European volunteering: MEPs to call for end to the age limit
The European Volunteering Service (EVS) should drop its age limit for volunteers and give them proof of skills acquired, to help them find jobs afterwards, MEPs will say in a debate with the EU Commission and a resolution to be voted on Thursday.
Every year thousands of young European volunteers work abroad on EVS projects promoting social inclusion within local communities. Their tasks range from providing support to children, elderly people or migrants, to helping to run sports events, protect the environment or empower women. But even though the EVS is now 20 years old, its volunteers still lack a proper legal status defining their rights and responsibilities, says the draft resolution.
While the social and economic benefits of the European Volunteering Service (EVS) for local communities are clear, the lack of a legal status for volunteers and administrative red tape may deter many would-be volunteers, say MEPs. They ask EU member states to recognise volunteering as informal and non-formal education and to propose more volunteering opportunities and enhanced cooperation with volunteering organizations in neighbouring or other third countries.
MEPs also voice support for the Commission’s new EU Solidarity Corps initiative, but stress that its implementation should not undermine the existing volunteering programmes and their funding.
Procedure: oral question and non-legislative resolution
Debate: Thursday, 27 October
Vote: Thursday, 27 October