#ESC is an opportunity !

Many of you may already know the new initiative of the European Commission “European Solidarity Corps” (ESC), which almost certainly will replace the current European Voluntary Service. The objective of the Juncker Commission is very high, they want to reach the mobility of 100,000 young people in three years and they have earmarked 341 million of Euros.

The reaction of most of the organizations operating in the EVS, to this initiative, has been decidedly negative. The reasons are varied as are the endless petitions that continue to circulate even in these days. Some members of the European Parliament itself seems to want to preserve the EVS program with no changes. However, my opinion is that in the end: EVERYONE LOOKS TO THEIR OWN BACKYARD.

What definitely has become clear is that NGOs, at least those active in the field of EVS, are pushing to maintain unchanged the existing, trying to dodge interference on balances that are created over the past years. At the same time, Institutional players (national agencies and DG) are seeking to capitalize on the work done so far and imagine an ESC necessarily in continuity with programs in place at this time.

During interviews and meetings both Tajani (President of the European Parliament) and Juncker (President of the European Commission), seemed to relate to arguments and principles that are considered marginally in the legal basis of the current Youth programs of the DG EAC. The two presidents have pushed hard on the concept of "sharing" and "solidarity" which should become an engine and a social boost to the construction of a more conscious European identity.

In this context the European Solidarity Corps may become a vital tool to create a European consciousness more aware and inclined to share. This process will promote more vigorously the awareness of a "European people"

The European Voluntary Service, which seems to be the Erasmus+ section closest to the concept of ESC, however, is part of a type of personal education programs through non-formal learning. The social solidarity action is only marginal and is finalized to the fulfilment of an educational process.

The European organizations should be more reasonable and look at the ESC (and its political meaning) as an opportunity. It represents a good tool to enhance the concept of Europe. Going beyond the small entities self-interests would help to achieve major objectives in the future. If we do not understand this, if we cannot have a long-term view the drift populism and the extreme nationalism will always be stronger.

At European organizations I say: take courage and let’s risk together, we do not have to close like a clam, but we dare to change.

@maxviatore

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#ESC is an opportunity !

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