance and support to participants during all the phases of the solidarity activity, providing a safe and convenient working environment for participants, and providing feedback to the participant after the activity, as appropriate. In a support function they shall carry out activities in relation to the sending, the preparation and the support of participants before departure, and during and after the solidarity activity, including training participants and guiding them to local organisations after the activity. Organisations in a support function can also provide administrative and logistical support to participants in solidarity projects. [Am. 123]

6.  The solidarity activities and related quality and support measures offered by a participating organisation may receive funding under the European Solidarity Corps or from other funding sources which do not depend on the Union budget.

7.  For organisations participating in the context of activities as referred to in Article 11 the safety and security of volunteers shall be a priority.

Article 17

Access to the European Solidarity Corps funding

Any public or private entity established in a participating country as well as international organisations may apply for funding under the European Solidarity Corps. In the case of the activities referred to in Articles 7, 8 and 11, a quality label shall be obtained by the participating organisation as a pre-condition for receiving funding under the European Solidarity Corps. In the case of the solidarity projects referred to Article 9, natural persons may also apply for funding on behalf of informal groups of European Solidarity Corps participants. As a general rule, the grant request shall be submitted to the national agency of the country in which the organisation is based. Grant requests for activities organised by Europe-wide or international organisations, activities of volunteering teams in priority fields identified at European level and activities in support of humanitarian aid operations in third countries shall be submitted to the EACEA. [Am. 124]

CHAPTER VII

PROGRAMMING, MONITORING AND EVALUATION

Article 18

Work Annual work programme [Am. 125]

The secondary policy choices and priorities, including details of specific actions outlined in Articles 4 to 11, shall be determined on an annual basis through a work programme as referred to in Article [110] of the Financial Regulation. The annual work programme shall also set out details concerning the implementation of the Programme. In addition, the work programme shall give an indication of the amount allocated to each action and of the distribution of funds between the Member States and third countries associated to the Programme for the actions to be managed through the national agency. The Commission is empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 29 to supplement this Regulation by adopting annual work programmes. [Am. 126]

The Programme shall be implemented by work programmes referred to in [Article 110] of the Financial Regulation. In addition, the work programme shall give an indication of the amount allocated to each action and of the distribution of funds between the Member States and third countries associated to the Programme for the actions to be managed through the national agency. The work programme shall be adopted by the Commission by means of an implementing act. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 30.

Article 19

Monitoring and reporting

1.  Indicators to report on the progress of the Programme towards the achievement of the general and specific objectives laid down in Article 3 are set out in the Annex.

2.  To ensure effective assessment of the Programme towards the achievement of its objectives, the Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 29 to amend the Annex to review or complement the indicators, where considered necessary and to supplement this Regulation with provisions on the establishment of a monitoring and evaluation framework.

3.  The performance reporting system shall ensure that data for monitoring Programme implementation and evaluation are collected efficiently, effectively, in a timely manner and at the appropriate level of detail by beneficiaries of Union funds within the meaning of Article [2.5] of the Financial Regulation. To that end, proportionate reporting requirements shall be imposed on beneficiaries of Union funds and Member States.

Article 20

Evaluation

1.  Evaluations shall be carried out in a timely manner to feed into the decision-making process.

2.  The interim evaluation mid-term review of the Programme shall be performed once there is sufficient information available about the implementation of the Programme, but . The Commission shall submit the mid-term review to the European Parliament, to the Council, to the European Economic and Social Committee and to the Committee of the Regions no later than four years after the start of the programme implementation 30 June 2024. It shall also be accompanied by a final evaluation of the predecessor programme. [Am. 127]

3.  Without prejudice to the requirements set out in Chapter IX and the obligations of national agencies as referred to in Article 23, Member States shall submit to the Commission, by 30 April 2024, a report on the implementation and the impact of the Programme in their respective territories.

3a.   The Commission shall, where necessary and on the basis of the mid-term review and implementation reports submitted by Member States, submit legislative proposals for the amendment of this Regulation. The Commission shall appear before the competent committees of the European Parliament to report on the mid-term review, including with respect to its decision as to whether it is necessary to amend this Regulation. [Am. 128]

4.  At the end of the implementation of the Programme, but no later than four years after the end of the period specified in Article 1, a final evaluation of the Programme shall be carried out by the Commission.

5.  The Commission shall communicate the conclusions of the evaluations accompanied by its observations, to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions.

CHAPTER VIII

INFORMATION, COMMUNICATION AND DISSEMINATION

Article 21

Information, communication and dissemination

1.  The recipients of Union funding shall acknowledge the origin thereof and ensure the visibility of the Union funding, (in particular when promoting the actions and their results, ) by providing prompt, coherent, effective and proportionate targeted information to multiple audiences, including, the media and the public. [Am. 129]

2.  The Commission, in cooperation with national authorities and national agencies in participating countries and relevant Union-level networks, shall implement information and communication actions relating to the Programme, and its actions and results. Financial resources allocated to the Programme shall also contribute to the corporate communication of the political priorities of the Union, as far as they are related to the objectives referred to in Article 3. [Am. 130]

3.  The national agencies referred to in Article 23 shall develop a consistent strategy with regard to information and the effective outreach, as well as dissemination to all potential beneficiaries and exploitation of results of activities supported under the actions they manage within the Programme, shall assist the Commission in its general task of disseminating information concerning the Programme, including information in respect of actions and activities managed at national and Union level, and its results, and shall inform relevant target groups about the actions and activities undertaken in their country. [Am. 131]

3a.   Participating organisations shall use the brand name “European Solidarity Corps” for the purposes of communication and dissemination of information related to the Programme. [Am. 132]

CHAPTER IX

MANAGEMENT AND AUDIT SYSTEM

Article 22

National authority

In each country participating in the European Solidarity Corps, the national authorities designated for the management of actions referred to in Chapter III of [New Erasmus Regulation] shall also act as national authorities in the framework of the European Solidarity Corps. Paragraphs 1, 2, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14 of Article 23 of [New Erasmus Regulation] shall apply to the European Solidarity Corps by analogy.

Article 23

National agency

1.  In each country participating in the European Solidarity Corps, the national agencies designated for the management of the actions referred to in Chapter III of [New Erasmus Regulation] in their respective countries shall also act as national agencies in the framework of the European Solidarity Corps.

Paragraphs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of Article 24 of [New Erasmus Regulation] shall apply to the European Solidarity Corps by analogy.

2.  Without prejudice to Article 24.2 of [New Erasmus Regulation], the national agency shall also be responsible for managing all stages of the project lifecycle of those actions of the European Solidarity Corps listed in the implementing acts referred to in Article 18, in accordance with points [(c)(v) and (vi) of Article 62.1] of the Financial Regulation.

3.  For countries referred to in Article 14.2 of this Regulation, where a national agency is not designated for that country, it shall be established in accordance with paragraphs 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of Article 24 of [New Erasmus Regulation].

3a.   The national agency shall regularly consult the beneficiaries of the Programme (individuals and organisations) in order to collect their feedback on the Programme, to assess the quality of the activity, and how the activity evolves, on the basis of Commission guidelines and shall provide support to participants in the event of difficulties and in order to improve the implementation of the Programme at national level based on their feedback and expertise. [Am. 133]

Article 24

European Commission

1.  The rules applying to the relationship between the Commission and a national agency shall be laid down, in accordance with the rules in Article 24 of [New Erasmus Regulation], in a written document which shall:

(a)  lay down the internal control standards for the national agency concerned and the rules for the management of the Union funds for grant support by the national agencies, taking into consideration the simplification requirements and not imposing additional burden on participants and participating organisations; [Am. 134]

(b)  include the national agency work programme comprising the management tasks of the national agency to which Union support is provided;

(ba)  include the requirement to organise regular meetings and training with and for the network of national agencies in order to ensure the coherent implementation of the Programme across all participating countries; [Am. 135]

(c)  specify the reporting requirements for the national agency.

1a.  The Commission shall organise regular meetings on the implementation of the Programme with a representative number and type of networks representing young people and volunteers and other relevant civil society organisations, including social partners and networks relevant to the Programme´s activities. [Am. 136]

2.  The Commission shall each year make the following funds available to the national agency:

(a)  funds for grant support in the participating country concerned for the actions of the European Solidarity Corps the management of which is entrusted to the national agency;

(b)  a financial contribution in support of the management tasks of the national agency defined in accordance with the modalities set out in point (b) of Article 25.3 of [New Erasmus Regulation].

3.  The Commission shall lay down the requirements for the national agency work programme. The Commission shall not make European Solidarity Corps funds available to the national agency before having formally approved the national agency’s work programme.

4.  On the basis of the compliance requirements for national agencies referred to in Article 23.3 of [New Erasmus Regulation], the Commission shall review the national management and control systems, the national agency’s management declaration and the opinion of the independent audit body thereon, taking due account of the information provided by the national authority on its monitoring and supervision activities with regard to the European Solidarity Corps.

5.  After assessing the yearly management declaration and the opinion of the independent audit body thereon, the Commission shall address its opinion and observations to the national agency and the national authority.

5a.   Where the Commission cannot accept the yearly management declaration or the independent audit opinion thereon, or in the event of unsatisfactory implementation by the national agency of the Commission’s observations, the Commission may implement any precautionary and corrective measures necessary to safeguard the Union’s financial interests in accordance with point (c) of Article 131(3) of the Financial Regulation. [Am. 137]

Article 24a

Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency

At Union level, the EACEA shall be responsible for managing all stages of the grant for the Programme’s project actions, as listed in Article 7, submitted by Europe-wide or platform organisations, for activities of volunteering teams in priority fields identified at European level and activities in support of humanitarian aid operations in third countries.

EACEA shall also be responsible for the accreditation (i.e. quality label) and monitoring of Europe-wide or platform organisations, organisations in charge of implementing national schemes or Union shared management funds and organisations wishing to carry out activities supporting humanitarian aid operations. [Am. 138]

Article 25

Audits

1.  Audits on the use of the Union contribution carried out by persons or entities, including by others than those mandated by the Union Institutions or bodies, shall form the basis of the overall assurance pursuant to [Article [127] of the Financial Regulation and shall be carried out in accordance with the same criteria in all Member States. [Am. 139]

2.  The national authority shall designate an independent audit body. The independent audit body shall issue an audit opinion on the management declaration referred to in [Article 155.1] of the Financial Regulation.

3.  The independent audit body shall:

(a)  have the necessary professional competence to carry out public sector audits;

(b)  ensure that its audits take account of internationally accepted audit standards; and

(c)  not be in a position of conflict of interest with regard to the legal entity of which the national agency referred to in Article 23 forms part and be independent, in terms of its functions, of the legal entity of which the national agency forms part.

4.  The independent audit body shall give the Commission and its representatives, as well as the Court of Auditors, full access to all documents and reports in support of the audit opinion that it issues on the national agency’s management declaration.

CHAPTER X

CONTROL SYSTEM

Article 26

Principles of the control system

1.  The Commission shall be responsible for the supervisory controls with regard to the European Solidarity Corps actions managed by the national agencies. It shall set the minimum requirements for the controls by the national agency and the independent audit body.

2.  National agencies shall be responsible for the primary controls of grant beneficiaries for the actions of the European Solidarity Corps which are entrusted to them. Those controls shall be proportionate and adequate and shall give reasonable assurance that the grants awarded are used as intended and in compliance with the applicable Union rules. [Am. 140]

3.  With regard to the funds transferred to the national agencies, the Commission shall ensure proper coordination of its controls with the national authorities and the national agencies, on the basis of the single audit principle and following a risk-based analysis. This provision shall not apply to investigations carried out by the European Anti-Fraud Office (‘OLAF’).

Article 27

Protection of the financial interests of the Union

Where a third country participates in the programme by a decision under an international agreement or by virtue of any other legal instrument, the third country shall grant the necessary rights and access required for the authorizing officer responsible, the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), the European Court of Auditors to comprehensively exert their respective competences. In the case of OLAF, such rights shall include the right to carry out investigations, including on-the-spot checks and inspections, provided for in Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 883/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning investigations conducted by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF).

CHAPTER XI

COMPLEMENTARITY

Article 28

Complementarity of Union action

1.  The actions of the European Solidarity Corps shall be consistent with and complementary to the relevant policies, instruments and programmes at Union level, in particular the Erasmus programme, the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) and Rights and Values Programme, as well as to existing networks at Union level relevant to the activities of the European Solidarity Corps. [Am. 141]

2.  The actions of the European Solidarity Corps shall also not substitute and shall be consistent with and complementary to the relevant policies, programmes and instruments at national, regional and local level in the participating countries. To this end, the Commission, national authorities and national agencies shall exchange information on existing national schemes and priorities related to solidarity and youth, on the one hand, and actions under the European Solidarity Corps, on the other hand, with a view to build on relevant good practices and achieve efficiency and effectiveness. [Am. 142]

2a.  In order to maximise the effectiveness of Union funding and the impact of the Programme, the relevant authorities at all levels shall seek to establish synergies across all relevant programmes in a coherent manner. Such synergies shall not lead to funds being used to pursue objectives other than those set out in this Regulation. Any synergies and complementarity shall result in simplified application procedures at the implementation level accompanied by relevant implementation guidelines. [Am. 143]

3.  The actions of the European Solidarity Corps in third countries referred to in Article 11 shall be in particular consistent with and complementary to other areas of Union external action, in particular humanitarian aid policy, development cooperation policy, security policy, enlargement policy, neighbourhood policy and the Union Civil Protection Mechanism. [Am. 144]

4.  An action that has received a contribution from the Programme may also receive a contribution from any other Union programme, provided that the contributions do not cover the same costs. The rules of each contributing Union programme shall apply to its respective contribution to the action. The cumulative funding shall not exceed the total eligible costs of the action and the support from the different Union programmes may be calculated on a pro-rata basis in accordance with the documents setting out the conditions for support.

5.  Where the Programme and the European Structural and Investment (ESI) Funds referred to in Article 1 of [Regulation (EU)XX CPR] provide jointly financial support to a single action, that action shall be implemented in accordance with the rules set out in this Regulation, including rules on recovery of amounts unduly paid.

6.  Actions eligible under the Programme which have been assessed in a call for proposals under the Programme and which comply with the minimum quality requirements of that call for proposals, but which are not financed due to budgetary constraints, may receive support from the European Regional Development Fund, the Cohesion Fund, the European Social Fund+ or the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, in accordance with paragraph 7 of Article [65] of Regulation (EU) XX [Common Provisions Regulation] and Article [8] or Regulation (EU) XX [Financing, management and monitoring of the Common Agricultural Policy], provided that such actions are consistent with the objectives of the programme concerned. The rules of the Fund providing support shall apply.

CHAPTER XII

TRANSITIONAL AND FINAL PROVISIONS

Article 29

Exercise of the delegation

1.  The power to adopt delegated acts is conferred on the Commission subject to the conditions laid down in this Article.

2.  The power to adopt delegated acts referred to in Article Articles 12, 18 and 19 shall be conferred on the Commission for the duration of the Programme. [Am. 145]

3.  The delegation of power referred to in Article Articles 12, 18 and 19 may be revoked at any time by the European Parliament or by the Council. A decision to revoke shall put an end to the delegation of the power specified in that decision. It shall take effect the day following the publication of the decision in the Official Journal of the European Union or at a later date specified therein. It shall not affect the validity of any delegated acts already in force. [Am. 146]

4.  Before adopting a delegated act, the Commission shall consult experts designated by each Member State in accordance with the principles laid down in the Interinstitutional Agreement on Better Law-Making of 13 April 2016.

5.  As soon as it adopts a delegated act, the Commission shall notify it simultaneously to the European Parliament and to the Council.

6.  A delegated act adopted pursuant to Article Articles 12, 18 and 19 shall enter into force only if no objection has been expressed either by the European Parliament or the Council within a period of two months of notification of that act to the European Parliament and the Council or if, before the expiry of that period, the European Parliament and the Council have both informed the Commission that they will not object. That period shall be extended by two months at the initiative of the European Parliament or of the Council. [Am. 147]

Article 30

Committee procedure

1.  The Commission shall be assisted by a committee within the meaning of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011.

2.  Where reference is made to this paragraph, Article 5 of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 shall apply.

Article 31

Repeal

Regulation (EU) [European Solidarity Corps Regulation] and Regulation (EU) No 375/2014 are repealed with effect from 1 January 2021.

Article 32

Transitional provisions

1.  This Regulation shall not affect the continuation or modification of the actions concerned, until their closure, under [European Solidarity Corps Regulation] or under Regulation (EU) No 375/2014. Those Regulations shall continue to apply to those actions until their closure.

2.  The financial envelope for the Programme may also cover technical and administrative assistance expenses necessary to ensure the transition between the Programme and the measures adopted under [European Solidarity Corps Regulation] or under Regulation (EU) No 375/2014.

3.  If necessary, appropriations may be entered in the budget beyond 2027 to cover the expenses provided for in Article 12.2, to enable the management of actions and activities not completed by 31 December 2027.

4.  Member States shall ensure at national level the unimpeded transition between the actions carried out in the context of the European Solidarity Corps Programme (2018-2020) and those to be implemented under this Programme.

Article 33

Entry into force

This Regulation shall enter into force on the [twentieth] day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.

Done at …,

For the European Parliament For the Council

The President The President

ANNEX

Indicators for monitoring and reporting The Programme shall be closely monitored in order to measure the extent to which the general objective and the specific objectives have been achieved, as well as to monitor its output, results and impact. To that end, a minimum framework of indicators is laid down to serve as a basis for a future detailed programme for monitoring the output, results and impact of the Programme, including an extended set of qualitative and quantitative indicators: [Am. 148]

(a)  number of participants in solidarity activities;

(b)  percentage of participants from a fewer opportunities background; and [Am. 149]

(c)  number of organisations holding a European Solidarity Corps Quality Label. ; [Am. 150]

(ca)  number of participants in jobs (in-country and cross-border) broken down by country, age, gender, professional background and educational attainment; [Am. 151]

(cb)   number of participants in solidarity projects broken down by country, age, gender, professional background and educational attainment; [Am. 152]

(cc)   number of organisations whose quality label has been revoked; [Am. 153]

(cd)  number of organisations holding a quality label broken down by country and funding received; [Am. 154]

(ce)  number of participating young people with fewer opportunities; [Am. 155]

(cf)  number of participants reporting positive learning outcomes; [Am. 156]

(cg)  percentage of participants whose learning outcomes have been recognised through a certificate such as Youthpass, or another type of formal recognition of their participation in the European Solidarity Corps; [Am. 157]

(ch)  overall satisfaction rate of participants with regard to the quality of activities; and [Am. 158]

(ci)  number of people supported directly or indirectly through solidarity activities. [Am. 159]

(1)OJ C […], […], p. […].
(2)OJ C […], […], p. […].
(3) Position of the European Parliament of 12 March 2019.
(4)Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions A European Solidarity Corps (COM(2016)0942).
(5)Regulation (EU) No 1288/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 establishing 'Erasmus+': the Union programme for education, training, youth and sport and repealing Decisions No 1719/2006/EC, No 1720/2006/EC and No 1298/2008/EC (OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 50).
(6)Regulation (EU) No 375/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 3 April 2014 establishing the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps (‘EU Aid Volunteers initiative’) (OJ L 122, 24.4.2014, p. 1).
(7)Council Recommendation of 15 March 2018 on a European Framework for Quality and Effective Apprenticeships (OJ C 153, 2.5.2018, p. 1) 10 March 2014 on a Quality Framework for Traineeships (OJ C 88, 27.3.2014, p. 1).
(8) Regulation (EU) 2016/589 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 April 2016 on a European network of employment services (EURES), workers' access to mobility services and the further integration of labour markets, and amending Regulations (EU) No 492/2011 and (EU) No 1296/2013 (OJ L 107, 22.4.2016, p. 1).
(9)Council Recommendation of 20 December 2012 on the validation of non-formal and informal learning (OJ C 398, 22.12.2012, p. 1).
(10) Commission Implementing Decision 2013/776/EU of 18 December 2013 establishing the ‘Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency’ and repealing Decision 2009/336/EC (OJ L 343, 19.12.2013, p. 46).
(11) Directive (EU) 2016/2102 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 October 2016 on the accessibility of the websites and mobile applications of public sector bodies (OJ L 327, 2.12.2016, p. 1).
(12)Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions - European Interoperability Framework – Implementation Strategy (COM(2017)0134).
(13)[Pending reference to Financial Regulation].
(14)Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 883/2013 of the European Parliament and the Council of 11 September 2013 concerning investigations conducted by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) (OJ L 248, 18.9.2013, p. 1).
(15)Council Regulation (Euratom, EC) No 2185/96 of 11 November 1996 concerning on-the-spot checks and inspections carried out by the Commission in order to protect the European Communities' financial interests against fraud and other irregularities (OJ L 292, 15.11.1996, p. 2).
(16)Council Regulation (EU) 2017/1939 of 12 October 2017 implementing enhanced cooperation on the establishment of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (‘the EPPO’) (OJ L 283, 31.10.2017, p. 1).
(17)Directive (EU) 2017/1371 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 July 2017 on the fight against fraud to the Union’s financial interests by means of criminal law (OJ L 198, 28.7.2017, p. 29).
(18)Interinstitutional Agreement between the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission on Better Law-Making of 13 April 2016 (OJ L 123, 12.5.2016, p. 1).
(19)[Pending reference on New Council Decision on association of OCTs].
(20)Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions and the European Investment bank on A stronger and renewed strategic partnership with the EU's outermost regions (COM(2017)0623).
(21) Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2018/1046 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 July 2018 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union, amending Regulations (EU) No 1296/2013, (EU) No 1301/2013, (EU) No 1303/2013, (EU) No 1304/2013, (EU) No 1309/2013, (EU) No 1316/2013, (EU) No 223/2014, (EU) No 283/2014, and Decision No 541/2014/EU and repealing Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 (OJ L 193, 30.7.2018, p. 1).
(22) Directive (EU) 2016/801 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 May 2016 on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purposes of research, studies, training, voluntary service, pupil exchange schemes or educational projects and au pairing (OJ L 132, 21.5.2016, p. 21).
(23)Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 2011. Laying down the rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for control by Member States of the Commission's exercise of implementing powers (OJ L 55 28.2.2011 p.13).
(24)Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2988/95 of 18 December 1995 on the protection of the European Communities financial interests (OJ L 312, 23.12.95, p. 1).
(25)EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (OJ C 326, 26.10.2012, p. 391).
(26) Council Directive 2000/78/EC of 27 November 2000 establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation (OJ L 303, 2.12.2000, p. 16).
(27) Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation) ( OJ L 119, 4.5.2016, p. 1).
(28) Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2018 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data by the Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 and Decision No 1247/2002/EC (OJ L 295, 21.11.2018, p. 39).

Last updated: 27 January 2020Legal notice