Procedure : 2016/2872(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : O-000107/2016

Texts tabled :

O-000107/2016 (B8-1803/2016)

Debates :

PV 27/10/2016 - 3
CRE 27/10/2016 - 3

Votes :

Texts adopted :

Parliamentary questions
PDF 104kWORD 16k
13 July 2016
Question for oral answer O-000107/2016
to the Commission
Rule 128
Silvia Costa, on behalf of the Committee on Culture and Education

 Subject: European Voluntary Service
 Answer in plenary 

In 2016, European Voluntary Service (EVS) celebrates its 20th anniversary. 100 000 volunteers have been supported in 20 years. Parliament, and the Committee on Culture and Education (CULT) in particular, supports volunteering as an expression of solidarity that contributes to the strengthening of active citizenship and counters social exclusion, poverty, intolerance, racism, xenophobia and injustice, while making an important contribution to the dissemination of European values. Its benefits are also recognised in voluntary work carried out with third countries as a strategic tool to foster mutual understanding and intercultural relations.

Volunteering provides participants with strong lifelong learning skills. There is therefore a need to foster systems to increase the understanding and transparency of informal and non-formal learning skills acquired during volunteering experience.

Notwithstanding positive feedback, the CULT Committee feels that more can be done to improve the framework for volunteering programmes, and in particular the EVS, so as to ensure better access to and knowledge of the available initiatives and opportunities.

Against this background, the Commission is asked to reply to the following:

– Does the Commission intend to proceed with widening the scope, participants, areas of work and destinations of the EVS, and with enabling part or all of an EVS placement to be undertaken online, thus harnessing new technologies? If so, how?

– What initiatives is the Commission planning to launch or develop with the aim of encouraging volunteering for people of all ages, including, but not limited to, mobility of cross-border volunteers, in particular in the context of the humanitarian crisis?

– Does the Commission intend to proceed with the formal recognition of a European Volunteer status?

– Is the Commission ready to push further for better support for access of third-country nationals wishing to volunteer in Europe?

– What action will the Commission take to collect more data on the value of voluntary activities and to valorise their contribution to social cohesion and to GDP, thus providing evidence for the development of future initiatives and programmes, as well as recognising volunteering as co-funding?

– Does the Commission also envisage fostering EU citizenship through a European Civic Service initiative?

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