The Commission, taking one of the first tangible initiatives under it European Year of Youth 2022, published today its proposal for Council recommendation on youth volunteering, with the aim of facilitating transnational youth volunteering in its context European Solidarity Body or other programs at national level.
The proposed recommendation, recognizing the key contribution of volunteering to the development of young people's skills and competencies, and its role in positively addressing social challenges, aims to enhance the dimensions of participation, quality, recognition and sustainability of transnational volunteering. of young people. The proposal, in order to address the remaining mobility problems in the field of volunteering, examines the lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic and its implementation. European Solidarity Body, which will celebrate its 5th anniversary in 2022.
The Vice President for the Promotion of our European Lifestyle, Mr. Margaritis Σχοινάς, stated: "Since 2017, tens of thousands of young Europeans have made a difference by participating in the European Solidarity Corps' volunteerism and solidarity projects. "With today's recommendation, we support and facilitate volunteering for young people, so that many more young people can spread solidarity and hope throughout Europe and beyond."
The Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Marija Gabriel, stated: "Volunteering is becoming increasingly popular among young people who want to participate in building a better, inclusive Europe. This new initiative aims to improve the quality of their volunteering and remove remaining barriers to cross-border mobility. It will help to strengthen solidarity opportunities for young people during the European Youth Year 2022. "
The Commission, in its proposal on youth volunteering, calls on, inter alia, the Member States:
- ensure that access to transnational volunteering is a realistic opportunity for all young people, including young people with fewer opportunities;
- consider measures that contribute to the development of an appropriate and clear legislative and executive framework for the health, safety and protection of participants in transnational volunteering activities;
- promote a high level of quality with national volunteer organizers;
- provide information and raise awareness about the rights of volunteers;
- raise awareness of the benefits of transnational volunteering through information, guidance and promotion;
- promote cooperation at national and EU level between organizers providing transnational volunteering opportunities;
- support voluntary activities that make a significant contribution to addressing climate and environmental challenges;
- to explore new trends and alternative dimensions and forms of volunteering, such as digital and intergenerational volunteering.
The Commission stands ready to support the implementation of the Recommendation through its cooperation mechanisms and tools EU Youth Strategy and EU youth programs, such as Erasmus + and the European Solidarity Body. The Commission will facilitate mutual learning and exchanges between Member States and related partners, developing best practices in digital and intergenerational volunteering, and promoting volunteering opportunities through European Youth Portal, as well as informing about them. It will also further develop and promote existing EU validation tools for the learning outcomes of non-formal and informal learning (Europass, Youthpass), and will support research and data collection on the long-term impact of volunteering.
The Commission calls on the Member States to adopt without delay the current proposal on international youth volunteering and solidarity actions. It undertakes to report on the use of the Recommendation in the context of its implementation work EU Youth Strategy and strategic framework on European cooperation in the field of education and training, with a view to the European Education Area and beyond.
The Commission proposal is based on several previous works on these issues, including one study, one report by a group of experts and one assessment. The proposal was preceded public consultation and Commission roadmap. It will replace Council Recommendation 2008 on the mobility of young volunteers to take into account all developments since 2008.
Volunteering is an important activity for Europe 's youth: 34% of young people declared in 2019 that they had participated in organized volunteering activities during the last 12 months. This percentage is constantly increasing, from 24% in 2011.
Young EU citizens can participate in transnational volunteering through it program of the European Solidarity Body or in the context national or regional programs in support of cross-border volunteering activities (available in Italy, Greece, Sweden, Austria, Slovenia, France, the Slovak Republic, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Poland, Malta and Spain). Its total budget program of the European Solidarity Body for the period 2021-2027 amounts to EUR 1 billion, with more than EUR 138 million available the 2022.