European Solidarity Corps
Question for oral answer O-000020/2017
to the Commission
Petra Kammerevert, on behalf of the Committee on Culture and Education
In line with President Juncker’s intention to create more opportunities for young people, on 7 December 2016 the Commission adopted a communication (COM(2016)0942) announcing the setting up of a European Solidarity Corps (ESC).
Although supportive of the creation of new opportunities for young people in this regard, the CULT Committee believes that a number of important issues relating to the format, functioning, financing, cost-effectiveness and long-term sustainability of the ESC require further clarification and should be properly addressed, particularly as the Commission has already begun the implementation of the initial phase of the ESC (i.e. 2017 and maybe beyond), relying exclusively on financial support from existing EU programmes and policies, such as Erasmus+; Europe for Citizens, Life+; European Structural and Investment Funds; the EU Health programme; Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund.
Against this background, and in view of the upcoming legislative proposal, the Commission is asked to reply to the following:
1. The ECS should not replace existing, successful initiatives, but rather utilise, reinforce and complement them. How might the ESC further strengthen the European Voluntary Service (EVS) and how will these two initiatives coexist and complement each other in the short, medium and long-term, thus avoiding unnecessarily duplication? How will the organisations currently involved in the EVS be engaged in this process?
2. Through which existing EU programmes and funds will the ESC be implemented in its initial phase and what would be the budgetary repercussions for these programmes? What are the intentions of the Commission regarding the short, medium and long-term financial sustainability of the ESC? What budgetary resources does the Commission intend to use to financially support the long-term functioning of the ESC?
3. EU funding for youth employment should be used primarily to support sustainable long- term employment opportunities. How will the Commission ensure, for example, that volunteering is not systematically used to replace paid work, be that full or part time? Will the Commission provide a monitoring and evaluation mechanism for the ESC, in order to ensure its correct implementation, the quality of its placements and the sustainability of its results?