EU's youth volunteer scheme needs a stronger local dimension.
The needs and demands of local communities should be a quality criterion for identifying eligible projects for the European Solidarity Corps.
Ensuring an ongoing dialogue with local and regional institutions active in the area of solidarity and with the organisations already working in the sector.
Safeguarding that the voluntary and employment strands of the European Solidarity Corps are differentiated, while recognising their complementarity, in order to avoid insecure or unpaid forms of work.
Achieving a genuine youth engagement that reflects the diverse views existing in cities and regions across Europe.
Establishing regular meetings with the EU Youth Coordinator and for the institution of formal cooperation with the European Committee of the Regions, as the voice of all local and regional social demands in the area of youth policy.
Assuring that the structured Youth Dialogue also includes representation of the local and regional authorities.
The opinion was adopted too recently to assess its impact.
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
- calls for regular meetings with the EU Youth Coordinator to be planned and for the institution of formal cooperation with the European Committee of the Regions, as the voice of all local and regional social demands in the area of youth policy;
- welcomes the application of systematic tracking of EU expenditure under the different youth financing programmes, and hopes that there will be further long-term increases in financing for youth policies in the future. This aspect is of particular importance also for those EU Member States or regions worst hit by brain drain;
- calls for a clear distinction to be made between the voluntary and employment strands of the European Solidarity Corps, while recognising their complementarity, in order to avoid insecure or unpaid forms of work;
- draws attention to the importance of recognising the skills acquired through voluntary work by issuing specific European Solidarity Corps certificates, while also using other similar instruments such as the Youthpass and Europass certificates, in other words the defining criteria adopted for apprenticeships;
- considers that, when granting quality labels, value should be attached to the most original and effective volunteering activities (such as those conducted in cooperation and synergy with sports associations), as they can spur young people to maintain lifelong solidarity-based commitments, and also hopes that the organisations taking part can benefit from tax relief at the independent initiative of the Member States.