Spain is the EU country with the highest number of registered members of the European Solidarity Corps. A year after its launch, 22,786 young Spanish people have signed up to the programme.
The European Solidarity Corps is an EU initiative that aims to promote solidarity in European societies, with young people and organisations involved in volunteering, traineeship and solidarity project activities.
In Spain, European Solidarity Corps is managed by the Spanish National Agency (Spanish acronym: ANE), an organisation in which the Youth Institute (Spanish acronym: INJUVE), the young bodies of the autonomous regions and the autonomous cities, and the Spanish Youth Council (Spanish acronym: CJE) participate.
The programme is for young people of between 17 and 30 years of age in the European Union and other associate countries for a period of 2 to 12 months, in projects which benefit communities and European citizens in general.
The European Solidarity Corps has two additional aspects: volunteering and traineeship. Volunteering offers young people the opportunity to provide full-time voluntary services in another country, for which they do not receive any remuneration; though they do receive other assistance that depends on the programme, such as transport, accommodation, food, medical insurance and money for expenses.
Traineeships will be introduced gradually through associations with public bodies, NGOs and companies active in these areas. The young people recruited will be given an employment contract and be paid according to the salary regulations and collective agreements current in the corresponding country.
In 2019, Spain had more than 550 institutions certified to present projects within the programme. The National Youth Institute has approved 339 projects in which 1,263 young people have participated. In the environmental area alone, 67 projects have been presented, on which 272 young volunteers have participated. This year the budget for Spain is 8,940,486 euros; for 2020 the corresponding amount is 12,450,000 euros.
“In the current context, marked by the rise of extremism and the growth of intolerant and xenophobic attitudes, initiatives such as the European Solidarity Corps take on a special importance,” explained Ruth Carrasco, the general director of INJUVE. “They become more necessary than ever to support our democracies and construct inclusive and diverse societies,” she concluded.