Bulgaria’s Georgieva Moves to Set Up EU Volunteer Corps
30 September 2010
http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-201 … dex_en.htm
Bulgaria’s EU Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva has initiated the first step to create a European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps (EVHAC).
Kristalina Georgieva, the European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, launched Thursday a stakeholders’ consultation for the creation of EVHAC.
This initiative foreseen in the treaty of Lisbon, will allow European volunteers to contribute to the humanitarian aid operations of the Union.
“All trends show that volunteering in general is on the rise in the EU, including in the area of humanitarian aid, where more and more citizens want to be involved in EU efforts. The volunteers will have to be well prepared, and able to integrate seamlessly demand-driven teams”, said Commissioner Georgieva today at the beginning of the stakeholders conference to launch the consultation.
This first phase of the process should lead to a Commission Communication before the end of the year, which is meant as a stocktaking exercise that will review existing voluntary schemes in order to identify trends, gaps and possible options. That will be followed by a pilot project in 2011, and a legislative proposal in 2012.
The EVHAC stakeholders conference is bringing together representatives of the humanitarian aid, civil protection and volunteering communities to inform them about the state of play and invite them to participate in the public online consultation which will be organized afterwards.
According to the European Commission, the path to the EVHAC will be paved by discussions on the increased professionalism in humanitarian aid, the focus on local volunteering and capacity building, the complex political and security contexts in which humanitarian workers are employed, and the need to take into account existing voluntary schemes and avoid duplications.