European Solidarity Corps – Health stakeholder informal meetingPosted on March 25, 2017
Following the European Solidarity Corps initiative closely, the EFN and ENSA participated, on 24 March, on the health stakeholder informal meeting, organised in Brussels. This was the occasion to discuss the development of the European Solidarity Corps and possible implications for the current health programme, and how organisations could benefit from it, knowing that health and the healthcare professions (nurses in particular) can play an important role in this initiative.
Launched on 7 December 2016, the European Solidarity Corps is aiming to create opportunities for young people to support communities and people in need, including volunteering and solidarity-related jobs, traineeships and apprenticeships, both in the young people’s home countries and abroad. The first deployments are expected by June 2017. The objective is to have 100,000 young people joining the European Solidarity Corps by the end of 2020. This ambitious initiative can only be achieved with the active support of and in close cooperation with a broad range of key stakeholders (including public bodies and associations at international, European, national, regional and local levels; networks at EU level or other, NGOs and businesses) whose activities are related to solidarity and volunteering or who may have a key role in integrating young people into a European Solidarity Corps placement.
In practical terms the European Solidarity Corps will provide different options in its final stage. It will give the choice to participants to spend their time within their own country or on cross-border activities. At the same time, it will give both the option of volunteering (already possible), or through a traineeship/work placement (in a later phase). During today’s meeting the importance of part-time and free-time volunteering was highlighted and proposed to the Commission to be taken further in their proposal, the final version of which is estimated to be made public in May 2017.
Currently, in view of adopting a legislative proposal, the European Commission launched a public consultation to define key priorities and shape the implementation of the European Solidarity Corps. Deadline: 2 April 2017. The European Commission is also organising a Stakeholder Forum on 12 April, in Brussels. The final legal proposal adopted by all EU institutions is estimated for the end of 2017.