During his 2016 State of the Union address, Commission President Juncker announced the creation of a European Solidarity Corps, offering young people between the ages of 18 and 30 the opportunity to take part in a wide range of solidarity activities across the EU. Since its launch on 7 December 2016, more than 30,000 young people have joined the European Solidarity Corps.
Since March, when the matching with organisations began, about 9000 participants have been contacted, around 110 offers were made, and the first participants started their placements. Today, the Commission has put the European Solidarity Corps on a firm footing by proposing to allocate a budget of €341.5 million for the next three years and a dedicated legal base. This will enable 100,000 young Europeans to take part in the initiative by the end of 2020.
As well as offering volunteering, traineeships and job placements, the European Solidarity Corps will now also provide participants the opportunity to set up their own solidarity projects or to volunteer as a group.
The Commission has also today adopted new initiatives on school and higher education, including a proposal on graduate tracking to help Member States collect information on what graduates do after their studies.
The overall aim of these initiatives is to help Member States provide high quality and inclusive education for all young people through a series of concrete actions, so they acquire the knowledge and skills needed to participate fully in society, are able to respond to new opportunities and challenges opened up by for instance globalisation and technological change, and can tailor their education to the needs of the labour market.