Research for CULT Committee - European Solidarity Corps and volunteering

15-09-2017

This study provides an assessment of the legislative proposal for the establishment of the European Solidarity Corps. It focuses on the added value of the ESC; challenges linking EU programmes; and the complementarity to paid employment. It concludes that in principle the initiative is welcome; however, many issues in the proposal (and supporting documentation) are not sufficiently made clear. The most important concerns are: 1) level of engagement of stakeholders in the ESC framework; 2) feasibility to achieve 100,000 solidarity activities; 3) assuring participation of disadvantaged groups; 4) disparities between volunteers in different programmes; 5) the status of the quality label; 6) capacities of National Agencies; 7) lack of clarity on how to distribute ESC activities and funding across Member States; 8) lack of a monitoring system; 9) unclear definition of ‘solidarity activity’; 10) lack of safeguards to prevent replacing paid employment; 11) the choice for not integrating ESC in Erasmus+ should be better explained.

This study provides an assessment of the legislative proposal for the establishment of the European Solidarity Corps. It focuses on the added value of the ESC; challenges linking EU programmes; and the complementarity to paid employment. It concludes that in principle the initiative is welcome; however, many issues in the proposal (and supporting documentation) are not sufficiently made clear. The most important concerns are: 1) level of engagement of stakeholders in the ESC framework; 2) feasibility to achieve 100,000 solidarity activities; 3) assuring participation of disadvantaged groups; 4) disparities between volunteers in different programmes; 5) the status of the quality label; 6) capacities of National Agencies; 7) lack of clarity on how to distribute ESC activities and funding across Member States; 8) lack of a monitoring system; 9) unclear definition of ‘solidarity activity’; 10) lack of safeguards to prevent replacing paid employment; 11) the choice for not integrating ESC in Erasmus+ should be better explained.