The Greens/EFA group has welcomed a breakthrough in the negotiations over the EU’s flagship solidarity programme, European Solidarity Corps. The Council had originally refused to provide fresh funds to make the programme viable in the current budget period. However, after consistent pressure from the European Parliament, the Council finally backed down and agreed to provide more than €75m in additional money to fund this new flagship programme.
Helga Trüpel, negotiator for the European Parliament and spokesperson on cultural policy for the Greens/EFA group, comments:
"We are now on course to deliver this fantastic project, which will give young people the chance to take part in projects that will benefit communities across Europe. This programme is an important step to strengthen solidarity in Europe and give young people a chance to engage with Europe ahead of next years' elections.
"I am pleased that the Council has finally seen sense and come forward with the funds necessary to make this project viable. There will also be a label of quality to make sure that young people are guaranteed decent care, accommodation and pay. These proper standards will protect against exploitation and guard against jobs being undercut by the use of young volunteers."
The European Solidarity Corps should cost €375.6 million for 2018-20, until the new Multiannual Financial Framework starts in 2021. It offers young adults between 18 and 30 years the opportunity to undertake placements covering environment, education and integration across the EU, regardless of their education level.