A recent European Commission proposal will be discussed in September by the European Parliament, which if approved will mean the end for the European Voluntary Service that will be replaced by the European Solidarity Corps from January 2018.
The new proposal will cut funds available for each volunteer project in order to drastically increase the number of volunteers and eliminate EVS sending and coordinating entities.
Sending organizations play a supporting role for young people before, during and after the volunteer period.
Their disappearance will have very serious qualitative consequences for the program especially for young people with fewer opportunities that need more support and guidance structures to be able to join the programme. That would put a sudden end to the priorities advocated by the European Union for an inclusive growth towards the young people with fewer opportunities. This seems to be in contrast with the values of solidarity and inclusion that are the bases of the Erasmus+ programme and of the European Union, as it would raise barriers to most disadvantaged youth and privilege those who were most fortunate.
The end of coordinating organizations, caused by the changes in the accreditation system and the budget cut, will result in the lack of opportunities for organizations with less experience and less planning skills to participate in the program.
The exit of the most experienced organizations will also mean the loss of their accumulated experience over the years thanks to Erasmus + staff training opportunities.
Moreover, the exclusion from the program of the so-called Partner countries (Western Balkans, Eastern Partnership Countries, South Mediterranean countries and Russian Federation) unless unspecified bilateral agreements, will block the work of hundreds of organizations that have been successfully working in these countries in recent years, subordinating the continuation of the activities to political agreements to be signed again, without certainty about ways and times.
With this reform, a huge amount of skills accumulated in 20 years of EVS will be lost, in which training and quality research have led to a solid program regarding support of volunteers and monitoring of the activities carried out.
With this reform the cornerstones of EVS will fail, many good practices will necessarily be abandoned and action that has been proved to be an absolute excellence will end up to give way to quantity at the expenses of quality.
The network of signatory organizations therefore requests the proposal to be rejected by the European Parliament and that a new proposal shall be formulated following a consultation involving all former volunteers as well as sending, hosting or coordinating organisations of EVS projects.
The European Commission proposal can be found at this link: https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/initiatives/com-2017-262_en