BETA


2012/0245(COD) European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps (‘EU Aid Volunteers initiative')

Progress: Procedure completed

RoleCommitteeRapporteurShadows
Lead DEVE NEWTON DUNN Bill (icon: ALDE ALDE)
Committee Opinion BUDG
Committee Opinion EMPL Thomas HÄNDEL (icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL)
Lead committee dossier:
Legal Basis:
TFEU 214-p5

Events

2019/06/24
   EC - Follow-up document
Details

In accordance with the requirements of Regulation (EU) No 375/2014, the Commission presents an annual report on the implementation of the EU Aid Volunteers initiative for the year 2018.

This report describes the implementation of the EU Aid Volunteers initiative in 2018.

Objectives and priorities

The activities described in this report were based on the 2018 Annual Work Programme for implementing the EU Aid Volunteers initiative adopted by the Commission. EUR 19 235 000 was set aside in the budget to implement the initiative.

Deployment

The implementation of the deployment and capacity building/technical assistance projects funded in previous years paved the way for progress made on the EU Aid Volunteers initiative in 2018. Eleven new projects for deployment of volunteers, one technical assistance project and six capacity building projects were selected for funding in 2018. The total number of EU Aid Volunteers deployed to non-EU countries by the end of 2018 reached about 400 and at least 368 more will be deployed in 2019. The training programme again had high satisfaction rates among volunteers and more training sessions in English, French and Spanish are planned for 2019.

EU Aid Volunteers Platform

In 2018, the EU Aid Volunteers Platform was increasingly used to publish stories from volunteers and organisations (69 new stories in 2018). It was further adapted to respond to what organisations needed to manage their volunteers. The platform performs better now and is more user-friendly.

The platform is consulted by visitors worldwide and the subscriptions service for volunteering vacancies had around 2 656 subscribers at the end of 2018.

Certification

The ongoing certification process resulted in a total of 208 (42 sending and 166 hosting organisations), providing opportunities for the deployment of more EU aid volunteers. A high number of these applied for re-certification for another three years.

European Solidarity Corps

In the context of the new Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027, on 11 June 2018 the Commission adopted a proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the European Solidarity Corps programme and repealing the European Solidarity Corps Regulation of 2018 and Regulation (EU) No 375/2014. This proposal envisages the integration of the current EU Aid Volunteers initiative into the European Solidarity Corps as of 2021. The proposed integration is informed by the interim evaluation of the EU Aid Volunteers initiative and aims to streamline the various volunteering programmes and improve cost efficiency. The integration is expected to simplify processes and provide a one-stop-shop for individuals and organisations, while preserving the specificities of the current EU Aid Volunteers initiative, such as respect for humanitarian aid principles, high standards and a strong focus on safety and security of volunteers.

Way forward

In 2019, in line with the objectives and priorities of the initiative as set by the Annual Work Programme, the activities described above will continue to provide opportunities for more hosting and sending organisations to benefit from capacity building and technical assistance activities and funding for more EU Aid Volunteers to be deployed to countries outside the EU.

Lastly, the Commission stressed that communication activities will continue to provide information to potential organisations and volunteers about the EU Aid Volunteers initiative and its key achievements and impact. The EU Aid Volunteers network will be supported through an event that will take place in 2020 and will bring together volunteers and participating organisations.

2018/08/03
   EC - Follow-up document
Details

In accordance with the requirements of Regulation (EU) No 375/2014, the Commission presents an annual report on the implementation of the EU Aid Volunteers initiative for the year 2017.

The initiative provides funding to consortia of EU-based and non-EU based organisations for the deployment and the preparation for deployment (including apprenticeships) of EU Aid Volunteers to third countries. The activities described in the report were based on the 2017 annual work programme and EUR 20 972 000 was set aside in the budget to implement the initiative.

Deployment : a total of 206 EU Aid Volunteers were deployed to 28 countries worldwide (excluding countries with armed conflict) by the end of 2017/beginning of 2018. Six new projects were selected for co-funding in 2017 with a total EU grant of EUR 5 726 880. These will result in the deployment of 175 EU Aid Volunteers starting in 2018.

The numbers of volunteers, although increasing, remain well below the initial targets of 4 000 EU Aid Volunteers by 2020. Among the reasons for this are the barriers to participation, such as the certification of organisations or the need to form partnerships with other organisations to apply for EU funding. In 2017, 63 new organisations were certified which brings the total number of certified organisation under the EU Aid Volunteers initiative to 145 (36 sending and 109 hosting).

Technical assistance and capacity building : a call for proposals was published in 2017 providing for the co-financing of projects for capacity building for hosting organisations and technical assistance for EU-based sending organisations, in areas such as disaster risk management, volunteer management and needs assessment methodology. 18 applications (4 for technical assistance and 14 for capacity building) were selected for cofunding12 with a total EU grant of EUR 9 909 346.

Training programme : the report notes that candidate EU Aid Volunteers’ satisfaction with the training remains high, with an average score of 9 out of 10 points. While the course had previously only been delivered in English, in 2017 for the first time, one group of volunteers was instructed in Spanish.

In addition, the report notes that:

the EU Aid Volunteers platform hosted its first online volunteering vacancies. The platform is now also able to offer online volunteering opportunities and it is expected that online assignments will increase in the coming months. In 2018, the EU Aid Volunteers platform will increasingly be used to publish stories from volunteers and will be further adapted to respond to the needs of organisations in relation to managing volunteers; a network workshop was held in February 2017 for organisations that are involved in the EU Aid Volunteers initiative through deployment projects, certification under the EU Aid Volunteers initiative or in technical assistance or capacity building projects. 93 participants from 45 EU and non-EU countries attended the workshop.

The report states that work will continue on strengthening the EU Aid Volunteers network, including a network workshop for organisations that participate in the initiative and a workshop to allow EU Aid Volunteers to share their experiences of their deployment in the field and build closer links with the humanitarian sector.

The Commission refers to the interim evaluation report (please see previous document), the overall conclusion of which was that the initiative provides added value and its objectives are relevant to stakeholders. Among the challenges that need to be addressed are:

the simplification of processes and administrative procedures;

reducing the time for deployment; further synergies with existing Commission programmes and shift of focus from funding processes (supporting volunteer management or organisational capability and capacity) to humanitarian impact-oriented activities.

Lastly, in the context of preparing the way forward in the next Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021 – 2027, the Commission proposed to integrate the EU Aid Volunteers initiative into the European Solidarity Corps to maximise synergies and impact and achieve greater simplification.

2018/06/28
   EC - Follow-up document
Details

In accordance with the requirements of Regulation (EU) No 375/2014, the Commission presents a report on the interim evaluation of the EU Aid Volunteers initiative for the period mid-2014 to mid-2017.

The initiative provides funding to consortia of EU-based and non-EU based organisations for the deployment and the preparation for deployment (including apprenticeships) of EU Aid Volunteers to third countries. To implement the initiative, an amount of EUR 147 936 000 has been earmarked for the period between 1 January 2014 and 31 December 2020.

Main findings:

Relevance: whilst the evaluation found that the different actions carried out under the initiative’s five objectives are relevant, interest from established humanitarian Framework Partnership Agreement partners remains very low , which is problematic for an initiative that is supposed to serve the humanitarian aid sector. The objective of communicating the EU’s humanitarian aid principles is only considered relevant by a small number of stakeholders (mainly volunteers), which indicates that more attention is required on this point in the initiative’s communication activities .

Effectiveness : the initiative has not been effective in achieving its five objectives, and the targets set in the 2014-2020 multiannual financial framework are still far from being met. The budget in the first three years was not fully used, although the figures for 2017 saw a strong uptake in funding for capacity building. The numbers of volunteers remains well below the target of 4 000 EU Aid Volunteers by 2020, and now stands at around 200 EU Aid Volunteers being deployed. The main reason for this is the barriers to participation , such as: (i) the certification of organisations; (ii) the need to form partnerships with other organisations to apply for EU funding. The search for consortium partners and the administrative procedures to manage a consortium hampers effectiveness.

Coherence: there is room for improvement in the initiative’s coherence with humanitarian aid, development and civil protection instruments, since it was not embedded in the existing

EU instruments providing humanitarian aid, but was set up as a stand-alone instrument. As volunteers must not be deployed to regions of armed conflict, some third countries where a considerable part of humanitarian aid is provided are excluded from the scope of the initiative. However, there is some coherence with EU development cooperation policy, since the broad definition of humanitarian aid used in the Regulation allows for synergies.

Efficiency: rules and procedures for managing volunteers can be especially burdensome and certain organisations find the process discouragin g, because it can take up to 18 months: from the publication of a call for proposals through the selection process, the publication of vacancies for volunteers, the training of volunteers to the deployment of volunteers. The application, selection and reporting procedures appear particularly burdensome for organisations that are mainly active in EU humanitarian aid (emergency response) projects.

EU added value : the initiative creates EU added value through common standards for managing volunteers from all EU countries, common training, and funding for capacity building and technical assistance. The initiative was able to involve a broad range of organisations from different EU Member States, since it enables organisations with different backgrounds (e.g. humanitarian, development, civil protection, volunteering organisations) and of different sizes to work together.

The way forward : the Commission is taking forward the findings and recommendations of the evaluation in a two-pronged approach :

Actions to be implemented from now until 2020 : the Commission will:

feed back the results of the evaluation into the programme design and allocation of resources; speed up processes (e.g. through a simplification of the certification process), simplify administrative procedures, improve support for interested organisations, further promote the funding opportunities and share success stories; increase the deployment of EU Aid Volunteers in the Commission's humanitarian aid and disaster risk reduction and development cooperation projects.

Actions that require more fundamental changes into the EU Aid Volunteers legislation : this is linked to the ongoing Commission's work on the future of EU programmes under the next multiannual financial framework beyond 2020. In this respect the Commission will:

strive to achieve a significant simplification of procedures by removing the elements that slow down the deployment of volunteers and create a significant administrative burden for participating organisations; seek synergies and streamlining with other EU volunteering schemes, notably the European Solidarity Corps ; aim at providing more clarity for EU citizens seeking volunteering opportunities inside and outside the EU; consider better alignment with the EU objectives on linking relief, rehabilitation and development and humanitarian aid development.

2018/06/28
   EC - Follow-up document
2017/06/12
   EC - Follow-up document
Details

This European Commission report to the European Parliament and the Council concerns the implementation of the EU Aid Volunteers (EUAV) initiative in 2016.

The objective of this initiative is to contribute to strengthening the Union's capacity to provide humanitarian assistance based on the needs, as well as the capacities and resilience of populations vulnerable to or affected by disasters in third countries, allowing European citizens the opportunity to show solidarity with the populations in need by engaging in humanitarian actions in these countries.

Objectives of the report: Article 27 of Regulation (EU) No 375/2014 instituting the initiative requires the Commission to submit an annual report to the European Parliament and the Council, outlining the progress made in implementing the Regulation. This report is the third of its kind and presents the main activities of the EUAV initiative.

It is based on the data collected and analysed in accordance with the framework for monitoring the implementation of measures under the initiative. This framework has been drawn up and approved by the Commission and the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Agency (EACEA), which is responsible for managing most of the actions implemented under the initiative.

Key findings: in 2016, the implementation of the EUAV initiative was marked by the following:

· launch of the first 10 capacity-building and technical assistance projects and the first 2 projects that resulted in the deployment of the first EU aid volunteers;

· publication of the first vacant posts for volunteers;

· initial training of volunteers and implementation of the training programme;

· certification of 82 host and sending organisations for the current procedure;

· launch of the EU aid volunteer platform.

It took more time than expected for organisations to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the programme. They know more about the initiative and are increasingly learning to trust it. Many organisations that are already implementing projects and planning other activities are better acquainted with it.

In 2017, the initiative will continue to allow more sending and receiving organisations to benefit from capacity-building and technical assistance projects and more volunteers to be deployed to third countries. Host and sending organisations will be regularly certified and the EU aid volunteer platform will be maintained and developed.

In addition, the first online volunteering opportunities should be published in the summer 2017.

The initiative will be the subject of new communication campaigns .

Networking will help build partnerships and increase the number of organisations participating in the initiative.

2017 work programme: In line with the program of work for 2017, one of the main objectives will be to contribute to the strengthening of resilience and disaster risk management in vulnerable, fragile and disaster-prone countries and in crises, for example, through the deployment of actions in the following phases of the disaster management cycle:

· disaster prevention;

· disaster preparedness;

· disaster risk reduction;

· recovery from natural or man-made disasters;

· early warnings.

By deploying EU assistance volunteers to third countries to help local people improve their resilience and capacity to manage disasters, the Commission will continue to demonstrate its unwavering political resolve to build resilience in these countries.

2016/06/30
   EC - Follow-up document
Details

The Commission presented the annual report on the implementation of the EU Aid Volunteers Initiative in 2015.

To recall, the EU Aid Volunteers initiative aims to contribute to strengthening the Union’s capacity to provide needs-based humanitarian aid and to strengthening the capacity and resilience of vulnerable or disaster-affected communities in third countries, while giving the European citizens an opportunity to show solidarity with people in need through taking part in humanitarian action in these countries.

Main achievements : the report presents the main activities and achievements in the implementation of the EU Aid Volunteers initiative in 2015 , an important year for the initiative to become operational, which enabled the Commission to map out the next steps in implementation.

The activities in 2015 are based on the annual work programme in 2015 adopted by the Commission. The budget for the implementation of the initiative in 2015 was set at EUR 13 868 000 and aiming to:

build capacities of hosting organisations in third countries and providing technical assistance for sending organisations based in the EU Member States; contributing to resilience building and disaster risk management in vulnerable, fragile or disaster affected countries and forgotten crises; prepare the selection, training and deployment of volunteers and the public launch of the initiative, establishment of the EU Aid Volunteers Platform, launch of the call for tender for the selection of the training provider, and various communication activities.

Activities funded under the work programme for 2014, such as the ongoing certification of sending and hosting organisations, the establishment of an insurance scheme for EU Aid volunteers and the selection of projects for capacity building and technical assistance, also took place in 2015 following the adoption of the delegated and the implementing acts.

Way forward : following the adoption of the legislative package on the EU Aid Volunteers initiative, 2015 was the first year of implementation of the full range of activities , including the certification of organisations, the launch of the call for proposals for technical assistance and capacity building, the call for proposals for deployment, the call for tenders for the training of volunteers, the establishment of the insurance scheme and the start of the development of the EU Aid Volunteers Platform.

The pilot phase implemented from 2011 to 2014 was closed and the initiative formally launched with a conference attended by volunteers and organisations that had participated in the pilot phase.

Based on this solid foundation, the implementation of the initiative will continue.

The concrete actions will be focused on the selection, training and deployment of volunteers; the implementation of the current projects and the selection of new projects on deployment of volunteers, capacity building and technical assistance for hosting and sending organisations; and the certification of applicant sending and hosting organisations. The activities related to the application of the insurance scheme and the training of volunteers will continue. The EU Aid Volunteers Platform for registration, networking, online volunteering and learning will be launched.

In line with the Work Programme for 2016, one of the main objectives will be to contribute to resilience building and disaster risk management in vulnerable, fragile or disaster affected countries and forgotten crises.

The deployment of EU Aid volunteers in third countries and the projects aiming at the capacity building of the local communities will respond to the Commission’s strong political commitment on resilience and will contribute to building better prepared, inclusive, and stable societies, improving services and opportunities, mitigation of risks, and reducing suffering and loss.

2015/07/13
   EC - Follow-up document
Details

The Commission presented the Annual report on the implementation of the EU Aid Volunteers Initiative in 2014. It outlines the main activities and achievements in the implementation of the EU Aid Volunteers initiative in 2014 taking into account the specificity of the first year, which was dedicated to the adoption of the indispensable legal acts mapping out the next steps in the implementation of the EU Aid Volunteers initiative.

The main elements of this implementing report may be summarised as follows:

- Call for tenders : an open call for tenders for insurance was published on 31 December 2014 aiming to ensure that the volunteers participating in the EU Aid Volunteers initiative are covered by a complete insurance plan specifically designed to protect them during the entire duration of their deployment (Action 3 under Annual Work Programme 2014). The Commission published:

call for proposals for technical assistance for sending organisations and capacity building for humanitarian aid of hosting organisations (Action 1); call for applications for the certification of sending and hosting organisations wishing to participate in the EU Aid Volunteers initiative (Action 2) in early 2015.

- Support measures : the EU Aid Volunteers initiative provides an additional opportunity to highlight the value and impact of volunteering and show EU solidarity with communities in countries affected by disaster in action. Support measures for networking and communication (Action 4) aim to raise awareness, encourage participation, create new opportunities to take part and support networking between participants.

- Information : in 2014 Commission services and EACEA also prepared the Info and Networking Day that took place in January 2015. The aim of this public event was to explain to the future partners - implementing organisations the opportunities available under the EU Aid Volunteers initiative and to launch the first activities of the initiative (the call for proposals for technical assistance and capacity building and the call for applications for the certification of sending and hosting organisations).

The web page for EU Aid Volunteers on the website of DG ECHO will continue to publish information on the initiative and communication products such as blogs from volunteers, articles and videos.

Main conclusions : 2014 was a very important year for the European Aid Volunteers initiative as the legal basis was adopted and administrative and organisational activities have followed creating the solid foundation and the favourable conditions for the initiative to be established and to grow up. Due to the need to adopt implementing and delegated acts, 2014 was mainly a year of legislative and preparatory measures.

The EU Aid Volunteers initiative is on course to meet its multiannual objectives.

All the actions have been prepared so as to kick-off in 2015 following the above mentioned adoption of the legal acts:

certification of sending and hosting organisations wishing to participate in the EU Aid Volunteers initiative; capacity building of hosting organisations and technical assistance to sending organisations; a comprehensive insurance scheme for the volunteers; the pre-deployment training for all volunteers; deployment of volunteers by certified organisations.

The first vacancies for volunteers will become available by early 2016 .

The Commission will continue to promote the EU Aid Volunteers initiative and to invest in fruitful communication in order to raise awareness and to gather lessons learnt. A number of activities are planned to take place among which a conference to mark the closure of the preparatory actions with the return of the volunteers from the final phase pilot projects and a high visibility event to launch the deployment phase of the volunteers.

2014/05/20
   EC - Commission response to text adopted in plenary
Documents
2014/04/24
   Final act published in Official Journal
Details

Corrigendum to Regulation (EU) No 375/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 3 April 2014 establishing the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps (‘EU Aid Volunteers initiative’) ( Official Journal of the European Union L 122 of 24 April 2014 ) On page 15, Article 24(2): for: ‘2. The power to adopt delegated acts referred to in Article 7(2), Article 9(2) and Article 20(3) shall be conferred on the Commission for a period of seven years from 25 April 2014.’ , read: ‘2. The power to adopt delegated acts referred to in Article 7(2), Article 9(2) and Article 20(3) and (4) shall be conferred on the Commission for a period of seven years from 25 April 2014.’ .

2014/04/03
   CSL - Draft final act
Documents
2014/04/03
   CSL - Final act signed
2014/04/03
   EP - End of procedure in Parliament
2014/03/18
   EP/CSL - Act adopted by Council after Parliament's 1st reading
2014/03/18
   CSL - Council Meeting
2014/02/25
   EP - Results of vote in Parliament
2014/02/25
   EP - Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
Details

The European Parliament adopted by 600 votes to 30 with 50 abstentions, a legislative resolution on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps - EU Aid Volunteers.

Parliament’s adopted its position at first reading under the ordinary legislative procedure. The amendments adopted in plenary are the result of a compromise between Parliament and Council. They amend the Commission proposal as follows:

Objective: the objective of the EU Aid Volunteers initiative shall be to contribute to strengthening the Union's capacity to provide needs-based humanitarian aid aimed at:

· preserving life,

· preventing and alleviating human suffering

· maintaining human dignity and

· strengthening the capacity and resilience of vulnerable or disaster-affected communities in third countries, particularly by means of disaster preparedness, disaster risk reduction and by enhancing the link between relief, rehabilitation and development.

That objective shall be attained through the added value of joint contributions of EU Aid Volunteers, expressing the Union's values and solidarity with people in need and visibly promoting a sense of European citizenship.

Operational objectives : the EU Aid Volunteers initiative shall pursue the following operational objectives in accordance with a certain number of indicators set out in the resolution for each specific objective:

· contribute to increasing and improving the capacity of the Union to provide humanitarian aid;

· improve the skills, knowledge and competences of volunteers;

· build the capacity of hosting organisations and foster volunteering in third countries;

· communicate the Union's humanitarian aid principles agreed in the European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid;

· enhance coherence and consistency of volunteering across Member States in order to improve opportunities for Union citizens to participate in humanitarian aid activities and operations.

Provisions are laid out in the text regarding the actions to be undertaken in the framework of these objectives.

Gender perspective : the EU Aid Volunteers initiative should aim to contribute to strengthening the gender perspective in Union humanitarian aid policy, promoting adequate humanitarian responses to the specific needs of women and men of all ages. Special attention should be paid to cooperation with women’s groups and networks.

Standards and procedures regarding candidate volunteers and EU Aid Volunteers : building on existing relevant practices, the Commission shall establish standards and procedures covering the necessary conditions, arrangements and requirements to be applied by sending and hosting organisations when identifying, selecting, preparing, managing and deploying candidate volunteers and EU Aid Volunteers to support humanitarian aid operations in third countries.

Certification mechanism for sending and hosting organisations: the Commission shall develop a certification mechanism by means of implementing acts, with the involvement, if appropriate, of humanitarian partners, ensuring that sending organisations comply with the standards and procedures, and a differentiated certification mechanism for hosting organisations. It shall establish the procedure relating to the functioning of the certification mechanisms, building on existing relevant certification mechanisms and procedure. ,

In designing the certification mechanism, the Commission shall seek synergies with the Commission’s partnership instruments in the humanitarian field and existing humanitarian standards, with the aim of administrative simplification. The certification mechanism shall be inclusive and non-discriminatory as regards any type of eligible organisation.

Deployment of EU Aid Volunteers in third countries: EU Aid Volunteers included in the database may be deployed to by:

· certified sending organisations to hosting organisations in third countries; or

· the Commission to its humanitarian aid field offices for support tasks.

Deployments shall meet the real needs expressed at local level by the hosting organisations.

For deployment, certified sending organisations shall ensure compliance with the standards and procedures. EU Aid Volunteers shall not be deployed to operations conducted in the theatre of international and non-international armed conflicts.

For deployments effected by the Commission, the Commission shall sign a volunteer deployment contract with EU Aid Volunteers, defining specific terms and conditions of deployment. Each EU Aid Volunteer shall have a designated mentor from the hosting organisation

Coherence and complementarities of Union action : coherence and complementarity shall be ensured with other instruments and areas of Union external action and with other relevant Union policies, in particular humanitarian aid policy, development cooperation policy and the Union Civil Protection Mechanism, while avoiding duplication and overlap.

In promoting a coherent international response to humanitarian crises, the actions under the EU Aid Volunteers initiative shall be in accordance with those undertaken by the United Nations, in order to support the central and overall coordinating role of UN-OCHA.

Network for the EU Aid Volunteers initiative : the Commission shall establish and manage a network for the EU Aid Volunteers initiative composed of: (i) candidate volunteers and EU Aid Volunteers who are participating or have participated in the initiative; (ii) sending and hosting organisations; (iii) representatives of the Member States and of the European Parliament.

The text lays down provisions for the tasks of the network.

Budget: the financial envelope for the implementation of the Regulation for the period 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2020 shall be EUR 147 936 000 in current prices. This shall be allocated, over the period 2014-2020, in accordance with the operational objectives, thematic priorities and percentages set out in the Annex. The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts to amend the priorities and adjust each of the figures in the Annex by more than 10 and up to 20 percentage points. Such adjustment shall only take place following the results of a Commission review.

Where, in the case of a necessary revision of the budgetary resources available for support for emergency response actions , imperative grounds of urgency so require, the Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts to revise each of the figures set out in the Annex by more than 10 and up to 20 percentage points, within the available budgetary allocations.

Evaluation: actions under the EU Aid Volunteers initiative receiving financial assistance shall be monitored regularly. Evaluations shall make use of existing evaluation standards, including those developed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's Development Assistance Committee, with the objective of measuring the long-term impact of the EU Aid Volunteers initiative on humanitarian aid.

In the evaluation phase, the Commission shall ensure regular consultation of all relevant stakeholders.

Delegated acts : the power to adopt acts will be delegated to the Commission in respect of provisions relating to the standards for selection, management and deployment of EU Aid Volunteers, the amendment of the performance indicators and the thematic priorities and the adjustment of the percentages for allocation of the financial envelope for implementation of the Regulation.

Report: the Commission shall submit to the European Parliament and to the Council a series of reports, including:

· annual reports examining the progress made in implementing this Regulation, including results and, as far as possible, the main outcomes;

· an interim evaluation report on the implementation of this Regulation, including on the impact of EU Aid Volunteers initiative in the humanitarian sector and the cost-effectiveness of the programme, during the first three years of its implementation no later than 31 December 2017

· an ex post evaluation report for the seven-year financial period of implementation no later than 31 December 2021.

The Commission shall review the measures laid down in the Regulation by 1 September 2019 and shall, following the conclusion of the interim evaluation report, accompany that review with a legislative proposal for amendment of this Regulation.

Annex: a new Annex sets out the operational objectives, thematic priorities and percentages for allocation of the financial envelope for implementation of this Regulation.

Documents
2014/02/24
   EP - Debate in Parliament
2013/12/18
   EP - Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading
2013/04/30
   EP - Committee report tabled for plenary, 1st reading/single reading
Details

The Committee on Development unanimously adopted the report by Michèle STRIFFLER (EPP, FR) on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council Establishing the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps - EU Aid Volunteers.

The parliamentary committee recommended that the European Parliament’s position adopted at first reading under the ordinary legislative procedure should amend the Commission’s proposal as follows:

Objective of the EU Aid Volunteers initiative: Members recalled that the specific objective of volunteering was to contribute to strengthening the Union's capacity to respond to humanitarian crises and to build the capacity and resilience of vulnerable or disaster-affected communities in third countries, in response to man-made or natural disasters.

This should also contribute to European citizenship and seek to enhance the link between relief, rehabilitation and development.

Protection of volunteers and their exclusions from situations of armed conflict: Members considered volunteers should not be deployed on projects where their safety and security could be of concern. It is therefore stipulated that volunteers may be deployed in humanitarian aid activities and operations, except in the context of armed conflicts and internal disturbances .

Improving the visibility of European aid: Members were of the opinion that there is a need to raise both awareness levels and visibility of humanitarian aid among the Union's citizens because Union humanitarian aid is often overshadowed by that of other international organisations.

Deployment of volunteers: Members insisted that deployments shall meet the real needs expressed at local level by the hosting organisations . The contract shall either specify the rights and obligations of the volunteer or indicate where the rights and obligations are documented.

Standards for volunteers: Members stipulated the standards that should apply to candidate volunteers wishing to participate in the initiative: the Commission should draw up standards concerning the identification, selection, preparation and deployment of volunteers .

Candidate volunteers shall be identified and selected on the basis of specific skills and knowledge. Identification and selection shall be so performed as to ensure diversity of profiles and skills among the young people and experts, while always responding to practical needs identified on the ground.

On the basis of existing standards and in partnership with specialised institutions, the Commission shall establish a training programme in order to prepare the candidate volunteers.

The context of the deployment shall take into account the skills and language knowledge of volunteers.

Recognition and acknowledgement of the experience of volunteers: Members urged the Commission to support actions to acknowledge the experience and the commitment of volunteers with a view to recognition of their experience and acknowledgement in a professional environment and in society of what they have attained.

EU Aid Volunteers could thus be recognised – after their first deployment, as certified EU aid volunteers . These certified volunteers would be entered in the register provided for and administered by the Commission.

Limitation on the period for which candidates may shall be considered eligible to be volunteers: Members believed that candidate volunteers who have successfully passed the assessment covered in this proposal may be included in the Register of EU Aid Volunteers and should be eligible for deployment for a period of no more than two years , after which they should be reassessed.

Mentoring of volunteers: Members called for each volunteers to have a designated mentor from the hosting organisation to supervise and support the volunteer during deployment.

Indicators: in its proposal, the Commission proposed operational objectives. Progress towards their achievement was to be assessed on the basis of indicators. The proposed indicators were purely quantitative . Members asked that qualitative indicators should also be envisaged for each operational objective.

Consistency of the initiative with other relevant European policies: Members asked that

in implementing the initiative, coordination, complementarity and coherence shall be ensured with other relevant Union policies, in particular humanitarian aid, development aid and the civil protection mechanism, in order to ensure the added value of actions under the EU Aid Volunteers initiative.

When setting up projects, the Commission should make use of the existing European networks, which are efficient.

Forum for consultation: i n order to pursue the objectives of the initiative, Members called for a forum for consultation and dialogue, bringing together representatives of the Commission, Member States and the sending and hosting organisations, to be established as soon as the programme is launched.

Financial reference amount: Members called for a financial reference amount to figure in the measure, in accordance with the 2014-2020 financial framework. Members underlined that such voluntary aid corps should be cost effective, compliment existing national and international voluntary schemes without duplicating them.

Cooperation with other countries: Members proposed not permitting citizens and organisations from partner countries of the European Neighbourhood Policy to participate in the activities of the EU aid volunteers. They considered the programme to be a European one, which advances the idea of European citizenship.

Organisations sending volunteers: in the context of the initiative, it was envisaged that the Commission would draw up a certification scheme for sending and hosting organisations. Members were of the view that in designing the certification scheme, the Commission should seek synergies with the its partnership instruments in the humanitarian field and existing humanitarian standards, with the aim of administrative simplification.

Multiannual work programmes: Members wanted the Commission to adopt two consecutive multiannual indicative work programmes jointly covering the period 2014-2020, in accordance with the general principles of the future Regulation. They should constitute the basis for annual programming in the framework of the initiative (objectives pursued, the priorities, the expected results, the method of implementation, the financial allocations in broad terms and, for grants, the priorities, the essential evaluation criteria and the maximum rate of cofinancing).

Annual work programmes: likewise, Members proposed that the Commission should adopt annual indicative work programmes, which would be based on and in line with the multiannual work programme. The annual work programmes should contain the description of the actions to be financed, an indication of the amount allocated to each action and the indicative implementation timetable.

Delegated acts: Members considered that the delegation of power to the Commission to adopt acts should be in respect of the provisions relating to the standards for management and deployment of EU Aid Volunteers, the amendment of the performance indicators and the adoption of the multiannual work programmes that define the objectives, priorities, expected results, method of implementation and financial allocations in broad terms.

In the event that an EU Trust Fund were to be created by the Commission, the adoption of the multiannual or annual working programme of that trust fund would be subject to the delegated acts procedure.

Annual work programmes would be adopted under the committee procedure (an observer from the European Parliament would take part in the committee's proceedings).

Report: lastly, Members proposed that an interim evaluation report on the results obtained and the qualitative and quantitative aspects of the implementation of the initiative, including on the impact of EU Aid Volunteers in the humanitarian aid sector and the cost-effectiveness of the programme, during the first three years of its implementation no later than 30 June 2017.

Documents
2013/03/13
   EP - Committee opinion
Documents
2013/02/27
   EP - Amendments tabled in committee
Documents
2013/02/22
   EP - Committee opinion
Documents
2013/02/01
   EP - Committee draft report
Documents
2012/12/04
   AT_BUNDESRAT - Contribution
Documents
2012/11/26
   PT_PARLIAMENT - Contribution
Documents
2012/11/15
   BG_PARLIAMENT - Contribution
Documents
2012/11/15
   IT_SENATE - Contribution
Documents
2012/10/22
   EP - Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
2012/09/19
   EC - Document attached to the procedure
2012/09/19
   EC - Document attached to the procedure
2012/09/19
   EC - Legislative proposal published
Details

PURPOSE: the establishment of the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps.

PROPOSED ACT: Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council.

BACKGROUND: in the face of the increasing number and magnitude of humanitarian crises (natural catastrophes and man-made crises), the Union has to ensure adequate humanitarian aid.

As envisaged in Article 214(5) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), this proposal establishes the framework for the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps, which should enable joint contributions from European volunteers in humanitarian aid operations. Its objective is to express the Union's humanitarian values and solidarity with people in need whether within or beyond the Union’s borders . Improving the mobilisation of the volunteering capacity of European citizens can also project a positive image of the Union in the world and foster interest for pan-European projects in support of humanitarian aid activities.

The proposal builds on the 2010 Communication " How to express EU citizens’ solidarity through volunteering: First reflections on a European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps ". The Communication presents the guiding principles, gaps and necessary conditions to make a positive contribution to Union humanitarian aid. The Council and the European Parliament have expressed strong support for the initiative, reaffirming the key role of the Union in promoting volunteering and identifying some of the key components of the Corps.

This proposal will, moreover, contribute to:

the objectives of the Union's external policy and, in particular, the Union's humanitarian aid objectives; and reinforcing the benefits delivered to the hosting communities in third countries and the impact that the volunteer activities have on the volunteers themselves.

Furthermore, the training and informal learning experience volunteers will acquire is a strong investment in human capital which would improve their employability in global economy and thus contribute to the Europe's 2020 objectives for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.

IMPACT ASSESSMENT: interested stakeholders, including the main humanitarian aid organisations (NGOs, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Family, UN agencies), mainstream volunteer organisations, individual volunteers, Member States' representatives and other relevant actors were specifically consulted at two dedicated conferences 5 and through a public on-line consultation.

An impact assessment report was prepared to examine policy options and their potential impacts. The main problems identified are: (1) lack of a structured EU approach towards volunteering; (2) poor visibility of EU humanitarian action and solidarity with people in need; (3) lack of consistent identification and selection mechanisms across Member States; (4) insufficient availability of qualified volunteers for humanitarian aid; (5) shortcomings in the surge capacity of humanitarian aid; and vi) weak capacity of hosting organisations.

The impact assessment examined a number of policy options resulting from the combination of different modules and mode of management:

Policy Option 1 , including: (1) Development of standards for identification, selection and training of volunteers and (2) Development of certification mechanism for sending organisations; Policy Option 2 , including the modules under Option 1 plus (3) Support to training for EU volunteers in humanitarian aid, (4) Creation of an EU Register of trained volunteers, (5) Development of standards and a certification mechanism for volunteer management in hosting organisations; Policy Option 3 , including all modules under Option 2 plus (6) Support to deployment of EU volunteers, (7) Building capacity in third country hosting organisations, (8) Establishment of an EU Network of humanitarian volunteers . This Option would be implemented in partnership with humanitarian aid organisations which should identify, select and deploy the volunteers. Policy Option 4 , including all modules under Option 3 implemented in a direct management mode by the European Commission.

Based on this assessment of the potential economic, social and environmental impacts, Policy Option 3 was recommended as the most efficient and effective option for addressing the problems identified.

LEGAL BASIS: Article 214(5) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).

CONTENT: the proposal lays down the procedures and the rules for the operation of the EU Aid Volunteers. It follows an enabling approach and is limited to the essential elements necessary for the implementation of the Regulation, including specifying its general and operational objectives, the principles and the actions of which it consists, the provisions for financial assistance and the general provisions for its implementation.

General objective and operational objectives: the objective of the EU Aid Volunteers shall be to express the Union's humanitarian values and solidarity with people in need, through the promotion of an effective and visible EU Aid Volunteers' initiative, which contributes to strengthening the Union's capacity to respond to humanitarian crises and to building the capacity and resilience of vulnerable or disaster affected communities in third countries.

The EU Aid Volunteers shall pursue the following operational objectives :

Increase in and improvement of the capacity of the Union to provide humanitarian aid; Improvement of the skills and competences of volunteers in the field of humanitarian aid and the conditions under which they are working; Building the capacity of hosting organisations and foster volunteering in third countries; Promotion of the visibility of the Union's humanitarian aid values; Enhancement of coherence and consistency of volunteering across Member States in order to improve opportunities for Union citizens to participate in humanitarian aid activities and operations.

Progress towards the achievement of this operational objective shall be assessed on the basis of key indicators, which shall be used for monitoring, evaluation and review of performance as appropriate. They are indicative and may be amended in order to take into account experience from the progress measurement.

General principles: EU Aid Volunteers’ actions:

shall be conducted in compliance with the humanitarian aid principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence; shall respond to the need of local communities and hosting organisations and should contribute to the professionalization of the provision of humanitarian aid.

In this context, the safety and security of volunteers shall be a priority .

The EU Aid Volunteers shall promote common activities and participation of volunteers from different countries and foster j oint projects and transnational partnerships between implementing organisations.

Types of actions undertaken by the volunteers: the EU Aid Volunteers shall pursue the above-mentioned objectives through the following types of actions:

development and maintenance of standards regarding candidate and EU Aid Volunteers; development and maintenance of a certification mechanism for sending and hosting organisations; identification and selection of candidate volunteers; establishment of a training programme and support for training and apprenticeship placements; establishment, maintenance and updating of a Register of EU Aid Volunteers; deployment of EU Aid Volunteers in third countries for humanitarian aid activities and operations; capacity building of hosting organisations; establishment and management of an EU Aid Volunteers' Network; communication, awareness raising and visibility; ancillary activity that furthers the accountability, transparency and effectiveness of the EU Aid Volunteers.

These different actions can be supported with financial assistance and implemented by different beneficiaries based on a Commission annual work programme.

As regards certain specific actions, the proposal specifies the following types of actions:

Standards regarding candidate and EU Aid Volunteers: the Commission will develop standards which will set the policy framework and minimum requirements to ensure effective, efficient and coherent recruitment and preparation of candidate volunteers and deployment and management of EU Aid Volunteers which are the main actions of this initiative. The standards will ensure duty of care and cover notably responsibilities of the sending and hosting organisations, minimum requirements on the coverage of subsistence, accommodation and other relevant expenses, insurance coverage and other relevant elements. Certification: sending organisations that would like to select, prepare and deploy EU Aid Volunteers will have to be certified for compliance with these standards. They should meet different eligibility requirements and follow a differentiated certification procedure (to be defined in implementing acts), taking into account their nature and capacity (e.g. Member States' public bodies, NGOs). Civil protection and development cooperation actors acting in the field of humanitarian aid shall also be considered eligible. A differentiated certification mechanism will be established for eligible hosting organisations. Although private companies are not eligible as sending or hosting organisations, they can be a ssociated with projects and co-finance part of the costs of the volunteer to encourage corporate volunteering. Identification and selection of candidate volunteers: the EU Aid Volunteers are open for participation to Union citizens as well as nationals legally residing in the EU on a long term basis. Subject to agreements as referred to in the proposal, citizens from candidate and potential candidate countries and from partner countries from the European Neighbourhood Policy may apply to become EU Aid Volunteers. On the basis of an annual work programme, the Commission will publish calls for proposals for the identification and selection of candidate volunteers by certified sending organisations. Sending organisations that have been awarded the contracts in response to these calls will identify and select candidate volunteers for training after prior assessment of the needs in third countries by sending or hosting organisations or other relevant actors. Training and pre-deployment preparation: the selected candidate volunteers will undergo tailor-made training, taking into account their prior experience. The training programme will be organised by the Commission and will be implemented by organisations with specific training expertise. In addition, as part of their training and depending on their training needs, candidate volunteers will be able to gain practical experience through apprenticeship placements or other forms of short term predeployment preparation given by certified sending organisations. Register of EU Aid Volunteers: candidate volunteers should be assessed for their preparedness to be deployed in third countries. If successful, they should be included in a Register of EU Aid Volunteers eligible for deployment which will be managed by the Commission. The Register will also include volunteers who have already been deployed, if they are willing to be considered for future deployment. Deployment of EU Aid Volunteers in third countries: on the basis of its annual work programme, the Commission will publish calls for proposals for the deployment of EU Aid Volunteers by certified sending organisations. Sending organisations that have been awarded the contracts in response to these calls can select volunteers from the Register and deploy them to hosting organisations. The Commission may also deploy volunteers from the Register to the Commission’s humanitarian aid field offices or in response operations in third countries through the Emergency Response Centre that facilitates the Union response to disasters. The specific terms of deployment will be set-out in a contract between the sending organisation and the volunteer. Capacity building of hosting organisations: through this action, the Commission can support capacity building actions of the hosting organisations so as to ensure effective management of the EU Aid Volunteers and sustainable impact of their work, including the promotion of local volunteering. EU Aid Volunteers' Network: this action envisages the establishment of an EU Aid Volunteers' Network which will be managed by the Commission . It will consist of and facilitate interaction between the EU Aid Volunteers and will also carry out specific activities, notably through knowledge sharing and dissemination of information. It shall also support activities such as seminars, workshops and alumni activities. Communication, awareness raising and visibility: this action will support public information, communication and awareness raising actions to promote the EU Aid Volunteers and to encourage volunteering in humanitarian aid. The Commission will develop an information and communication action plan, which will be implemented by all beneficiaries, in particular sending and hosting organisations.

Financial provisions: provisions are envisaged for laying down the framework for actions that are eligible for financial assistance and the potential beneficiaries of financial assistance. In this context, the Commission may consider the added-value and management advantages of creating an EU Trust Fund .

Work programme: in order to implement this Regulation, the Commission shall adopt an annual work programme which will set out the objectives pursued, the expected results, the method of implementation and their total amount. It shall also contain the description of actions to be financed, an indication of the amount allocated to each action and an indicative implementation timetable. For grants, they shall include the priorities, the essential evaluation criteria and the maximum rate of co-financing.

Coherence and complementarity: in implementing the Regulation, coherence shall be ensured with other areas of Union's external action and with other relevant Union policies (in particular, development policy) and with the actions undertaken in the Member States and/or with relevant international organisations.

Report and evaluation: the Regulation shall be regularly evaluated, in particular in an interim report in 2017 and in the context of a final report preparing the ground for a communication on the continued of the implementation of the Regulation (by no later than 31 December 2018)..

BUDGETARY IMPACT: the Commission communication entitled “ A Budget for Europe 2020” provides, for the creation of the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps, with budgetary commitments amounting to EUR 239.1 million (current prices).

DELEGATED ACTS: the Commission is empowered to adopt modalities of some of the actions through delegated acts on standards and amending indicators for operational objectives, or through implementing acts regarding the certification mechanism and modalities of the training programme.

Documents

Activities

Votes

A7-0158/2013 - Michèle Striffler - Résolution législative

2014/02/25 Outcome: +: 600, 0: 50, -: 30
DE IT FR ES PL RO GB HU SE AT PT BG EL BE CZ HR IE SK LT NL FI LV SI LU DK MT EE CY ??
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89
67
66
51
42
28
61
21
20
18
21
16
18
16
18
12
12
13
10
25
12
8
7
6
9
4
3
5
1
icon: PPE PPE
245

Belgium PPE

3

Czechia PPE

2

Luxembourg PPE

3

Malta PPE

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1

Estonia PPE

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1

Cyprus PPE

1
icon: S&D S&D
176

Ireland S&D

2

Netherlands S&D

3

Finland S&D

2

Slovenia S&D

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1

Luxembourg S&D

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1

Estonia S&D

For (1)

1

S&D

1
icon: ALDE ALDE
76

Austria ALDE

1

Greece ALDE

1

Slovakia ALDE

For (1)

1

Latvia ALDE

For (1)

1

Slovenia ALDE

2

Luxembourg ALDE

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1

Denmark ALDE

2
icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
54

United Kingdom Verts/ALE

5

Austria Verts/ALE

2

Portugal Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Greece Verts/ALE

1

Belgium Verts/ALE

3

Netherlands Verts/ALE

3

Finland Verts/ALE

2

Latvia Verts/ALE

1

Luxembourg Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Denmark Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Estonia Verts/ALE

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1
icon: ECR ECR
42

Hungary ECR

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Croatia ECR

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icon: EFD EFD
28

France EFD

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Bulgaria EFD

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Greece EFD

2

Belgium EFD

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1

Slovakia EFD

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1

Lithuania EFD

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Netherlands EFD

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Finland EFD

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Denmark EFD

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1
icon: NI NI
27

Italy NI

2

France NI

2

Spain NI

1
2

Hungary NI

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2

Bulgaria NI

1

Belgium NI

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1

Ireland NI

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1
icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL
31

United Kingdom GUE/NGL

Abstain (1)

1

Sweden GUE/NGL

Against (1)

1
4

Greece GUE/NGL

Abstain (1)

2
3

Croatia GUE/NGL

1

Ireland GUE/NGL

Abstain (1)

1

Netherlands GUE/NGL

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1

Latvia GUE/NGL

Abstain (1)

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Denmark GUE/NGL

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1

Cyprus GUE/NGL

2
AmendmentsDossier
73 2012/0245(COD)
2013/01/16 EMPL 44 amendments...
source: PE-504.041
2013/02/08 BUDG 20 amendments...
source: PE-504.380
2013/02/27 DEVE 9 amendments...
source: PE-506.081

History

(these mark the time of scraping, not the official date of the change)

committees/0/date
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        EC
        docs/14/summary
        • In accordance with the requirements of Regulation (EU) No 375/2014, the Commission presents an annual report on the implementation of the EU Aid Volunteers initiative for the year 2018.
        • This report describes the implementation of the EU Aid Volunteers initiative in 2018.
        • Objectives and priorities
        • The activities described in this report were based on the 2018 Annual Work Programme for implementing the EU Aid Volunteers initiative adopted by the Commission. EUR 19 235 000 was set aside in the budget to implement the initiative.
        • Deployment
        • The implementation of the deployment and capacity building/technical assistance projects funded in previous years paved the way for progress made on the EU Aid Volunteers initiative in 2018. Eleven new projects for deployment of volunteers, one technical assistance project and six capacity building projects were selected for funding in 2018. The total number of EU Aid Volunteers deployed to non-EU countries by the end of 2018 reached about 400 and at least 368 more will be deployed in 2019. The training programme again had high satisfaction rates among volunteers and more training sessions in English, French and Spanish are planned for 2019.
        • EU Aid Volunteers Platform
        • In 2018, the EU Aid Volunteers Platform was increasingly used to publish stories from volunteers and organisations (69 new stories in 2018). It was further adapted to respond to what organisations needed to manage their volunteers. The platform performs better now and is more user-friendly.
        • The platform is consulted by visitors worldwide and the subscriptions service for volunteering vacancies had around 2 656 subscribers at the end of 2018.
        • Certification
        • The ongoing certification process resulted in a total of 208 (42 sending and 166 hosting organisations), providing opportunities for the deployment of more EU aid volunteers. A high number of these applied for re-certification for another three years.
        • European Solidarity Corps
        • In the context of the new Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027, on 11 June 2018 the Commission adopted a proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the European Solidarity Corps programme and repealing the European Solidarity Corps Regulation of 2018 and Regulation (EU) No 375/2014. This proposal envisages the integration of the current EU Aid Volunteers initiative into the European Solidarity Corps as of 2021. The proposed integration is informed by the interim evaluation of the EU Aid Volunteers initiative and aims to streamline the various volunteering programmes and improve cost efficiency. The integration is expected to simplify processes and provide a one-stop-shop for individuals and organisations, while preserving the specificities of the current EU Aid Volunteers initiative, such as respect for humanitarian aid principles, high standards and a strong focus on safety and security of volunteers.
        • Way forward
        • In 2019, in line with the objectives and priorities of the initiative as set by the Annual Work Programme, the activities described above will continue to provide opportunities for more hosting and sending organisations to benefit from capacity building and technical assistance activities and funding for more EU Aid Volunteers to be deployed to countries outside the EU.
        • Lastly, the Commission stressed that communication activities will continue to provide information to potential organisations and volunteers about the EU Aid Volunteers initiative and its key achievements and impact. The EU Aid Volunteers network will be supported through an event that will take place in 2020 and will bring together volunteers and participating organisations.
        events/2/docs/0/url
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        • date: 2014-02-24T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?secondRef=TOC&language=EN&reference=20140224&type=CRE type: Debate in Parliament title: Debate in Parliament body: EP type: Debate in Parliament
        • date: 2014-02-25T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/sda.do?id=22904&l=en type: Results of vote in Parliament title: Results of vote in Parliament url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P7-TA-2014-0123 type: Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading title: T7-0123/2014 body: EP type: Results of vote in Parliament
        • date: 2014-03-18T00:00:00 body: CSL type: Council Meeting council: General Affairs meeting_id: 3306
        • date: 2014-03-18T00:00:00 body: EP/CSL type: Act adopted by Council after Parliament's 1st reading
        • date: 2014-04-03T00:00:00 body: CSL type: Final act signed
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        • date: 2014-04-24T00:00:00 type: Final act published in Official Journal docs: url: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexplus!prod!CELEXnumdoc&lg=EN&numdoc=32014R0375 title: Regulation 2014/375 url: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=OJ:L:2014:122:TOC title: OJ L 122 24.04.2014, p. 0001 url: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=OJ:L:2015:123:TOC title: OJ L 123 19.05.2015, p. 0122
        commission
        • body: EC dg: European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) commissioner: GEORGIEVA Kristalina
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        • date: 2013-02-01T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE502.234 title: PE502.234 type: Committee draft report body: EP
        • date: 2013-02-22T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE502.072&secondRef=02 title: PE502.072 committee: EMPL type: Committee opinion body: EP
        • date: 2013-02-27T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE506.081 title: PE506.081 type: Amendments tabled in committee body: EP
        • date: 2013-03-13T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE504.034&secondRef=03 title: PE504.034 committee: BUDG type: Committee opinion body: EP
        • date: 2014-04-03T00:00:00 docs: url: http://register.consilium.europa.eu/content/out?lang=EN&typ=SET&i=ADV&RESULTSET=1&DOC_ID=[%n4]%2F14&DOC_LANCD=EN&ROWSPP=25&NRROWS=500&ORDERBY=DOC_DATE+DESC title: 00137/2013/LEX type: Draft final act body: CSL
        • date: 2014-05-20T00:00:00 docs: url: /oeil/spdoc.do?i=22904&j=0&l=en title: SP(2014)446 type: Commission response to text adopted in plenary
        • date: 2015-07-13T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/docs_autres_institutions/commission_europeenne/com/2015/0335/COM_COM(2015)0335_EN.pdf title: COM(2015)0335 url: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexplus!prod!DocNumber&lg=EN&type_doc=COMfinal&an_doc=2015&nu_doc=0335 title: EUR-Lex summary: The Commission presented the Annual report on the implementation of the EU Aid Volunteers Initiative in 2014. It outlines the main activities and achievements in the implementation of the EU Aid Volunteers initiative in 2014 taking into account the specificity of the first year, which was dedicated to the adoption of the indispensable legal acts mapping out the next steps in the implementation of the EU Aid Volunteers initiative. The main elements of this implementing report may be summarised as follows: - Call for tenders : an open call for tenders for insurance was published on 31 December 2014 aiming to ensure that the volunteers participating in the EU Aid Volunteers initiative are covered by a complete insurance plan specifically designed to protect them during the entire duration of their deployment (Action 3 under Annual Work Programme 2014). The Commission published: call for proposals for technical assistance for sending organisations and capacity building for humanitarian aid of hosting organisations (Action 1); call for applications for the certification of sending and hosting organisations wishing to participate in the EU Aid Volunteers initiative (Action 2) in early 2015. - Support measures : the EU Aid Volunteers initiative provides an additional opportunity to highlight the value and impact of volunteering and show EU solidarity with communities in countries affected by disaster in action. Support measures for networking and communication (Action 4) aim to raise awareness, encourage participation, create new opportunities to take part and support networking between participants. - Information : in 2014 Commission services and EACEA also prepared the Info and Networking Day that took place in January 2015. The aim of this public event was to explain to the future partners - implementing organisations the opportunities available under the EU Aid Volunteers initiative and to launch the first activities of the initiative (the call for proposals for technical assistance and capacity building and the call for applications for the certification of sending and hosting organisations). The web page for EU Aid Volunteers on the website of DG ECHO will continue to publish information on the initiative and communication products such as blogs from volunteers, articles and videos. Main conclusions : 2014 was a very important year for the European Aid Volunteers initiative as the legal basis was adopted and administrative and organisational activities have followed creating the solid foundation and the favourable conditions for the initiative to be established and to grow up. Due to the need to adopt implementing and delegated acts, 2014 was mainly a year of legislative and preparatory measures. The EU Aid Volunteers initiative is on course to meet its multiannual objectives. All the actions have been prepared so as to kick-off in 2015 following the above mentioned adoption of the legal acts: certification of sending and hosting organisations wishing to participate in the EU Aid Volunteers initiative; capacity building of hosting organisations and technical assistance to sending organisations; a comprehensive insurance scheme for the volunteers; the pre-deployment training for all volunteers; deployment of volunteers by certified organisations. The first vacancies for volunteers will become available by early 2016 . The Commission will continue to promote the EU Aid Volunteers initiative and to invest in fruitful communication in order to raise awareness and to gather lessons learnt. A number of activities are planned to take place among which a conference to mark the closure of the preparatory actions with the return of the volunteers from the final phase pilot projects and a high visibility event to launch the deployment phase of the volunteers. type: Follow-up document body: EC
        • date: 2016-06-30T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/docs_autres_institutions/commission_europeenne/com/2016/0436/COM_COM(2016)0436_EN.pdf title: COM(2016)0436 url: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexplus!prod!DocNumber&lg=EN&type_doc=COMfinal&an_doc=2016&nu_doc=0436 title: EUR-Lex summary: The Commission presented the annual report on the implementation of the EU Aid Volunteers Initiative in 2015. To recall, the EU Aid Volunteers initiative aims to contribute to strengthening the Union’s capacity to provide needs-based humanitarian aid and to strengthening the capacity and resilience of vulnerable or disaster-affected communities in third countries, while giving the European citizens an opportunity to show solidarity with people in need through taking part in humanitarian action in these countries. Main achievements : the report presents the main activities and achievements in the implementation of the EU Aid Volunteers initiative in 2015 , an important year for the initiative to become operational, which enabled the Commission to map out the next steps in implementation. The activities in 2015 are based on the annual work programme in 2015 adopted by the Commission. The budget for the implementation of the initiative in 2015 was set at EUR 13 868 000 and aiming to: build capacities of hosting organisations in third countries and providing technical assistance for sending organisations based in the EU Member States; contributing to resilience building and disaster risk management in vulnerable, fragile or disaster affected countries and forgotten crises; prepare the selection, training and deployment of volunteers and the public launch of the initiative, establishment of the EU Aid Volunteers Platform, launch of the call for tender for the selection of the training provider, and various communication activities. Activities funded under the work programme for 2014, such as the ongoing certification of sending and hosting organisations, the establishment of an insurance scheme for EU Aid volunteers and the selection of projects for capacity building and technical assistance, also took place in 2015 following the adoption of the delegated and the implementing acts. Way forward : following the adoption of the legislative package on the EU Aid Volunteers initiative, 2015 was the first year of implementation of the full range of activities , including the certification of organisations, the launch of the call for proposals for technical assistance and capacity building, the call for proposals for deployment, the call for tenders for the training of volunteers, the establishment of the insurance scheme and the start of the development of the EU Aid Volunteers Platform. The pilot phase implemented from 2011 to 2014 was closed and the initiative formally launched with a conference attended by volunteers and organisations that had participated in the pilot phase. Based on this solid foundation, the implementation of the initiative will continue. The concrete actions will be focused on the selection, training and deployment of volunteers; the implementation of the current projects and the selection of new projects on deployment of volunteers, capacity building and technical assistance for hosting and sending organisations; and the certification of applicant sending and hosting organisations. The activities related to the application of the insurance scheme and the training of volunteers will continue. The EU Aid Volunteers Platform for registration, networking, online volunteering and learning will be launched. In line with the Work Programme for 2016, one of the main objectives will be to contribute to resilience building and disaster risk management in vulnerable, fragile or disaster affected countries and forgotten crises. The deployment of EU Aid volunteers in third countries and the projects aiming at the capacity building of the local communities will respond to the Commission’s strong political commitment on resilience and will contribute to building better prepared, inclusive, and stable societies, improving services and opportunities, mitigation of risks, and reducing suffering and loss. type: Follow-up document body: EC
        • date: 2017-06-12T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/docs_autres_institutions/commission_europeenne/com/2017/0313/COM_COM(2017)0313_EN.pdf title: COM(2017)0313 url: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexplus!prod!DocNumber&lg=EN&type_doc=COMfinal&an_doc=2017&nu_doc=0313 title: EUR-Lex summary: This European Commission report to the European Parliament and the Council concerns the implementation of the EU Aid Volunteers (EUAV) initiative in 2016. The objective of this initiative is to contribute to strengthening the Union's capacity to provide humanitarian assistance based on the needs, as well as the capacities and resilience of populations vulnerable to or affected by disasters in third countries, allowing European citizens the opportunity to show solidarity with the populations in need by engaging in humanitarian actions in these countries. Objectives of the report: Article 27 of Regulation (EU) No 375/2014 instituting the initiative requires the Commission to submit an annual report to the European Parliament and the Council, outlining the progress made in implementing the Regulation. This report is the third of its kind and presents the main activities of the EUAV initiative. It is based on the data collected and analysed in accordance with the framework for monitoring the implementation of measures under the initiative. This framework has been drawn up and approved by the Commission and the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Agency (EACEA), which is responsible for managing most of the actions implemented under the initiative. Key findings: in 2016, the implementation of the EUAV initiative was marked by the following: · launch of the first 10 capacity-building and technical assistance projects and the first 2 projects that resulted in the deployment of the first EU aid volunteers; · publication of the first vacant posts for volunteers; · initial training of volunteers and implementation of the training programme; · certification of 82 host and sending organisations for the current procedure; · launch of the EU aid volunteer platform. It took more time than expected for organisations to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the programme. They know more about the initiative and are increasingly learning to trust it. Many organisations that are already implementing projects and planning other activities are better acquainted with it. In 2017, the initiative will continue to allow more sending and receiving organisations to benefit from capacity-building and technical assistance projects and more volunteers to be deployed to third countries. Host and sending organisations will be regularly certified and the EU aid volunteer platform will be maintained and developed. In addition, the first online volunteering opportunities should be published in the summer 2017. The initiative will be the subject of new communication campaigns . Networking will help build partnerships and increase the number of organisations participating in the initiative. 2017 work programme: In line with the program of work for 2017, one of the main objectives will be to contribute to the strengthening of resilience and disaster risk management in vulnerable, fragile and disaster-prone countries and in crises, for example, through the deployment of actions in the following phases of the disaster management cycle: · disaster prevention; · disaster preparedness; · disaster risk reduction; · recovery from natural or man-made disasters; · early warnings. By deploying EU assistance volunteers to third countries to help local people improve their resilience and capacity to manage disasters, the Commission will continue to demonstrate its unwavering political resolve to build resilience in these countries. type: Follow-up document body: EC
        • date: 2018-06-28T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/docs_autres_institutions/commission_europeenne/com/2018/0496/COM_COM(2018)0496_EN.pdf title: COM(2018)0496 url: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexplus!prod!DocNumber&lg=EN&type_doc=COMfinal&an_doc=2018&nu_doc=0496 title: EUR-Lex summary: In accordance with the requirements of Regulation (EU) No 375/2014, the Commission presents a report on the interim evaluation of the EU Aid Volunteers initiative for the period mid-2014 to mid-2017. The initiative provides funding to consortia of EU-based and non-EU based organisations for the deployment and the preparation for deployment (including apprenticeships) of EU Aid Volunteers to third countries. To implement the initiative, an amount of EUR 147 936 000 has been earmarked for the period between 1 January 2014 and 31 December 2020. Main findings: Relevance: whilst the evaluation found that the different actions carried out under the initiative’s five objectives are relevant, interest from established humanitarian Framework Partnership Agreement partners remains very low , which is problematic for an initiative that is supposed to serve the humanitarian aid sector. The objective of communicating the EU’s humanitarian aid principles is only considered relevant by a small number of stakeholders (mainly volunteers), which indicates that more attention is required on this point in the initiative’s communication activities . Effectiveness : the initiative has not been effective in achieving its five objectives, and the targets set in the 2014-2020 multiannual financial framework are still far from being met. The budget in the first three years was not fully used, although the figures for 2017 saw a strong uptake in funding for capacity building. The numbers of volunteers remains well below the target of 4 000 EU Aid Volunteers by 2020, and now stands at around 200 EU Aid Volunteers being deployed. The main reason for this is the barriers to participation , such as: (i) the certification of organisations; (ii) the need to form partnerships with other organisations to apply for EU funding. The search for consortium partners and the administrative procedures to manage a consortium hampers effectiveness. Coherence: there is room for improvement in the initiative’s coherence with humanitarian aid, development and civil protection instruments, since it was not embedded in the existing EU instruments providing humanitarian aid, but was set up as a stand-alone instrument. As volunteers must not be deployed to regions of armed conflict, some third countries where a considerable part of humanitarian aid is provided are excluded from the scope of the initiative. However, there is some coherence with EU development cooperation policy, since the broad definition of humanitarian aid used in the Regulation allows for synergies. Efficiency: rules and procedures for managing volunteers can be especially burdensome and certain organisations find the process discouragin g, because it can take up to 18 months: from the publication of a call for proposals through the selection process, the publication of vacancies for volunteers, the training of volunteers to the deployment of volunteers. The application, selection and reporting procedures appear particularly burdensome for organisations that are mainly active in EU humanitarian aid (emergency response) projects. EU added value : the initiative creates EU added value through common standards for managing volunteers from all EU countries, common training, and funding for capacity building and technical assistance. The initiative was able to involve a broad range of organisations from different EU Member States, since it enables organisations with different backgrounds (e.g. humanitarian, development, civil protection, volunteering organisations) and of different sizes to work together. The way forward : the Commission is taking forward the findings and recommendations of the evaluation in a two-pronged approach : Actions to be implemented from now until 2020 : the Commission will: feed back the results of the evaluation into the programme design and allocation of resources; speed up processes (e.g. through a simplification of the certification process), simplify administrative procedures, improve support for interested organisations, further promote the funding opportunities and share success stories; increase the deployment of EU Aid Volunteers in the Commission's humanitarian aid and disaster risk reduction and development cooperation projects. Actions that require more fundamental changes into the EU Aid Volunteers legislation : this is linked to the ongoing Commission's work on the future of EU programmes under the next multiannual financial framework beyond 2020. In this respect the Commission will: strive to achieve a significant simplification of procedures by removing the elements that slow down the deployment of volunteers and create a significant administrative burden for participating organisations; seek synergies and streamlining with other EU volunteering schemes, notably the European Solidarity Corps ; aim at providing more clarity for EU citizens seeking volunteering opportunities inside and outside the EU; consider better alignment with the EU objectives on linking relief, rehabilitation and development and humanitarian aid development. type: Follow-up document body: EC
        • date: 2018-06-28T00:00:00 docs: url: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=SWD:2018:0353:FIN:EN:PDF title: EUR-Lex title: SWD(2018)0353 type: Follow-up document body: EC
        • date: 2018-08-03T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/docs_autres_institutions/commission_europeenne/com/2018/0572/COM_COM(2018)0572_EN.pdf title: COM(2018)0572 url: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexplus!prod!DocNumber&lg=EN&type_doc=COMfinal&an_doc=2018&nu_doc=0572 title: EUR-Lex summary: In accordance with the requirements of Regulation (EU) No 375/2014, the Commission presents an annual report on the implementation of the EU Aid Volunteers initiative for the year 2017. The initiative provides funding to consortia of EU-based and non-EU based organisations for the deployment and the preparation for deployment (including apprenticeships) of EU Aid Volunteers to third countries. The activities described in the report were based on the 2017 annual work programme and EUR 20 972 000 was set aside in the budget to implement the initiative. Deployment : a total of 206 EU Aid Volunteers were deployed to 28 countries worldwide (excluding countries with armed conflict) by the end of 2017/beginning of 2018. Six new projects were selected for co-funding in 2017 with a total EU grant of EUR 5 726 880. These will result in the deployment of 175 EU Aid Volunteers starting in 2018. The numbers of volunteers, although increasing, remain well below the initial targets of 4 000 EU Aid Volunteers by 2020. Among the reasons for this are the barriers to participation, such as the certification of organisations or the need to form partnerships with other organisations to apply for EU funding. In 2017, 63 new organisations were certified which brings the total number of certified organisation under the EU Aid Volunteers initiative to 145 (36 sending and 109 hosting). Technical assistance and capacity building : a call for proposals was published in 2017 providing for the co-financing of projects for capacity building for hosting organisations and technical assistance for EU-based sending organisations, in areas such as disaster risk management, volunteer management and needs assessment methodology. 18 applications (4 for technical assistance and 14 for capacity building) were selected for cofunding12 with a total EU grant of EUR 9 909 346. Training programme : the report notes that candidate EU Aid Volunteers’ satisfaction with the training remains high, with an average score of 9 out of 10 points. While the course had previously only been delivered in English, in 2017 for the first time, one group of volunteers was instructed in Spanish. In addition, the report notes that: the EU Aid Volunteers platform hosted its first online volunteering vacancies. The platform is now also able to offer online volunteering opportunities and it is expected that online assignments will increase in the coming months. In 2018, the EU Aid Volunteers platform will increasingly be used to publish stories from volunteers and will be further adapted to respond to the needs of organisations in relation to managing volunteers; a network workshop was held in February 2017 for organisations that are involved in the EU Aid Volunteers initiative through deployment projects, certification under the EU Aid Volunteers initiative or in technical assistance or capacity building projects. 93 participants from 45 EU and non-EU countries attended the workshop. The report states that work will continue on strengthening the EU Aid Volunteers network, including a network workshop for organisations that participate in the initiative and a workshop to allow EU Aid Volunteers to share their experiences of their deployment in the field and build closer links with the humanitarian sector. The Commission refers to the interim evaluation report (please see previous document), the overall conclusion of which was that the initiative provides added value and its objectives are relevant to stakeholders. Among the challenges that need to be addressed are: the simplification of processes and administrative procedures; reducing the time for deployment; further synergies with existing Commission programmes and shift of focus from funding processes (supporting volunteer management or organisational capability and capacity) to humanitarian impact-oriented activities. Lastly, in the context of preparing the way forward in the next Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021 – 2027, the Commission proposed to integrate the EU Aid Volunteers initiative into the European Solidarity Corps to maximise synergies and impact and achieve greater simplification. type: Follow-up document body: EC
        • date: 2019-06-24T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/docs_autres_institutions/commission_europeenne/com/2019/0289/COM_COM(2019)0289_EN.pdf title: COM(2019)0289 url: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexplus!prod!DocNumber&lg=EN&type_doc=COMfinal&an_doc=2019&nu_doc=0289 title: EUR-Lex type: Follow-up document body: EC
        • date: 2012-12-04T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.connefof.europarl.europa.eu/connefof/app/exp/COM(2012)0514 title: COM(2012)0514 type: Contribution body: AT_BUNDESRAT
        • date: 2012-11-15T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.connefof.europarl.europa.eu/connefof/app/exp/COM(2012)0514 title: COM(2012)0514 type: Contribution body: BG_PARLIAMENT
        • date: 2012-11-15T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.connefof.europarl.europa.eu/connefof/app/exp/COM(2012)0514 title: COM(2012)0514 type: Contribution body: IT_SENATE
        • date: 2012-11-26T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.connefof.europarl.europa.eu/connefof/app/exp/COM(2012)0514 title: COM(2012)0514 type: Contribution body: PT_PARLIAMENT
        events
        • date: 2012-09-19T00:00:00 type: Legislative proposal published body: EC docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/docs_autres_institutions/commission_europeenne/com/2012/0514/COM_COM(2012)0514_EN.pdf title: COM(2012)0514 url: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexplus!prod!DocNumber&lg=EN&type_doc=COMfinal&an_doc=2012&nu_doc=514 title: EUR-Lex summary: PURPOSE: the establishment of the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps. PROPOSED ACT: Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council. BACKGROUND: in the face of the increasing number and magnitude of humanitarian crises (natural catastrophes and man-made crises), the Union has to ensure adequate humanitarian aid. As envisaged in Article 214(5) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), this proposal establishes the framework for the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps, which should enable joint contributions from European volunteers in humanitarian aid operations. Its objective is to express the Union's humanitarian values and solidarity with people in need whether within or beyond the Union’s borders . Improving the mobilisation of the volunteering capacity of European citizens can also project a positive image of the Union in the world and foster interest for pan-European projects in support of humanitarian aid activities. The proposal builds on the 2010 Communication " How to express EU citizens’ solidarity through volunteering: First reflections on a European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps ". The Communication presents the guiding principles, gaps and necessary conditions to make a positive contribution to Union humanitarian aid. The Council and the European Parliament have expressed strong support for the initiative, reaffirming the key role of the Union in promoting volunteering and identifying some of the key components of the Corps. This proposal will, moreover, contribute to: the objectives of the Union's external policy and, in particular, the Union's humanitarian aid objectives; and reinforcing the benefits delivered to the hosting communities in third countries and the impact that the volunteer activities have on the volunteers themselves. Furthermore, the training and informal learning experience volunteers will acquire is a strong investment in human capital which would improve their employability in global economy and thus contribute to the Europe's 2020 objectives for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. IMPACT ASSESSMENT: interested stakeholders, including the main humanitarian aid organisations (NGOs, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Family, UN agencies), mainstream volunteer organisations, individual volunteers, Member States' representatives and other relevant actors were specifically consulted at two dedicated conferences 5 and through a public on-line consultation. An impact assessment report was prepared to examine policy options and their potential impacts. The main problems identified are: (1) lack of a structured EU approach towards volunteering; (2) poor visibility of EU humanitarian action and solidarity with people in need; (3) lack of consistent identification and selection mechanisms across Member States; (4) insufficient availability of qualified volunteers for humanitarian aid; (5) shortcomings in the surge capacity of humanitarian aid; and vi) weak capacity of hosting organisations. The impact assessment examined a number of policy options resulting from the combination of different modules and mode of management: Policy Option 1 , including: (1) Development of standards for identification, selection and training of volunteers and (2) Development of certification mechanism for sending organisations; Policy Option 2 , including the modules under Option 1 plus (3) Support to training for EU volunteers in humanitarian aid, (4) Creation of an EU Register of trained volunteers, (5) Development of standards and a certification mechanism for volunteer management in hosting organisations; Policy Option 3 , including all modules under Option 2 plus (6) Support to deployment of EU volunteers, (7) Building capacity in third country hosting organisations, (8) Establishment of an EU Network of humanitarian volunteers . This Option would be implemented in partnership with humanitarian aid organisations which should identify, select and deploy the volunteers. Policy Option 4 , including all modules under Option 3 implemented in a direct management mode by the European Commission. Based on this assessment of the potential economic, social and environmental impacts, Policy Option 3 was recommended as the most efficient and effective option for addressing the problems identified. LEGAL BASIS: Article 214(5) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). CONTENT: the proposal lays down the procedures and the rules for the operation of the EU Aid Volunteers. It follows an enabling approach and is limited to the essential elements necessary for the implementation of the Regulation, including specifying its general and operational objectives, the principles and the actions of which it consists, the provisions for financial assistance and the general provisions for its implementation. General objective and operational objectives: the objective of the EU Aid Volunteers shall be to express the Union's humanitarian values and solidarity with people in need, through the promotion of an effective and visible EU Aid Volunteers' initiative, which contributes to strengthening the Union's capacity to respond to humanitarian crises and to building the capacity and resilience of vulnerable or disaster affected communities in third countries. The EU Aid Volunteers shall pursue the following operational objectives : Increase in and improvement of the capacity of the Union to provide humanitarian aid; Improvement of the skills and competences of volunteers in the field of humanitarian aid and the conditions under which they are working; Building the capacity of hosting organisations and foster volunteering in third countries; Promotion of the visibility of the Union's humanitarian aid values; Enhancement of coherence and consistency of volunteering across Member States in order to improve opportunities for Union citizens to participate in humanitarian aid activities and operations. Progress towards the achievement of this operational objective shall be assessed on the basis of key indicators, which shall be used for monitoring, evaluation and review of performance as appropriate. They are indicative and may be amended in order to take into account experience from the progress measurement. General principles: EU Aid Volunteers’ actions: shall be conducted in compliance with the humanitarian aid principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence; shall respond to the need of local communities and hosting organisations and should contribute to the professionalization of the provision of humanitarian aid. In this context, the safety and security of volunteers shall be a priority . The EU Aid Volunteers shall promote common activities and participation of volunteers from different countries and foster j oint projects and transnational partnerships between implementing organisations. Types of actions undertaken by the volunteers: the EU Aid Volunteers shall pursue the above-mentioned objectives through the following types of actions: development and maintenance of standards regarding candidate and EU Aid Volunteers; development and maintenance of a certification mechanism for sending and hosting organisations; identification and selection of candidate volunteers; establishment of a training programme and support for training and apprenticeship placements; establishment, maintenance and updating of a Register of EU Aid Volunteers; deployment of EU Aid Volunteers in third countries for humanitarian aid activities and operations; capacity building of hosting organisations; establishment and management of an EU Aid Volunteers' Network; communication, awareness raising and visibility; ancillary activity that furthers the accountability, transparency and effectiveness of the EU Aid Volunteers. These different actions can be supported with financial assistance and implemented by different beneficiaries based on a Commission annual work programme. As regards certain specific actions, the proposal specifies the following types of actions: Standards regarding candidate and EU Aid Volunteers: the Commission will develop standards which will set the policy framework and minimum requirements to ensure effective, efficient and coherent recruitment and preparation of candidate volunteers and deployment and management of EU Aid Volunteers which are the main actions of this initiative. The standards will ensure duty of care and cover notably responsibilities of the sending and hosting organisations, minimum requirements on the coverage of subsistence, accommodation and other relevant expenses, insurance coverage and other relevant elements. Certification: sending organisations that would like to select, prepare and deploy EU Aid Volunteers will have to be certified for compliance with these standards. They should meet different eligibility requirements and follow a differentiated certification procedure (to be defined in implementing acts), taking into account their nature and capacity (e.g. Member States' public bodies, NGOs). Civil protection and development cooperation actors acting in the field of humanitarian aid shall also be considered eligible. A differentiated certification mechanism will be established for eligible hosting organisations. Although private companies are not eligible as sending or hosting organisations, they can be a ssociated with projects and co-finance part of the costs of the volunteer to encourage corporate volunteering. Identification and selection of candidate volunteers: the EU Aid Volunteers are open for participation to Union citizens as well as nationals legally residing in the EU on a long term basis. Subject to agreements as referred to in the proposal, citizens from candidate and potential candidate countries and from partner countries from the European Neighbourhood Policy may apply to become EU Aid Volunteers. On the basis of an annual work programme, the Commission will publish calls for proposals for the identification and selection of candidate volunteers by certified sending organisations. Sending organisations that have been awarded the contracts in response to these calls will identify and select candidate volunteers for training after prior assessment of the needs in third countries by sending or hosting organisations or other relevant actors. Training and pre-deployment preparation: the selected candidate volunteers will undergo tailor-made training, taking into account their prior experience. The training programme will be organised by the Commission and will be implemented by organisations with specific training expertise. In addition, as part of their training and depending on their training needs, candidate volunteers will be able to gain practical experience through apprenticeship placements or other forms of short term predeployment preparation given by certified sending organisations. Register of EU Aid Volunteers: candidate volunteers should be assessed for their preparedness to be deployed in third countries. If successful, they should be included in a Register of EU Aid Volunteers eligible for deployment which will be managed by the Commission. The Register will also include volunteers who have already been deployed, if they are willing to be considered for future deployment. Deployment of EU Aid Volunteers in third countries: on the basis of its annual work programme, the Commission will publish calls for proposals for the deployment of EU Aid Volunteers by certified sending organisations. Sending organisations that have been awarded the contracts in response to these calls can select volunteers from the Register and deploy them to hosting organisations. The Commission may also deploy volunteers from the Register to the Commission’s humanitarian aid field offices or in response operations in third countries through the Emergency Response Centre that facilitates the Union response to disasters. The specific terms of deployment will be set-out in a contract between the sending organisation and the volunteer. Capacity building of hosting organisations: through this action, the Commission can support capacity building actions of the hosting organisations so as to ensure effective management of the EU Aid Volunteers and sustainable impact of their work, including the promotion of local volunteering. EU Aid Volunteers' Network: this action envisages the establishment of an EU Aid Volunteers' Network which will be managed by the Commission . It will consist of and facilitate interaction between the EU Aid Volunteers and will also carry out specific activities, notably through knowledge sharing and dissemination of information. It shall also support activities such as seminars, workshops and alumni activities. Communication, awareness raising and visibility: this action will support public information, communication and awareness raising actions to promote the EU Aid Volunteers and to encourage volunteering in humanitarian aid. The Commission will develop an information and communication action plan, which will be implemented by all beneficiaries, in particular sending and hosting organisations. Financial provisions: provisions are envisaged for laying down the framework for actions that are eligible for financial assistance and the potential beneficiaries of financial assistance. In this context, the Commission may consider the added-value and management advantages of creating an EU Trust Fund . Work programme: in order to implement this Regulation, the Commission shall adopt an annual work programme which will set out the objectives pursued, the expected results, the method of implementation and their total amount. It shall also contain the description of actions to be financed, an indication of the amount allocated to each action and an indicative implementation timetable. For grants, they shall include the priorities, the essential evaluation criteria and the maximum rate of co-financing. Coherence and complementarity: in implementing the Regulation, coherence shall be ensured with other areas of Union's external action and with other relevant Union policies (in particular, development policy) and with the actions undertaken in the Member States and/or with relevant international organisations. Report and evaluation: the Regulation shall be regularly evaluated, in particular in an interim report in 2017 and in the context of a final report preparing the ground for a communication on the continued of the implementation of the Regulation (by no later than 31 December 2018).. BUDGETARY IMPACT: the Commission communication entitled “ A Budget for Europe 2020” provides, for the creation of the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps, with budgetary commitments amounting to EUR 239.1 million (current prices). DELEGATED ACTS: the Commission is empowered to adopt modalities of some of the actions through delegated acts on standards and amending indicators for operational objectives, or through implementing acts regarding the certification mechanism and modalities of the training programme.
        • date: 2012-10-22T00:00:00 type: Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading body: EP
        • date: 2013-04-30T00:00:00 type: Committee report tabled for plenary, 1st reading/single reading body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A7-2013-158&language=EN title: A7-0158/2013 summary: The Committee on Development unanimously adopted the report by Michèle STRIFFLER (EPP, FR) on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council Establishing the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps - EU Aid Volunteers. The parliamentary committee recommended that the European Parliament’s position adopted at first reading under the ordinary legislative procedure should amend the Commission’s proposal as follows: Objective of the EU Aid Volunteers initiative: Members recalled that the specific objective of volunteering was to contribute to strengthening the Union's capacity to respond to humanitarian crises and to build the capacity and resilience of vulnerable or disaster-affected communities in third countries, in response to man-made or natural disasters. This should also contribute to European citizenship and seek to enhance the link between relief, rehabilitation and development. Protection of volunteers and their exclusions from situations of armed conflict: Members considered volunteers should not be deployed on projects where their safety and security could be of concern. It is therefore stipulated that volunteers may be deployed in humanitarian aid activities and operations, except in the context of armed conflicts and internal disturbances . Improving the visibility of European aid: Members were of the opinion that there is a need to raise both awareness levels and visibility of humanitarian aid among the Union's citizens because Union humanitarian aid is often overshadowed by that of other international organisations. Deployment of volunteers: Members insisted that deployments shall meet the real needs expressed at local level by the hosting organisations . The contract shall either specify the rights and obligations of the volunteer or indicate where the rights and obligations are documented. Standards for volunteers: Members stipulated the standards that should apply to candidate volunteers wishing to participate in the initiative: the Commission should draw up standards concerning the identification, selection, preparation and deployment of volunteers . Candidate volunteers shall be identified and selected on the basis of specific skills and knowledge. Identification and selection shall be so performed as to ensure diversity of profiles and skills among the young people and experts, while always responding to practical needs identified on the ground. On the basis of existing standards and in partnership with specialised institutions, the Commission shall establish a training programme in order to prepare the candidate volunteers. The context of the deployment shall take into account the skills and language knowledge of volunteers. Recognition and acknowledgement of the experience of volunteers: Members urged the Commission to support actions to acknowledge the experience and the commitment of volunteers with a view to recognition of their experience and acknowledgement in a professional environment and in society of what they have attained. EU Aid Volunteers could thus be recognised – after their first deployment, as certified EU aid volunteers . These certified volunteers would be entered in the register provided for and administered by the Commission. Limitation on the period for which candidates may shall be considered eligible to be volunteers: Members believed that candidate volunteers who have successfully passed the assessment covered in this proposal may be included in the Register of EU Aid Volunteers and should be eligible for deployment for a period of no more than two years , after which they should be reassessed. Mentoring of volunteers: Members called for each volunteers to have a designated mentor from the hosting organisation to supervise and support the volunteer during deployment. Indicators: in its proposal, the Commission proposed operational objectives. Progress towards their achievement was to be assessed on the basis of indicators. The proposed indicators were purely quantitative . Members asked that qualitative indicators should also be envisaged for each operational objective. Consistency of the initiative with other relevant European policies: Members asked that in implementing the initiative, coordination, complementarity and coherence shall be ensured with other relevant Union policies, in particular humanitarian aid, development aid and the civil protection mechanism, in order to ensure the added value of actions under the EU Aid Volunteers initiative. When setting up projects, the Commission should make use of the existing European networks, which are efficient. Forum for consultation: i n order to pursue the objectives of the initiative, Members called for a forum for consultation and dialogue, bringing together representatives of the Commission, Member States and the sending and hosting organisations, to be established as soon as the programme is launched. Financial reference amount: Members called for a financial reference amount to figure in the measure, in accordance with the 2014-2020 financial framework. Members underlined that such voluntary aid corps should be cost effective, compliment existing national and international voluntary schemes without duplicating them. Cooperation with other countries: Members proposed not permitting citizens and organisations from partner countries of the European Neighbourhood Policy to participate in the activities of the EU aid volunteers. They considered the programme to be a European one, which advances the idea of European citizenship. Organisations sending volunteers: in the context of the initiative, it was envisaged that the Commission would draw up a certification scheme for sending and hosting organisations. Members were of the view that in designing the certification scheme, the Commission should seek synergies with the its partnership instruments in the humanitarian field and existing humanitarian standards, with the aim of administrative simplification. Multiannual work programmes: Members wanted the Commission to adopt two consecutive multiannual indicative work programmes jointly covering the period 2014-2020, in accordance with the general principles of the future Regulation. They should constitute the basis for annual programming in the framework of the initiative (objectives pursued, the priorities, the expected results, the method of implementation, the financial allocations in broad terms and, for grants, the priorities, the essential evaluation criteria and the maximum rate of cofinancing). Annual work programmes: likewise, Members proposed that the Commission should adopt annual indicative work programmes, which would be based on and in line with the multiannual work programme. The annual work programmes should contain the description of the actions to be financed, an indication of the amount allocated to each action and the indicative implementation timetable. Delegated acts: Members considered that the delegation of power to the Commission to adopt acts should be in respect of the provisions relating to the standards for management and deployment of EU Aid Volunteers, the amendment of the performance indicators and the adoption of the multiannual work programmes that define the objectives, priorities, expected results, method of implementation and financial allocations in broad terms. In the event that an EU Trust Fund were to be created by the Commission, the adoption of the multiannual or annual working programme of that trust fund would be subject to the delegated acts procedure. Annual work programmes would be adopted under the committee procedure (an observer from the European Parliament would take part in the committee's proceedings). Report: lastly, Members proposed that an interim evaluation report on the results obtained and the qualitative and quantitative aspects of the implementation of the initiative, including on the impact of EU Aid Volunteers in the humanitarian aid sector and the cost-effectiveness of the programme, during the first three years of its implementation no later than 30 June 2017.
        • date: 2013-12-18T00:00:00 type: Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading body: EP
        • date: 2014-02-24T00:00:00 type: Debate in Parliament body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?secondRef=TOC&language=EN&reference=20140224&type=CRE title: Debate in Parliament
        • date: 2014-02-25T00:00:00 type: Results of vote in Parliament body: EP docs: url: https://oeil.secure.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/sda.do?id=22904&l=en title: Results of vote in Parliament
        • date: 2014-02-25T00:00:00 type: Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P7-TA-2014-0123 title: T7-0123/2014 summary: The European Parliament adopted by 600 votes to 30 with 50 abstentions, a legislative resolution on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps - EU Aid Volunteers. Parliament’s adopted its position at first reading under the ordinary legislative procedure. The amendments adopted in plenary are the result of a compromise between Parliament and Council. They amend the Commission proposal as follows: Objective: the objective of the EU Aid Volunteers initiative shall be to contribute to strengthening the Union's capacity to provide needs-based humanitarian aid aimed at: · preserving life, · preventing and alleviating human suffering · maintaining human dignity and · strengthening the capacity and resilience of vulnerable or disaster-affected communities in third countries, particularly by means of disaster preparedness, disaster risk reduction and by enhancing the link between relief, rehabilitation and development. That objective shall be attained through the added value of joint contributions of EU Aid Volunteers, expressing the Union's values and solidarity with people in need and visibly promoting a sense of European citizenship. Operational objectives : the EU Aid Volunteers initiative shall pursue the following operational objectives in accordance with a certain number of indicators set out in the resolution for each specific objective: · contribute to increasing and improving the capacity of the Union to provide humanitarian aid; · improve the skills, knowledge and competences of volunteers; · build the capacity of hosting organisations and foster volunteering in third countries; · communicate the Union's humanitarian aid principles agreed in the European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid; · enhance coherence and consistency of volunteering across Member States in order to improve opportunities for Union citizens to participate in humanitarian aid activities and operations. Provisions are laid out in the text regarding the actions to be undertaken in the framework of these objectives. Gender perspective : the EU Aid Volunteers initiative should aim to contribute to strengthening the gender perspective in Union humanitarian aid policy, promoting adequate humanitarian responses to the specific needs of women and men of all ages. Special attention should be paid to cooperation with women’s groups and networks. Standards and procedures regarding candidate volunteers and EU Aid Volunteers : building on existing relevant practices, the Commission shall establish standards and procedures covering the necessary conditions, arrangements and requirements to be applied by sending and hosting organisations when identifying, selecting, preparing, managing and deploying candidate volunteers and EU Aid Volunteers to support humanitarian aid operations in third countries. Certification mechanism for sending and hosting organisations: the Commission shall develop a certification mechanism by means of implementing acts, with the involvement, if appropriate, of humanitarian partners, ensuring that sending organisations comply with the standards and procedures, and a differentiated certification mechanism for hosting organisations. It shall establish the procedure relating to the functioning of the certification mechanisms, building on existing relevant certification mechanisms and procedure. , In designing the certification mechanism, the Commission shall seek synergies with the Commission’s partnership instruments in the humanitarian field and existing humanitarian standards, with the aim of administrative simplification. The certification mechanism shall be inclusive and non-discriminatory as regards any type of eligible organisation. Deployment of EU Aid Volunteers in third countries: EU Aid Volunteers included in the database may be deployed to by: · certified sending organisations to hosting organisations in third countries; or · the Commission to its humanitarian aid field offices for support tasks. Deployments shall meet the real needs expressed at local level by the hosting organisations. For deployment, certified sending organisations shall ensure compliance with the standards and procedures. EU Aid Volunteers shall not be deployed to operations conducted in the theatre of international and non-international armed conflicts. For deployments effected by the Commission, the Commission shall sign a volunteer deployment contract with EU Aid Volunteers, defining specific terms and conditions of deployment. Each EU Aid Volunteer shall have a designated mentor from the hosting organisation Coherence and complementarities of Union action : coherence and complementarity shall be ensured with other instruments and areas of Union external action and with other relevant Union policies, in particular humanitarian aid policy, development cooperation policy and the Union Civil Protection Mechanism, while avoiding duplication and overlap. In promoting a coherent international response to humanitarian crises, the actions under the EU Aid Volunteers initiative shall be in accordance with those undertaken by the United Nations, in order to support the central and overall coordinating role of UN-OCHA. Network for the EU Aid Volunteers initiative : the Commission shall establish and manage a network for the EU Aid Volunteers initiative composed of: (i) candidate volunteers and EU Aid Volunteers who are participating or have participated in the initiative; (ii) sending and hosting organisations; (iii) representatives of the Member States and of the European Parliament. The text lays down provisions for the tasks of the network. Budget: the financial envelope for the implementation of the Regulation for the period 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2020 shall be EUR 147 936 000 in current prices. This shall be allocated, over the period 2014-2020, in accordance with the operational objectives, thematic priorities and percentages set out in the Annex. The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts to amend the priorities and adjust each of the figures in the Annex by more than 10 and up to 20 percentage points. Such adjustment shall only take place following the results of a Commission review. Where, in the case of a necessary revision of the budgetary resources available for support for emergency response actions , imperative grounds of urgency so require, the Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts to revise each of the figures set out in the Annex by more than 10 and up to 20 percentage points, within the available budgetary allocations. Evaluation: actions under the EU Aid Volunteers initiative receiving financial assistance shall be monitored regularly. Evaluations shall make use of existing evaluation standards, including those developed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's Development Assistance Committee, with the objective of measuring the long-term impact of the EU Aid Volunteers initiative on humanitarian aid. In the evaluation phase, the Commission shall ensure regular consultation of all relevant stakeholders. Delegated acts : the power to adopt acts will be delegated to the Commission in respect of provisions relating to the standards for selection, management and deployment of EU Aid Volunteers, the amendment of the performance indicators and the thematic priorities and the adjustment of the percentages for allocation of the financial envelope for implementation of the Regulation. Report: the Commission shall submit to the European Parliament and to the Council a series of reports, including: · annual reports examining the progress made in implementing this Regulation, including results and, as far as possible, the main outcomes; · an interim evaluation report on the implementation of this Regulation, including on the impact of EU Aid Volunteers initiative in the humanitarian sector and the cost-effectiveness of the programme, during the first three years of its implementation no later than 31 December 2017 · an ex post evaluation report for the seven-year financial period of implementation no later than 31 December 2021. The Commission shall review the measures laid down in the Regulation by 1 September 2019 and shall, following the conclusion of the interim evaluation report, accompany that review with a legislative proposal for amendment of this Regulation. Annex: a new Annex sets out the operational objectives, thematic priorities and percentages for allocation of the financial envelope for implementation of this Regulation.
        • date: 2014-03-18T00:00:00 type: Act adopted by Council after Parliament's 1st reading body: EP/CSL
        • date: 2014-04-03T00:00:00 type: Final act signed body: CSL
        • date: 2014-04-03T00:00:00 type: End of procedure in Parliament body: EP
        • date: 2014-04-24T00:00:00 type: Final act published in Official Journal summary: Corrigendum to Regulation (EU) No 375/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 3 April 2014 establishing the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps (‘EU Aid Volunteers initiative’) ( Official Journal of the European Union L 122 of 24 April 2014 ) On page 15, Article 24(2): for: ‘2. The power to adopt delegated acts referred to in Article 7(2), Article 9(2) and Article 20(3) shall be conferred on the Commission for a period of seven years from 25 April 2014.’ , read: ‘2. The power to adopt delegated acts referred to in Article 7(2), Article 9(2) and Article 20(3) and (4) shall be conferred on the Commission for a period of seven years from 25 April 2014.’ . docs: title: Regulation 2014/375 url: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexplus!prod!CELEXnumdoc&lg=EN&numdoc=32014R0375 title: OJ L 122 24.04.2014, p. 0001 url: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=OJ:L:2014:122:TOC title: Corrigendum to final act 32014R0375R(02) url: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexapi!prod!CELEXnumdoc&lg=EN&model=guicheti&numdoc=32014R0375R(02) title: OJ L 123 19.05.2015, p. 0122 url: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=OJ:L:2015:123:TOC
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        • body: EC dg: url: http://ec.europa.eu/echo/ title: Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO) commissioner: GEORGIEVA Kristalina
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        PURPOSE: to establish the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps.

        LEGISLATIVE ACT: Regulation (EU) No 375 of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps (‘EU Aid Volunteers initiative’)

        BACKGROUND: solidarity is a fundamental value of the Union and there is potential for further developing means of expressing solidarity of Union citizens with people in third countries vulnerable to or affected by man-made crises or natural disasters. Moreover, the Union as a whole is the world's largest humanitarian aid donor, providing almost 50 % of global humanitarian aid. The EU Aid Volunteers initiative should therefore contribute to efforts to strengthen the Union's capacity to provide needs-based humanitarian assistance and to strengthen the capacity and resilience of vulnerable or disaster-affected communities in third countries. 

        CONTENT: the Regulation establishes a European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps as a framework for joint contributions from European volunteers to support and complement humanitarian aid in third countries.

        It lays down the rules and procedures for the operation of the EU Aid Volunteers initiative and rules for the provision of financial assistance.

        Purpose: the objective of the EU Aid Volunteers initiative shall be to contribute to strengthening the Union's capacity to provide needs-based humanitarian aid aimed at:

        ·         preserving life,

        ·         preventing and alleviating human suffering,

        ·         maintaining human dignity and

        ·         strengthening the capacity and resilience of vulnerable or disaster-affected communities in third countries, particularly by means of disaster preparedness, disaster risk reduction and by enhancing the link between relief, rehabilitation and development. 

        That objective shall be attained through the added value of joint contributions of EU Aid Volunteers, expressing the Union's values and solidarity with people in need and visibly promoting a sense of European citizenship.

        Operational objectives: the EU Aid Volunteers initiative shall pursue the following operational objectives which will be assessed on the basis of certain indicators for each specific objective, that are set out in the Regulation:

        ·         contribute to increasing and improving the capacity of the Union to provide humanitarian aid;

        ·         improve the skills, knowledge and competences of volunteers in the field of humanitarian aid and the terms and conditions of their engagement;

        ·         build the capacity of hosting organisations and foster volunteering in third countries;

        ·         communicate the Union's humanitarian aid principles agreed in the European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid;

        ·         enhance coherence and consistency of volunteering across Member States in order to improve opportunities for Union citizens to participate in humanitarian aid activities and operations.

        Actions under the EU Aid Volunteers initiative: the EU Aid Volunteers initiative shall pursue the objectives through the following types of actions:

        ·         development and maintenance of standards and procedures regarding candidate volunteers and EU Aid Volunteers;

        ·         development and maintenance of a certification mechanism for sending and hosting organisations;

        ·         identification and selection of candidate volunteers;

        ·         establishment of a training programme and support for training and apprenticeship placements;

        ·         establishment, maintenance and updating of a database of EU Aid Volunteers;

        ·         deployment of EU Aid Volunteers to support and complement humanitarian aid in third countries;

        ·         capacity building of hosting organisations;

        ·         establishment and management of a network for the EU Aid Volunteers initiative;

        ·         communication and awareness raising;

        ·         ancillary activity that furthers the accountability, transparency and effectiveness of the EU Aid Volunteers initiative.

        Details of these actions are set out in the Regulation.

        Certification mechanism for sending and hosting organisations: the Commission shall develop a certification mechanism by means of implementing acts, with the involvement, if appropriate, of humanitarian partners, ensuring that sending organisations comply with the standards and procedures set out, and a differentiated certification mechanism for hosting organisations (in third countries). It shall also establish the procedure relating to the functioning of the certification mechanisms, building on existing relevant certification mechanisms and procedures. The certification mechanism shall be inclusive and non-discriminatory as regards any type of eligible organisation.

        Sending organisations shall be eligible for certification, if they adhere to the standards and procedures referred to in the Regulation and fulfil certain other criteria, such as being an NGO formed in accordance with the law of a Member State and whose headquarters are located within the Union, or established in a partner country. The International Federation of National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies are classified as sending organisations.

        The Union should entrust such organisations notably with the identification, selection, preparation and deployment of EU Aid Volunteers, as well as with follow-up during and after assignments, in accordance with standards and procedures established by the Commission. The Commission should, where appropriate, be able to draw upon successfully trained and prepared volunteers for deployment to its field offices for support tasks.

        Selection of candidate volunteers: on the basis of prior assessment of the needs in third countries by sending or hosting organisations or other relevant actors, certified sending organisations shall identify and select candidate volunteers for training. The volunteers must be at least 18 years old. Building on existing programmes and procedures and with the involvement, if appropriate, of specialised institutions, the Commission shall establish a training programme in order to prepare the candidate volunteers for deployment to support and complement humanitarian aid.

        Deployment: deployments should meet the real needs expressed at local level by the hosting organisations. Certified sending organisations shall ensure compliance with the standards and procedures referred to in the Regulation. EU Aid Volunteers shall not be deployed to operations conducted in the theatre of international and non-international armed conflicts.

        Each EU Aid Volunteer shall have a designated mentor from the hosting organisation to supervise and support the EU Aid Volunteer during deployment.

        Network for the EU Aid Volunteers initiative: the Commission shall establish and manage a network for the EU Aid Volunteers initiative composed of: (i) candidate volunteers and EU Aid Volunteers who are participating or have participated in the initiative; (ii) sending and hosting organisations; (iii) representatives of the Member States and of the European Parliament.

        The Regulations includes provisions regarding the mission and tasks of the Network.

        Coherence and complementarities of Union action: coherence and complementarity shall be ensured with other instruments and areas of Union external action and with other relevant Union policies. In promoting a coherent international response to humanitarian crises, the actions under the EU Aid Volunteers initiative shall be in accordance with those undertaken by the United Nations, in order to support the central and overall coordinating role of UN-OCHA.

        The Regulation sets out the types of eligible actions, the financial beneficiaries and types of financial intervention as well as the procedures applicable.

        It also sets out the modalities regarding participation of third country organisations in the implementation of the initiative.

        Financial envelope: the financial envelope for the implementation of the Regulation for the period 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2020 shall be EUR 147 936 000 in current prices. Allocations from this envelope will be made in accordance with the percentages set out in the Annex.

        Provisions for budgetary resources may also be amended in order to support emergency response actions.

        Evaluations and reports on implementation: actions under the EU Aid Volunteers initiative shall be monitored regularly.  In the evaluation phase, the Commission shall ensure regular consultation of all relevant stakeholders. It shall also shall submit to the European Parliament and to the Council series of reports including:

        ·         annual reports examining the progress made in implementing the Regulation;

        ·         an interim evaluation report on the results obtained and the qualitative and quantitative aspects of the implementation of the Regulation, including on the impact of EU Aid Volunteers initiative in the humanitarian sector and the cost-effectiveness of the programme (for 31 December 2017);

        ·         an ex post evaluation report for the seven-year financial period of implementation no later than 31 December 2021.

        The Commission shall review the measures laid down in the Regulation by 1 September 2019 and accompany that review with a legislative proposal for amendment where appropriate.

        Annex: an Annex sets out the operational objectives, thematic priorities, and percentages for allocation of the financial envelope for the implementation of the Regulation.

        ENTRY INTO FORCE: 25.04.2014. The Regulation will be applicable from 01.01.2014.

        DELEGATED ACTS: the Commission is empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with the Regulation. The power to adopt delegated acts is conferred on the Commission for a period of seven years from 25 April 2014. In respect of provisions relating to the standards for selection, management and deployment of EU Aid Volunteers, the amendment of the performance indicators and the thematic priorities and the adjustment of the percentages for allocation of the financial envelope for implementation of the Regulation.

        The European Parliament or the Council may object to a delegated act within two months from the date of notification (which may be extended by two months.) If the European Parliament or Council express objections, the delegated act will not enter into force. There are provisions for urgent measures.

        New

        Corrigendum to Regulation (EU) No 375/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 3 April 2014 establishing the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps (‘EU Aid Volunteers initiative’) (Official Journal of the European Union L 122 of 24 April 2014)

        On page 15, Article 24(2):

        for:

        ‘2. The power to adopt delegated acts referred to in Article 7(2), Article 9(2) and Article 20(3) shall be conferred on the Commission for a period of seven years from 25 April 2014.’
        ,

        read:

        ‘2. The power to adopt delegated acts referred to in Article 7(2), Article 9(2) and Article 20(3) and (4) shall be conferred on the Commission for a period of seven years from 25 April 2014.’
        .

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        • body: EP shadows: group: S&D name: CREŢU Corina group: ALDE name: NEWTON DUNN Bill group: Verts/ALE name: SARGENTINI Judith group: GUE/NGL name: GUSTAFSSON Mikael responsible: True committee: DEVE date: 2012-10-25T00:00:00 committee_full: Development rapporteur: group: EPP name: STRIFFLER Michèle
        • body: EP responsible: False committee: EMPL date: 2012-11-27T00:00:00 committee_full: Employment and Social Affairs rapporteur: group: EPP name: BOULLAND Philippe
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        • url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/registre/docs_autres_institutions/commission_europeenne/com/2012/0514/COM_COM(2012)0514_EN.pdf title: COM(2012)0514 type: Legislative proposal published celexid: CELEX:52012PC0514:EN
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        • DG: url: http://ec.europa.eu/echo/ title: Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Commissioner: GEORGIEVA Kristalina
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        • body: EP responsible: False committee: BUDG date: 2012-12-18T00:00:00 committee_full: Budgets rapporteur: group: S&D name: MUÑIZ DE URQUIZA María
        • body: EP shadows: group: S&D name: CREŢU Corina group: ALDE name: NEWTON DUNN Bill group: Verts/ALE name: SARGENTINI Judith group: GUE/NGL name: GUSTAFSSON Mikael responsible: True committee: DEVE date: 2012-10-25T00:00:00 committee_full: Development rapporteur: group: PPE name: STRIFFLER Michèle
        • body: EP responsible: False committee: EMPL date: 2012-11-27T00:00:00 committee_full: Employment and Social Affairs rapporteur: group: PPE name: BOULLAND Philippe
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        • url: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexplus!prod!CELEXnumdoc&lg=EN&numdoc=32014R0375 title: Regulation 2014/375
        • url: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=OJ:L:2014:122:TOC title: OJ L 122 24.04.2014, p. 0001
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        • PURPOSE: to establish the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps.

          LEGISLATIVE ACT: Regulation (EU) No 375 of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps (‘EU Aid Volunteers initiative’)

          BACKGROUND: solidarity is a fundamental value of the Union and there is potential for further developing means of expressing solidarity of Union citizens with people in third countries vulnerable to or affected by man-made crises or natural disasters. Moreover, the Union as a whole is the world's largest humanitarian aid donor, providing almost 50 % of global humanitarian aid. The EU Aid Volunteers initiative should therefore contribute to efforts to strengthen the Union's capacity to provide needs-based humanitarian assistance and to strengthen the capacity and resilience of vulnerable or disaster-affected communities in third countries. 

          CONTENT: the Regulation establishes a European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps as a framework for joint contributions from European volunteers to support and complement humanitarian aid in third countries.

          It lays down the rules and procedures for the operation of the EU Aid Volunteers initiative and rules for the provision of financial assistance.

          Purpose: the objective of the EU Aid Volunteers initiative shall be to contribute to strengthening the Union's capacity to provide needs-based humanitarian aid aimed at:

          ·         preserving life,

          ·         preventing and alleviating human suffering,

          ·         maintaining human dignity and

          ·         strengthening the capacity and resilience of vulnerable or disaster-affected communities in third countries, particularly by means of disaster preparedness, disaster risk reduction and by enhancing the link between relief, rehabilitation and development. 

          That objective shall be attained through the added value of joint contributions of EU Aid Volunteers, expressing the Union's values and solidarity with people in need and visibly promoting a sense of European citizenship.

          Operational objectives: the EU Aid Volunteers initiative shall pursue the following operational objectives which will be assessed on the basis of certain indicators for each specific objective, that are set out in the Regulation:

          ·         contribute to increasing and improving the capacity of the Union to provide humanitarian aid;

          ·         improve the skills, knowledge and competences of volunteers in the field of humanitarian aid and the terms and conditions of their engagement;

          ·         build the capacity of hosting organisations and foster volunteering in third countries;

          ·         communicate the Union's humanitarian aid principles agreed in the European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid;

          ·         enhance coherence and consistency of volunteering across Member States in order to improve opportunities for Union citizens to participate in humanitarian aid activities and operations.

          Actions under the EU Aid Volunteers initiative: the EU Aid Volunteers initiative shall pursue the objectives through the following types of actions:

          ·         development and maintenance of standards and procedures regarding candidate volunteers and EU Aid Volunteers;

          ·         development and maintenance of a certification mechanism for sending and hosting organisations;

          ·         identification and selection of candidate volunteers;

          ·         establishment of a training programme and support for training and apprenticeship placements;

          ·         establishment, maintenance and updating of a database of EU Aid Volunteers;

          ·         deployment of EU Aid Volunteers to support and complement humanitarian aid in third countries;

          ·         capacity building of hosting organisations;

          ·         establishment and management of a network for the EU Aid Volunteers initiative;

          ·         communication and awareness raising;

          ·         ancillary activity that furthers the accountability, transparency and effectiveness of the EU Aid Volunteers initiative.

          Details of these actions are set out in the Regulation.

          Certification mechanism for sending and hosting organisations: the Commission shall develop a certification mechanism by means of implementing acts, with the involvement, if appropriate, of humanitarian partners, ensuring that sending organisations comply with the standards and procedures set out, and a differentiated certification mechanism for hosting organisations (in third countries). It shall also establish the procedure relating to the functioning of the certification mechanisms, building on existing relevant certification mechanisms and procedures. The certification mechanism shall be inclusive and non-discriminatory as regards any type of eligible organisation.

          Sending organisations shall be eligible for certification, if they adhere to the standards and procedures referred to in the Regulation and fulfil certain other criteria, such as being an NGO formed in accordance with the law of a Member State and whose headquarters are located within the Union, or established in a partner country. The International Federation of National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies are classified as sending organisations.

          The Union should entrust such organisations notably with the identification, selection, preparation and deployment of EU Aid Volunteers, as well as with follow-up during and after assignments, in accordance with standards and procedures established by the Commission. The Commission should, where appropriate, be able to draw upon successfully trained and prepared volunteers for deployment to its field offices for support tasks.

          Selection of candidate volunteers: on the basis of prior assessment of the needs in third countries by sending or hosting organisations or other relevant actors, certified sending organisations shall identify and select candidate volunteers for training. The volunteers must be at least 18 years old. Building on existing programmes and procedures and with the involvement, if appropriate, of specialised institutions, the Commission shall establish a training programme in order to prepare the candidate volunteers for deployment to support and complement humanitarian aid.

          Deployment: deployments should meet the real needs expressed at local level by the hosting organisations. Certified sending organisations shall ensure compliance with the standards and procedures referred to in the Regulation. EU Aid Volunteers shall not be deployed to operations conducted in the theatre of international and non-international armed conflicts.

          Each EU Aid Volunteer shall have a designated mentor from the hosting organisation to supervise and support the EU Aid Volunteer during deployment.

          Network for the EU Aid Volunteers initiative: the Commission shall establish and manage a network for the EU Aid Volunteers initiative composed of: (i) candidate volunteers and EU Aid Volunteers who are participating or have participated in the initiative; (ii) sending and hosting organisations; (iii) representatives of the Member States and of the European Parliament.

          The Regulations includes provisions regarding the mission and tasks of the Network.

          Coherence and complementarities of Union action: coherence and complementarity shall be ensured with other instruments and areas of Union external action and with other relevant Union policies. In promoting a coherent international response to humanitarian crises, the actions under the EU Aid Volunteers initiative shall be in accordance with those undertaken by the United Nations, in order to support the central and overall coordinating role of UN-OCHA.

          The Regulation sets out the types of eligible actions, the financial beneficiaries and types of financial intervention as well as the procedures applicable.

          It also sets out the modalities regarding participation of third country organisations in the implementation of the initiative.

          Financial envelope: the financial envelope for the implementation of the Regulation for the period 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2020 shall be EUR 147 936 000 in current prices. Allocations from this envelope will be made in accordance with the percentages set out in the Annex.

          Provisions for budgetary resources may also be amended in order to support emergency response actions.

          Evaluations and reports on implementation: actions under the EU Aid Volunteers initiative shall be monitored regularly.  In the evaluation phase, the Commission shall ensure regular consultation of all relevant stakeholders. It shall also shall submit to the European Parliament and to the Council series of reports including:

          ·         annual reports examining the progress made in implementing the Regulation;

          ·         an interim evaluation report on the results obtained and the qualitative and quantitative aspects of the implementation of the Regulation, including on the impact of EU Aid Volunteers initiative in the humanitarian sector and the cost-effectiveness of the programme (for 31 December 2017);

          ·         an ex post evaluation report for the seven-year financial period of implementation no later than 31 December 2021.

          The Commission shall review the measures laid down in the Regulation by 1 September 2019 and accompany that review with a legislative proposal for amendment where appropriate.

          Annex: an Annex sets out the operational objectives, thematic priorities, and percentages for allocation of the financial envelope for the implementation of the Regulation.

          ENTRY INTO FORCE: 25.04.2014. The Regulation will be applicable from 01.01.2014.

          DELEGATED ACTS: the Commission is empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with the Regulation. The power to adopt delegated acts is conferred on the Commission for a period of seven years from 25 April 2014. In respect of provisions relating to the standards for selection, management and deployment of EU Aid Volunteers, the amendment of the performance indicators and the thematic priorities and the adjustment of the percentages for allocation of the financial envelope for implementation of the Regulation.

          The European Parliament or the Council may object to a delegated act within two months from the date of notification (which may be extended by two months.) If the European Parliament or Council express objections, the delegated act will not enter into force. There are provisions for urgent measures.

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        Regulation 2014/375
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        EU Aid Volunteers: framework for the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps
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        European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps (‘EU Aid Volunteers initiative')
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        • The European Parliament adopted by 600 votes to 30 with 50 abstentions, a legislative resolution on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps - EU Aid Volunteers.

          Parliament’s adopted its position at first reading under the ordinary legislative procedure.  The amendments adopted in plenary are the result of a compromise between Parliament and Council. They amend the Commission proposal as follows:

          Objective: the objective of the EU Aid Volunteers initiative shall be to contribute to strengthening the Union's capacity to provide needs-based humanitarian aid aimed at:

          ·        preserving life,

          ·        preventing and alleviating human suffering

          ·        maintaining human dignity and

          ·        strengthening the capacity and resilience of vulnerable or disaster-affected communities in third countries, particularly by means of disaster preparedness, disaster risk reduction and by enhancing the link between relief, rehabilitation and development.

          That objective shall be attained through the added value of joint contributions of EU Aid Volunteers, expressing the Union's values and solidarity with people in need and visibly promoting a sense of European citizenship.

          Operational objectives: the EU Aid Volunteers initiative shall pursue the following operational objectives in accordance with a certain number of indicators set out in the resolution for each specific objective:

          ·        contribute to increasing and improving the capacity of the Union to provide humanitarian aid;

          ·        improve the skills, knowledge and competences of volunteers;

          ·        build the capacity of hosting organisations and foster volunteering in third countries;

          ·        communicate the Union's humanitarian aid principles agreed in the European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid;

          ·        enhance coherence and consistency of volunteering across Member States in order to improve opportunities for Union citizens to participate in humanitarian aid activities and operations.

          Provisions are laid out in the text regarding the actions to be undertaken in the framework of these objectives.

          Gender perspective: the EU Aid Volunteers initiative should aim to contribute to strengthening the gender perspective in Union humanitarian aid policy, promoting adequate humanitarian responses to the specific needs of women and men of all ages. Special attention should be paid to cooperation with women’s groups and networks.

          Standards and procedures regarding candidate volunteers and EU Aid Volunteers: building on existing relevant practices, the Commission shall establish standards and procedures covering the necessary conditions, arrangements and requirements to be applied by sending and hosting organisations when identifying, selecting, preparing, managing and deploying candidate volunteers and EU Aid Volunteers to support humanitarian aid operations in third countries.

          Certification mechanism for sending and hosting organisations: the Commission shall develop a certification mechanism by means of implementing acts, with the involvement, if appropriate, of humanitarian partners, ensuring that sending organisations comply with the standards and procedures, and a differentiated certification mechanism for hosting organisations. It shall establish the procedure relating to the functioning of the certification mechanisms, building on existing relevant certification mechanisms and procedure. , 

          In designing the certification mechanism, the Commission shall seek synergies with the Commission’s partnership instruments in the humanitarian field and existing humanitarian standards, with the aim of administrative simplification. The certification mechanism shall be inclusive and non-discriminatory as regards any type of eligible organisation.

          Deployment of EU Aid Volunteers in third countries: EU Aid Volunteers included in the database may be deployed to by:

          ·        certified sending organisations to hosting organisations in third countries; or

          ·        the Commission to its humanitarian aid field offices for support tasks.

          Deployments shall meet the real needs expressed at local level by the hosting organisations.

          For deployment, certified sending organisations shall ensure compliance with the standards and procedures. EU Aid Volunteers shall not be deployed to operations conducted in the theatre of international and non-international armed conflicts.

          For deployments effected by the Commission, the Commission shall sign a volunteer deployment contract with EU Aid Volunteers, defining specific terms and conditions of deployment. Each EU Aid Volunteer shall have a designated mentor from the hosting organisation

          Coherence and complementarities of Union action: coherence and complementarity shall be ensured with other instruments and areas of Union external action and with other relevant Union policies, in particular humanitarian aid policy, development cooperation policy and the Union Civil Protection Mechanism, while avoiding duplication and overlap.

          In promoting a coherent international response to humanitarian crises, the actions under the EU Aid Volunteers initiative shall be in accordance with those undertaken by the United Nations, in order to support the central and overall coordinating role of UN-OCHA.

          Network for the EU Aid Volunteers initiative: the Commission shall establish and manage a network for the EU Aid Volunteers initiative composed of: (i) candidate volunteers and EU Aid Volunteers who are participating or have participated in the initiative; (ii) sending and hosting organisations; (iii) representatives of the Member States and of the European Parliament.

          The text lays down provisions for the tasks of the network.

          Budget: the financial envelope for the implementation of the Regulation for the period 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2020 shall be EUR 147 936 000 in current prices. This shall be allocated, over the period 2014-2020, in accordance with the operational objectives, thematic priorities and percentages set out in the Annex. The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts to amend the priorities and adjust each of the figures in the Annex by more than 10 and up to 20 percentage points. Such adjustment shall only take place following the results of a Commission review. 

          Where, in the case of a necessary revision of the budgetary resources available for support for emergency response actions, imperative grounds of urgency so require, the Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts to revise each of the figures set out in the Annex by more than 10 and up to 20 percentage points, within the available budgetary allocations.

          Evaluation: actions under the EU Aid Volunteers initiative receiving financial assistance shall be monitored regularly.  Evaluations shall make use of existing evaluation standards, including those developed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's Development Assistance Committee, with the objective of measuring the long-term impact of the EU Aid Volunteers initiative on humanitarian aid. 

          In the evaluation phase, the Commission shall ensure regular consultation of all relevant stakeholders.

          Delegated acts: the power to adopt acts will be delegated to the Commission in respect of provisions relating to the standards for selection, management and deployment of EU Aid Volunteers, the amendment of the performance indicators and the thematic priorities and the adjustment of the percentages for allocation of the financial envelope for implementation of the Regulation.

          Report: the Commission shall submit to the European Parliament and to the Council a series of reports, including:

          ·        annual reports examining the progress made in implementing this Regulation, including results and, as far as possible, the main outcomes;

          ·        an interim evaluation report on the implementation of this Regulation, including on the impact of EU Aid Volunteers initiative in the humanitarian sector and the cost-effectiveness of the programme, during the first three years of its implementation no later than 31 December 2017

          ·        an ex post evaluation report for the seven-year financial period of implementation no later than 31 December 2021. 

          The Commission shall review the measures laid down in the Regulation by 1 September 2019 and shall, following the conclusion of the interim evaluation report, accompany that review with a legislative proposal for amendment of this Regulation.

          Annex: a new Annex sets out the operational objectives, thematic priorities and percentages for allocation of the financial envelope for implementation of this Regulation.

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        • group: Verts/ALE name: SARGENTINI Judith
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        • The Committee on Development unanimously adopted the report by Michèle STRIFFLER (EPP, FR) on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council Establishing the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps - EU Aid Volunteers.

          The parliamentary committee recommended that the European Parliament’s position adopted at first reading under the ordinary legislative procedure should amend the Commission’s proposal as follows:

          Objective of the EU Aid Volunteers initiative: Members recalled that the specific objective of volunteering was to contribute to strengthening the Union's capacity to respond to humanitarian crises and to build the capacity and resilience of vulnerable or disaster-affected communities in third countries, in response to man-made or natural disasters.

          This should also contribute to European citizenship and seek to enhance the link between relief, rehabilitation and development.

          Protection of volunteers and their exclusions from situations of armed conflict: Members considered volunteers should not be deployed on projects where their safety and security could be of concern. It is therefore stipulated that volunteers may be deployed in humanitarian aid activities and operations, except in the context of armed conflicts and internal disturbances.

          Improving the visibility of European aid: Members were of the opinion that there is a need to raise both awareness levels and visibility of humanitarian aid among the Union's citizens because Union humanitarian aid is often overshadowed by that of other international organisations.

          Deployment of volunteers: Members insisted that deployments shall meet the real needs expressed at local level by the hosting organisations. The contract shall either specify the rights and obligations of the volunteer or indicate where the rights and obligations are documented.

          Standards for volunteers: Members stipulated the standards that should apply to candidate volunteers wishing to participate in the initiative: the Commission should draw up standards concerning the identification, selection, preparation and deployment of volunteers.

          Candidate volunteers shall be identified and selected on the basis of specific skills and knowledge. Identification and selection shall be so performed as to ensure diversity of profiles and skills among the young people and experts, while always responding to practical needs identified on the ground.

          On the basis of existing standards and in partnership with specialised institutions, the Commission shall establish a training programme in order to prepare the candidate volunteers.

          The context of the deployment shall take into account the skills and language knowledge of volunteers.

          Recognition and acknowledgement of the experience of volunteers: Members urged the Commission to support actions to acknowledge the experience and the commitment of volunteers with a view to recognition of their experience and acknowledgement in a professional environment and in society of what they have attained.

          EU Aid Volunteers could thus be recognised – after their first deployment, as certified EU aid volunteers. These certified volunteers would be entered in the register provided for and administered by the Commission.

          Limitation on the period for which candidates may shall be considered eligible to be volunteers: Members believed that candidate volunteers who have successfully passed the assessment covered in this proposal may be included in the Register of EU Aid Volunteers and should be eligible for deployment for a period of no more than two years, after which they should be reassessed.

          Mentoring of volunteers: Members called for each volunteers to have a designated mentor from the hosting organisation to supervise and support the volunteer during deployment.

          Indicators: in its proposal, the Commission proposed operational objectives. Progress towards their achievement was to be assessed on the basis of indicators. The proposed indicators were purely quantitative. Members asked that qualitative indicators should also be envisaged for each operational objective.

          Consistency of the initiative with other relevant European policies: Members asked that

          in implementing the initiative, coordination, complementarity and coherence shall be ensured with other relevant Union policies, in particular humanitarian aid, development aid and the civil protection mechanism, in order to ensure the added value of actions under the EU Aid Volunteers initiative.

          When setting up projects, the Commission should make use of the existing European networks, which are efficient.

          Forum for consultation: in order to pursue the objectives of the initiative, Members called for a forum for consultation and dialogue, bringing together representatives of the Commission, Member States and the sending and hosting organisations, to be established as soon as the programme is launched.

          Financial reference amount: Members called for a financial reference amount to figure in the measure, in accordance with the 2014-2020 financial framework. Members underlined that such voluntary aid corps should be cost effective, compliment existing national and international voluntary schemes without duplicating them.

          Cooperation with other countries: Members proposed not permitting citizens and organisations from partner countries of the European Neighbourhood Policy to participate in the activities of the EU aid volunteers. They considered the programme to be a European one, which advances the idea of European citizenship.

          Organisations sending volunteers: in the context of the initiative, it was envisaged that the Commission would draw up a certification scheme for sending and hosting organisations. Members were of the view that in designing the certification scheme, the Commission should seek synergies with the its partnership instruments in the humanitarian field and existing humanitarian standards, with the aim of administrative simplification.

          Multiannual work programmes: Members wanted the Commission to adopt two consecutive multiannual indicative work programmes jointly covering the period 2014-2020, in accordance with the general principles of the future Regulation. They should constitute the basis for annual programming in the framework of the initiative (objectives pursued, the priorities, the expected results, the method of implementation, the financial allocations in broad terms and, for grants, the priorities, the essential evaluation criteria and the maximum rate of cofinancing).

          Annual work programmes: likewise, Members proposed that the Commission should adopt annual indicative work programmes, which would be based on and in line with the multiannual work programme. The annual work programmes should contain the description of the actions to be financed, an indication of the amount allocated to each action and the indicative implementation timetable.

          Delegated acts: Members considered that the delegation of power to the Commission to adopt acts should be in respect of the provisions relating to the standards for management and deployment of EU Aid Volunteers, the amendment of the performance indicators and the adoption of the multiannual work programmes that define the objectives, priorities, expected results, method of implementation and financial allocations in broad terms.

          In the event that an EU Trust Fund were to be created by the Commission, the adoption of the multiannual or annual working programme of that trust fund would be subject to the delegated acts procedure.

          Annual work programmes would be adopted under the committee procedure (an observer from the European Parliament would take part in the committee's proceedings).

          Report: lastly, Members proposed that an interim evaluation report on the results obtained and the qualitative and quantitative aspects of the implementation of the initiative, including on the impact of EU Aid Volunteers in the humanitarian aid sector and the cost-effectiveness of the programme, during the first three years of its implementation no later than 30 June 2017.

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        • The Committee on Development unanimously adopted the report by Michèle STRIFFLER (EPP, FR) on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council Establishing the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps - EU Aid Volunteers.

          The parliamentary committee recommended that the European Parliament’s position adopted at first reading under the ordinary legislative procedure should amend the Commission’s proposal as follows:

          Objective of the EU Aid Volunteers initiative: Members recalled that the specific objective of volunteering was to contribute to strengthening the Union's capacity to respond to humanitarian crises and to build the capacity and resilience of vulnerable or disaster-affected communities in third countries, in response to man-made or natural disasters.

          This should also contribute to European citizenship and seek to enhance the link between relief, rehabilitation and development.

          Protection of volunteers and their exclusions from situations of armed conflict: Members considered volunteers should not be deployed on projects where their safety and security could be of concern. It is therefore stipulated that volunteers may be deployed in humanitarian aid activities and operations, except in the context of armed conflicts and internal disturbances.

          Improving the visibility of European aid: Members were of the opinion that there is a need to raise both awareness levels and visibility of humanitarian aid among the Union's citizens because Union humanitarian aid is often overshadowed by that of other international organisations.

          Deployment of volunteers: Members insisted that deployments shall meet the real needs expressed at local level by the hosting organisations. The contract shall either specify the rights and obligations of the volunteer or indicate where the rights and obligations are documented.

          Standards for volunteers: Members stipulated the standards that should apply to candidate volunteers wishing to participate in the initiative: the Commission should draw up standards concerning the identification, selection, preparation and deployment of volunteers.

          Candidate volunteers shall be identified and selected on the basis of specific skills and knowledge. Identification and selection shall be so performed as to ensure diversity of profiles and skills among the young people and experts, while always responding to practical needs identified on the ground.

          On the basis of existing standards and in partnership with specialised institutions, the Commission shall establish a training programme in order to prepare the candidate volunteers.

          The context of the deployment shall take into account the skills and language knowledge of volunteers.

          Recognition and acknowledgement of the experience of volunteers: Members urged the Commission to support actions to acknowledge the experience and the commitment of volunteers with a view to recognition of their experience and acknowledgement in a professional environment and in society of what they have attained.

          EU Aid Volunteers could thus be recognised – after their first deployment, as certified EU aid volunteers. These certified volunteers would be entered in the register provided for and administered by the Commission.

          Limitation on the period for which candidates may shall be considered eligible to be volunteers: Members believed that candidate volunteers who have successfully passed the assessment covered in this proposal may be included in the Register of EU Aid Volunteers and should be eligible for deployment for a period of no more than two years, after which they should be reassessed.

          Mentoring of volunteers: Members called for each volunteers to have a designated mentor from the hosting organisation to supervise and support the volunteer during deployment.

          Indicators: in its proposal, the Commission proposed operational objectives. Progress towards their achievement was to be assessed on the basis of indicators. The proposed indicators were purely quantitative. Members asked that qualitative indicators should also be envisaged for each operational objective.

          Consistency of the initiative with other relevant European policies: Members asked that

          in implementing the initiative, coordination, complementarity and coherence shall be ensured with other relevant Union policies, in particular humanitarian aid, development aid and the civil protection mechanism, in order to ensure the added value of actions under the EU Aid Volunteers initiative.

          When setting up projects, the Commission should make use of the existing European networks, which are efficient.

          Forum for consultation: in order to pursue the objectives of the initiative, Members called for a forum for consultation and dialogue, bringing together representatives of the Commission, Member States and the sending and hosting organisations, to be established as soon as the programme is launched.

          Financial reference amount: Members called for a financial reference amount to figure in the measure, in accordance with the 2014-2020 financial framework. Members underlined that such voluntary aid corps should be cost effective, compliment existing national and international voluntary schemes without duplicating them.

          Cooperation with other countries: Members proposed not permitting citizens and organisations from partner countries of the European Neighbourhood Policy to participate in the activities of the EU aid volunteers. They considered the programme to be a European one, which advances the idea of European citizenship.

          Organisations sending volunteers: in the context of the initiative, it was envisaged that the Commission would draw up a certification scheme for sending and hosting organisations. Members were of the view that in designing the certification scheme, the Commission should seek synergies with the its partnership instruments in the humanitarian field and existing humanitarian standards, with the aim of administrative simplification.

          Multiannual work programmes: Members wanted the Commission to adopt two consecutive multiannual indicative work programmes jointly covering the period 2014-2020, in accordance with the general principles of the future Regulation. They should constitute the basis for annual programming in the framework of the initiative (objectives pursued, the priorities, the expected results, the method of implementation, the financial allocations in broad terms and, for grants, the priorities, the essential evaluation criteria and the maximum rate of cofinancing).

          Annual work programmes: likewise, Members proposed that the Commission should adopt annual indicative work programmes, which would be based on and in line with the multiannual work programme. The annual work programmes should contain the description of the actions to be financed, an indication of the amount allocated to each action and the indicative implementation timetable.

          Delegated acts: Members considered that the delegation of power to the Commission to adopt acts should be in respect of the provisions relating to the standards for management and deployment of EU Aid Volunteers, the amendment of the performance indicators and the adoption of the multiannual work programmes that define the objectives, priorities, expected results, method of implementation and financial allocations in broad terms.

          In the event that an EU Trust Fund were to be created by the Commission, the adoption of the multiannual or annual working programme of that trust fund would be subject to the delegated acts procedure.

          Annual work programmes would be adopted under the committee procedure (an observer from the European Parliament would take part in the committee's proceedings).

          Report: lastly, Members proposed that an interim evaluation report on the results obtained and the qualitative and quantitative aspects of the implementation of the initiative, including on the impact of EU Aid Volunteers in the humanitarian aid sector and the cost-effectiveness of the programme, during the first three years of its implementation no later than 30 June 2017.

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        • The Committee on Development unanimously adopted the report by Michèle STRIFFLER (EPP, FR) on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council Establishing the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps - EU Aid Volunteers.

          The parliamentary committee recommended that the European Parliament’s position adopted at first reading under the ordinary legislative procedure should amend the Commission’s proposal as follows:

          Objective of the EU Aid Volunteers initiative: Members recalled that the specific objective of volunteering was to contribute to strengthening the Union's capacity to respond to humanitarian crises and to build the capacity and resilience of vulnerable or disaster-affected communities in third countries, in response to man-made or natural disasters.

          This should also contribute to European citizenship and seek to enhance the link between relief, rehabilitation and development.

          Protection of volunteers and their exclusions from situations of armed conflict: Members considered volunteers should not be deployed on projects where their safety and security could be of concern. It is therefore stipulated that volunteers may be deployed in humanitarian aid activities and operations, except in the context of armed conflicts and internal disturbances.

          Improving the visibility of European aid: Members were of the opinion that there is a need to raise both awareness levels and visibility of humanitarian aid among the Union's citizens because Union humanitarian aid is often overshadowed by that of other international organisations.

          Deployment of volunteers: Members insisted that deployments shall meet the real needs expressed at local level by the hosting organisations. The contract shall either specify the rights and obligations of the volunteer or indicate where the rights and obligations are documented.

          Standards for volunteers: Members stipulated the standards that should apply to candidate volunteers wishing to participate in the initiative: the Commission should draw up standards concerning the identification, selection, preparation and deployment of volunteers.

          Candidate volunteers shall be identified and selected on the basis of specific skills and knowledge. Identification and selection shall be so performed as to ensure diversity of profiles and skills among the young people and experts, while always responding to practical needs identified on the ground.

          On the basis of existing standards and in partnership with specialised institutions, the Commission shall establish a training programme in order to prepare the candidate volunteers.

          The context of the deployment shall take into account the skills and language knowledge of volunteers.

          Recognition and acknowledgement of the experience of volunteers: Members urged the Commission to support actions to acknowledge the experience and the commitment of volunteers with a view to recognition of their experience and acknowledgement in a professional environment and in society of what they have attained.

          EU Aid Volunteers could thus be recognised – after their first deployment, as certified EU aid volunteers. These certified volunteers would be entered in the register provided for and administered by the Commission.

          Limitation on the period for which candidates may shall be considered eligible to be volunteers: Members believed that candidate volunteers who have successfully passed the assessment covered in this proposal may be included in the Register of EU Aid Volunteers and should be eligible for deployment for a period of no more than two years, after which they should be reassessed.

          Mentoring of volunteers: Members called for each volunteers to have a designated mentor from the hosting organisation to supervise and support the volunteer during deployment.

          Indicators: in its proposal, the Commission proposed operational objectives. Progress towards their achievement was to be assessed on the basis of indicators. The proposed indicators were purely quantitative. Members asked that qualitative indicators should also be envisaged for each operational objective.

          Consistency of the initiative with other relevant European policies: Members asked that

          in implementing the initiative, coordination, complementarity and coherence shall be ensured with other relevant Union policies, in particular humanitarian aid, development aid and the civil protection mechanism, in order to ensure the added value of actions under the EU Aid Volunteers initiative.

          When setting up projects, the Commission should make use of the existing European networks, which are efficient.

          Forum for consultation: in order to pursue the objectives of the initiative, Members called for a forum for consultation and dialogue, bringing together representatives of the Commission, Member States and the sending and hosting organisations, to be established as soon as the programme is launched.

          Financial reference amount: Members called for a financial reference amount to figure in the measure, in accordance with the 2014-2020 financial framework. Members underlined that such voluntary aid corps should be cost effective, compliment existing national and international voluntary schemes without duplicating them.

          Cooperation with other countries: Members proposed not permitting citizens and organisations from partner countries of the European Neighbourhood Policy to participate in the activities of the EU aid volunteers. They considered the programme to be a European one, which advances the idea of European citizenship.

          Organisations sending volunteers: in the context of the initiative, it was envisaged that the Commission would draw up a certification scheme for sending and hosting organisations. Members were of the view that in designing the certification scheme, the Commission should seek synergies with the its partnership instruments in the humanitarian field and existing humanitarian standards, with the aim of administrative simplification.

          Multiannual work programmes: Members wanted the Commission to adopt two consecutive multiannual indicative work programmes jointly covering the period 2014-2020, in accordance with the general principles of the future Regulation. They should constitute the basis for annual programming in the framework of the initiative (objectives pursued, the priorities, the expected results, the method of implementation, the financial allocations in broad terms and, for grants, the priorities, the essential evaluation criteria and the maximum rate of cofinancing).

          Annual work programmes: likewise, Members proposed that the Commission should adopt annual indicative work programmes, which would be based on and in line with the multiannual work programme. The annual work programmes should contain the description of the actions to be financed, an indication of the amount allocated to each action and the indicative implementation timetable.

          Delegated acts: Members considered that the delegation of power to the Commission to adopt acts should be in respect of the provisions relating to the standards for management and deployment of EU Aid Volunteers, the amendment of the performance indicators and the adoption of the multiannual work programmes that define the objectives, priorities, expected results, method of implementation and financial allocations in broad terms.

          In the event that an EU Trust Fund were to be created by the Commission, the adoption of the multiannual or annual working programme of that trust fund would be subject to the delegated acts procedure.

          Annual work programmes would be adopted under the committee procedure (an observer from the European Parliament would take part in the committee's proceedings).

          Report: lastly, Members proposed that an interim evaluation report on the results obtained and the qualitative and quantitative aspects of the implementation of the initiative, including on the impact of EU Aid Volunteers in the humanitarian aid sector and the cost-effectiveness of the programme, during the first three years of its implementation no later than 30 June 2017.

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        • The Committee on Development unanimously adopted the report by Michèle STRIFFLER (EPP, FR) on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council Establishing the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps - EU Aid Volunteers.

          The parliamentary committee recommended that the European Parliament’s position adopted at first reading under the ordinary legislative procedure should amend the Commission’s proposal as follows:

          Objective of the EU Aid Volunteers initiative: Members recalled that the specific objective of volunteering was to contribute to strengthening the Union's capacity to respond to humanitarian crises and to build the capacity and resilience of vulnerable or disaster-affected communities in third countries, in response to man-made or natural disasters.

          This should also contribute to European citizenship and seek to enhance the link between relief, rehabilitation and development.

          Protection of volunteers and their exclusions from situations of armed conflict: Members considered volunteers should not be deployed on projects where their safety and security could be of concern. It is therefore stipulated that volunteers may be deployed in humanitarian aid activities and operations, except in the context of armed conflicts and internal disturbances.

          Improving the visibility of European aid: Members were of the opinion that there is a need to raise both awareness levels and visibility of humanitarian aid among the Union's citizens because Union humanitarian aid is often overshadowed by that of other international organisations.

          Deployment of volunteers: Members insisted that deployments shall meet the real needs expressed at local level by the hosting organisations. The contract shall either specify the rights and obligations of the volunteer or indicate where the rights and obligations are documented.

          Standards for volunteers: Members stipulated the standards that should apply to candidate volunteers wishing to participate in the initiative: the Commission should draw up standards concerning the identification, selection, preparation and deployment of volunteers.

          Candidate volunteers shall be identified and selected on the basis of specific skills and knowledge. Identification and selection shall be so performed as to ensure diversity of profiles and skills among the young people and experts, while always responding to practical needs identified on the ground.

          On the basis of existing standards and in partnership with specialised institutions, the Commission shall establish a training programme in order to prepare the candidate volunteers.

          The context of the deployment shall take into account the skills and language knowledge of volunteers.

          Recognition and acknowledgement of the experience of volunteers: Members urged the Commission to support actions to acknowledge the experience and the commitment of volunteers with a view to recognition of their experience and acknowledgement in a professional environment and in society of what they have attained.

          EU Aid Volunteers could thus be recognised – after their first deployment, as certified EU aid volunteers. These certified volunteers would be entered in the register provided for and administered by the Commission.

          Limitation on the period for which candidates may shall be considered eligible to be volunteers: Members believed that candidate volunteers who have successfully passed the assessment covered in this proposal may be included in the Register of EU Aid Volunteers and should be eligible for deployment for a period of no more than two years, after which they should be reassessed.

          Mentoring of volunteers: Members called for each volunteers to have a designated mentor from the hosting organisation to supervise and support the volunteer during deployment.

          Indicators: in its proposal, the Commission proposed operational objectives. Progress towards their achievement was to be assessed on the basis of indicators. The proposed indicators were purely quantitative. Members asked that qualitative indicators should also be envisaged for each operational objective.

          Consistency of the initiative with other relevant European policies: Members asked that

          in implementing the initiative, coordination, complementarity and coherence shall be ensured with other relevant Union policies, in particular humanitarian aid, development aid and the civil protection mechanism, in order to ensure the added value of actions under the EU Aid Volunteers initiative.

          When setting up projects, the Commission should make use of the existing European networks, which are efficient.

          Forum for consultation: in order to pursue the objectives of the initiative, Members called for a forum for consultation and dialogue, bringing together representatives of the Commission, Member States and the sending and hosting organisations, to be established as soon as the programme is launched.

          Financial reference amount: Members called for a financial reference amount to figure in the measure, in accordance with the 2014-2020 financial framework. Members underlined that such voluntary aid corps should be cost effective, compliment existing national and international voluntary schemes without duplicating them.

          Cooperation with other countries: Members proposed not permitting citizens and organisations from partner countries of the European Neighbourhood Policy to participate in the activities of the EU aid volunteers. They considered the programme to be a European one, which advances the idea of European citizenship.

          Organisations sending volunteers: in the context of the initiative, it was envisaged that the Commission would draw up a certification scheme for sending and hosting organisations. Members were of the view that in designing the certification scheme, the Commission should seek synergies with the its partnership instruments in the humanitarian field and existing humanitarian standards, with the aim of administrative simplification.

          Multiannual work programmes: Members wanted the Commission to adopt two consecutive multiannual indicative work programmes jointly covering the period 2014-2020, in accordance with the general principles of the future Regulation. They should constitute the basis for annual programming in the framework of the initiative (objectives pursued, the priorities, the expected results, the method of implementation, the financial allocations in broad terms and, for grants, the priorities, the essential evaluation criteria and the maximum rate of cofinancing).

          Annual work programmes: likewise, Members proposed that the Commission should adopt annual indicative work programmes, which would be based on and in line with the multiannual work programme. The annual work programmes should contain the description of the actions to be financed, an indication of the amount allocated to each action and the indicative implementation timetable.

          Delegated acts: Members considered that the delegation of power to the Commission to adopt acts should be in respect of the provisions relating to the standards for management and deployment of EU Aid Volunteers, the amendment of the performance indicators and the adoption of the multiannual work programmes that define the objectives, priorities, expected results, method of implementation and financial allocations in broad terms.

          In the event that an EU Trust Fund were to be created by the Commission, the adoption of the multiannual or annual working programme of that trust fund would be subject to the delegated acts procedure.

          Annual work programmes would be adopted under the committee procedure (an observer from the European Parliament would take part in the committee's proceedings).

          Report: lastly, Members proposed that an interim evaluation report on the results obtained and the qualitative and quantitative aspects of the implementation of the initiative, including on the impact of EU Aid Volunteers in the humanitarian aid sector and the cost-effectiveness of the programme, during the first three years of its implementation no later than 30 June 2017.

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        • The Committee on Development unanimously adopted the report by Michèle STRIFFLER (EPP, FR) on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council Establishing the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps - EU Aid Volunteers.

          The parliamentary committee recommended that the European Parliament’s position adopted at first reading under the ordinary legislative procedure should amend the Commission’s proposal as follows:

          Objective of the EU Aid Volunteers initiative: Members recalled that the specific objective of volunteering was to contribute to strengthening the Union's capacity to respond to humanitarian crises and to build the capacity and resilience of vulnerable or disaster-affected communities in third countries, in response to man-made or natural disasters.

          This should also contribute to European citizenship and seek to enhance the link between relief, rehabilitation and development.

          Protection of volunteers and their exclusions from situations of armed conflict: Members considered volunteers should not be deployed on projects where their safety and security could be of concern. It is therefore stipulated that volunteers may be deployed in humanitarian aid activities and operations, except in the context of armed conflicts and internal disturbances.

          Improving the visibility of European aid: Members were of the opinion that there is a need to raise both awareness levels and visibility of humanitarian aid among the Union's citizens because Union humanitarian aid is often overshadowed by that of other international organisations.

          Deployment of volunteers: Members insisted that deployments shall meet the real needs expressed at local level by the hosting organisations. The contract shall either specify the rights and obligations of the volunteer or indicate where the rights and obligations are documented.

          Standards for volunteers: Members stipulated the standards that should apply to candidate volunteers wishing to participate in the initiative: the Commission should draw up standards concerning the identification, selection, preparation and deployment of volunteers.

          Candidate volunteers shall be identified and selected on the basis of specific skills and knowledge. Identification and selection shall be so performed as to ensure diversity of profiles and skills among the young people and experts, while always responding to practical needs identified on the ground.

          On the basis of existing standards and in partnership with specialised institutions, the Commission shall establish a training programme in order to prepare the candidate volunteers.

          The context of the deployment shall take into account the skills and language knowledge of volunteers.

          Recognition and acknowledgement of the experience of volunteers: Members urged the Commission to support actions to acknowledge the experience and the commitment of volunteers with a view to recognition of their experience and acknowledgement in a professional environment and in society of what they have attained.

          EU Aid Volunteers could thus be recognised – after their first deployment, as certified EU aid volunteers. These certified volunteers would be entered in the register provided for and administered by the Commission.

          Limitation on the period for which candidates may shall be considered eligible to be volunteers: Members believed that candidate volunteers who have successfully passed the assessment covered in this proposal may be included in the Register of EU Aid Volunteers and should be eligible for deployment for a period of no more than two years, after which they should be reassessed.

          Mentoring of volunteers: Members called for each volunteers to have a designated mentor from the hosting organisation to supervise and support the volunteer during deployment.

          Indicators: in its proposal, the Commission proposed operational objectives. Progress towards their achievement was to be assessed on the basis of indicators. The proposed indicators were purely quantitative. Members asked that qualitative indicators should also be envisaged for each operational objective.

          Consistency of the initiative with other relevant European policies: Members asked that

          in implementing the initiative, coordination, complementarity and coherence shall be ensured with other relevant Union policies, in particular humanitarian aid, development aid and the civil protection mechanism, in order to ensure the added value of actions under the EU Aid Volunteers initiative.

          When setting up projects, the Commission should make use of the existing European networks, which are efficient.

          Forum for consultation: in order to pursue the objectives of the initiative, Members called for a forum for consultation and dialogue, bringing together representatives of the Commission, Member States and the sending and hosting organisations, to be established as soon as the programme is launched.

          Financial reference amount: Members called for a financial reference amount to figure in the measure, in accordance with the 2014-2020 financial framework. Members underlined that such voluntary aid corps should be cost effective, compliment existing national and international voluntary schemes without duplicating them.

          Cooperation with other countries: Members proposed not permitting citizens and organisations from partner countries of the European Neighbourhood Policy to participate in the activities of the EU aid volunteers. They considered the programme to be a European one, which advances the idea of European citizenship.

          Organisations sending volunteers: in the context of the initiative, it was envisaged that the Commission would draw up a certification scheme for sending and hosting organisations. Members were of the view that in designing the certification scheme, the Commission should seek synergies with the its partnership instruments in the humanitarian field and existing humanitarian standards, with the aim of administrative simplification.

          Multiannual work programmes: Members wanted the Commission to adopt two consecutive multiannual indicative work programmes jointly covering the period 2014-2020, in accordance with the general principles of the future Regulation. They should constitute the basis for annual programming in the framework of the initiative (objectives pursued, the priorities, the expected results, the method of implementation, the financial allocations in broad terms and, for grants, the priorities, the essential evaluation criteria and the maximum rate of cofinancing).

          Annual work programmes: likewise, Members proposed that the Commission should adopt annual indicative work programmes, which would be based on and in line with the multiannual work programme. The annual work programmes should contain the description of the actions to be financed, an indication of the amount allocated to each action and the indicative implementation timetable.

          Delegated acts: Members considered that the delegation of power to the Commission to adopt acts should be in respect of the provisions relating to the standards for management and deployment of EU Aid Volunteers, the amendment of the performance indicators and the adoption of the multiannual work programmes that define the objectives, priorities, expected results, method of implementation and financial allocations in broad terms.

          In the event that an EU Trust Fund were to be created by the Commission, the adoption of the multiannual or annual working programme of that trust fund would be subject to the delegated acts procedure.

          Annual work programmes would be adopted under the committee procedure (an observer from the European Parliament would take part in the committee's proceedings).

          Report: lastly, Members proposed that an interim evaluation report on the results obtained and the qualitative and quantitative aspects of the implementation of the initiative, including on the impact of EU Aid Volunteers in the humanitarian aid sector and the cost-effectiveness of the programme, during the first three years of its implementation no later than 30 June 2017.

        activities/5/docs/0/text
        • The Committee on Development unanimously adopted the report by Michèle STRIFFLER (EPP, FR) on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council Establishing the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps - EU Aid Volunteers.

          The parliamentary committee recommended that the European Parliament’s position adopted at first reading under the ordinary legislative procedure should amend the Commission’s proposal as follows:

          Objective of the EU Aid Volunteers initiative: Members recalled that the specific objective of volunteering was to contribute to strengthening the Union's capacity to respond to humanitarian crises and to build the capacity and resilience of vulnerable or disaster-affected communities in third countries, in response to man-made or natural disasters.

          This should also contribute to European citizenship and seek to enhance the link between relief, rehabilitation and development.

          Protection of volunteers and their exclusions from situations of armed conflict: Members considered volunteers should not be deployed on projects where their safety and security could be of concern. It is therefore stipulated that volunteers may be deployed in humanitarian aid activities and operations, except in the context of armed conflicts and internal disturbances.

          Improving the visibility of European aid: Members were of the opinion that there is a need to raise both awareness levels and visibility of humanitarian aid among the Union's citizens because Union humanitarian aid is often overshadowed by that of other international organisations.

          Deployment of volunteers: Members insisted that deployments shall meet the real needs expressed at local level by the hosting organisations. The contract shall either specify the rights and obligations of the volunteer or indicate where the rights and obligations are documented.

          Standards for volunteers: Members stipulated the standards that should apply to candidate volunteers wishing to participate in the initiative: the Commission should draw up standards concerning the identification, selection, preparation and deployment of volunteers.

          Candidate volunteers shall be identified and selected on the basis of specific skills and knowledge. Identification and selection shall be so performed as to ensure diversity of profiles and skills among the young people and experts, while always responding to practical needs identified on the ground.

          On the basis of existing standards and in partnership with specialised institutions, the Commission shall establish a training programme in order to prepare the candidate volunteers.

          The context of the deployment shall take into account the skills and language knowledge of volunteers.

          Recognition and acknowledgement of the experience of volunteers: Members urged the Commission to support actions to acknowledge the experience and the commitment of volunteers with a view to recognition of their experience and acknowledgement in a professional environment and in society of what they have attained.

          EU Aid Volunteers could thus be recognised – after their first deployment, as certified EU aid volunteers. These certified volunteers would be entered in the register provided for and administered by the Commission.

          Limitation on the period for which candidates may shall be considered eligible to be volunteers: Members believed that candidate volunteers who have successfully passed the assessment covered in this proposal may be included in the Register of EU Aid Volunteers and should be eligible for deployment for a period of no more than two years, after which they should be reassessed.

          Mentoring of volunteers: Members called for each volunteers to have a designated mentor from the hosting organisation to supervise and support the volunteer during deployment.

          Indicators: in its proposal, the Commission proposed operational objectives. Progress towards their achievement was to be assessed on the basis of indicators. The proposed indicators were purely quantitative. Members asked that qualitative indicators should also be envisaged for each operational objective.

          Consistency of the initiative with other relevant European policies: Members asked that

          in implementing the initiative, coordination, complementarity and coherence shall be ensured with other relevant Union policies, in particular humanitarian aid, development aid and the civil protection mechanism, in order to ensure the added value of actions under the EU Aid Volunteers initiative.

          When setting up projects, the Commission should make use of the existing European networks, which are efficient.

          Forum for consultation: in order to pursue the objectives of the initiative, Members called for a forum for consultation and dialogue, bringing together representatives of the Commission, Member States and the sending and hosting organisations, to be established as soon as the programme is launched.

          Financial reference amount: Members called for a financial reference amount to figure in the measure, in accordance with the 2014-2020 financial framework. Members underlined that such voluntary aid corps should be cost effective, compliment existing national and international voluntary schemes without duplicating them.

          Cooperation with other countries: Members proposed not permitting citizens and organisations from partner countries of the European Neighbourhood Policy to participate in the activities of the EU aid volunteers. They considered the programme to be a European one, which advances the idea of European citizenship.

          Organisations sending volunteers: in the context of the initiative, it was envisaged that the Commission would draw up a certification scheme for sending and hosting organisations. Members were of the view that in designing the certification scheme, the Commission should seek synergies with the its partnership instruments in the humanitarian field and existing humanitarian standards, with the aim of administrative simplification.

          Multiannual work programmes: Members wanted the Commission to adopt two consecutive multiannual indicative work programmes jointly covering the period 2014-2020, in accordance with the general principles of the future Regulation. They should constitute the basis for annual programming in the framework of the initiative (objectives pursued, the priorities, the expected results, the method of implementation, the financial allocations in broad terms and, for grants, the priorities, the essential evaluation criteria and the maximum rate of cofinancing).

          Annual work programmes: likewise, Members proposed that the Commission should adopt annual indicative work programmes, which would be based on and in line with the multiannual work programme. The annual work programmes should contain the description of the actions to be financed, an indication of the amount allocated to each action and the indicative implementation timetable.

          Delegated acts: Members considered that the delegation of power to the Commission to adopt acts should be in respect of the provisions relating to the standards for management and deployment of EU Aid Volunteers, the amendment of the performance indicators and the adoption of the multiannual work programmes that define the objectives, priorities, expected results, method of implementation and financial allocations in broad terms.

          In the event that an EU Trust Fund were to be created by the Commission, the adoption of the multiannual or annual working programme of that trust fund would be subject to the delegated acts procedure.

          Annual work programmes would be adopted under the committee procedure (an observer from the European Parliament would take part in the committee's proceedings).

          Report: lastly, Members proposed that an interim evaluation report on the results obtained and the qualitative and quantitative aspects of the implementation of the initiative, including on the impact of EU Aid Volunteers in the humanitarian aid sector and the cost-effectiveness of the programme, during the first three years of its implementation no later than 30 June 2017.

        activities/5/docs/0/text
        • The Committee on Development unanimously adopted the report by Michèle STRIFFLER (EPP, FR) on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council Establishing the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps - EU Aid Volunteers.

          The parliamentary committee recommended that the European Parliament’s position adopted at first reading under the ordinary legislative procedure should amend the Commission’s proposal as follows:

          Objective of the EU Aid Volunteers initiative: Members recalled that the specific objective of volunteering was to contribute to strengthening the Union's capacity to respond to humanitarian crises and to build the capacity and resilience of vulnerable or disaster-affected communities in third countries, in response to man-made or natural disasters.

          This should also contribute to European citizenship and seek to enhance the link between relief, rehabilitation and development.

          Protection of volunteers and their exclusions from situations of armed conflict: Members considered volunteers should not be deployed on projects where their safety and security could be of concern. It is therefore stipulated that volunteers may be deployed in humanitarian aid activities and operations, except in the context of armed conflicts and internal disturbances.

          Improving the visibility of European aid: Members were of the opinion that there is a need to raise both awareness levels and visibility of humanitarian aid among the Union's citizens because Union humanitarian aid is often overshadowed by that of other international organisations.

          Deployment of volunteers: Members insisted that deployments shall meet the real needs expressed at local level by the hosting organisations. The contract shall either specify the rights and obligations of the volunteer or indicate where the rights and obligations are documented.

          Standards for volunteers: Members stipulated the standards that should apply to candidate volunteers wishing to participate in the initiative: the Commission should draw up standards concerning the identification, selection, preparation and deployment of volunteers.

          Candidate volunteers shall be identified and selected on the basis of specific skills and knowledge. Identification and selection shall be so performed as to ensure diversity of profiles and skills among the young people and experts, while always responding to practical needs identified on the ground.

          On the basis of existing standards and in partnership with specialised institutions, the Commission shall establish a training programme in order to prepare the candidate volunteers.

          The context of the deployment shall take into account the skills and language knowledge of volunteers.

          Recognition and acknowledgement of the experience of volunteers: Members urged the Commission to support actions to acknowledge the experience and the commitment of volunteers with a view to recognition of their experience and acknowledgement in a professional environment and in society of what they have attained.

          EU Aid Volunteers could thus be recognised – after their first deployment, as certified EU aid volunteers. These certified volunteers would be entered in the register provided for and administered by the Commission.

          Limitation on the period for which candidates may shall be considered eligible to be volunteers: Members believed that candidate volunteers who have successfully passed the assessment covered in this proposal may be included in the Register of EU Aid Volunteers and should be eligible for deployment for a period of no more than two years, after which they should be reassessed.

          Mentoring of volunteers: Members called for each volunteers to have a designated mentor from the hosting organisation to supervise and support the volunteer during deployment.

          Indicators: in its proposal, the Commission proposed operational objectives. Progress towards their achievement was to be assessed on the basis of indicators. The proposed indicators were purely quantitative. Members asked that qualitative indicators should also be envisaged for each operational objective.

          Consistency of the initiative with other relevant European policies: Members asked that

          in implementing the initiative, coordination, complementarity and coherence shall be ensured with other relevant Union policies, in particular humanitarian aid, development aid and the civil protection mechanism, in order to ensure the added value of actions under the EU Aid Volunteers initiative.

          When setting up projects, the Commission should make use of the existing European networks, which are efficient.

          Forum for consultation: in order to pursue the objectives of the initiative, Members called for a forum for consultation and dialogue, bringing together representatives of the Commission, Member States and the sending and hosting organisations, to be established as soon as the programme is launched.

          Financial reference amount: Members called for a financial reference amount to figure in the measure, in accordance with the 2014-2020 financial framework. Members underlined that such voluntary aid corps should be cost effective, compliment existing national and international voluntary schemes without duplicating them.

          Cooperation with other countries: Members proposed not permitting citizens and organisations from partner countries of the European Neighbourhood Policy to participate in the activities of the EU aid volunteers. They considered the programme to be a European one, which advances the idea of European citizenship.

          Organisations sending volunteers: in the context of the initiative, it was envisaged that the Commission would draw up a certification scheme for sending and hosting organisations. Members were of the view that in designing the certification scheme, the Commission should seek synergies with the its partnership instruments in the humanitarian field and existing humanitarian standards, with the aim of administrative simplification.

          Multiannual work programmes: Members wanted the Commission to adopt two consecutive multiannual indicative work programmes jointly covering the period 2014-2020, in accordance with the general principles of the future Regulation. They should constitute the basis for annual programming in the framework of the initiative (objectives pursued, the priorities, the expected results, the method of implementation, the financial allocations in broad terms and, for grants, the priorities, the essential evaluation criteria and the maximum rate of cofinancing).

          Annual work programmes: likewise, Members proposed that the Commission should adopt annual indicative work programmes, which would be based on and in line with the multiannual work programme. The annual work programmes should contain the description of the actions to be financed, an indication of the amount allocated to each action and the indicative implementation timetable.

          Delegated acts: Members considered that the delegation of power to the Commission to adopt acts should be in respect of the provisions relating to the standards for management and deployment of EU Aid Volunteers, the amendment of the performance indicators and the adoption of the multiannual work programmes that define the objectives, priorities, expected results, method of implementation and financial allocations in broad terms.

          In the event that an EU Trust Fund were to be created by the Commission, the adoption of the multiannual or annual working programme of that trust fund would be subject to the delegated acts procedure.

          Annual work programmes would be adopted under the committee procedure (an observer from the European Parliament would take part in the committee's proceedings).

          Report: lastly, Members proposed that an interim evaluation report on the results obtained and the qualitative and quantitative aspects of the implementation of the initiative, including on the impact of EU Aid Volunteers in the humanitarian aid sector and the cost-effectiveness of the programme, during the first three years of its implementation no later than 30 June 2017.

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        text

        PURPOSE: the establishment of the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps.

        PROPOSED ACT: Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council.

        BACKGROUND: in the face of the increasing number and magnitude of humanitarian crises (natural catastrophes and man-made crises), the Union has to ensure adequate humanitarian aid.

        As envisaged in Article 214(5) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), this proposal establishes the framework for the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps, which should enable joint contributions from European volunteers in humanitarian aid operations. Its objective is to express the Union's humanitarian values and solidarity with people in need whether within or beyond the Union’s borders. Improving the mobilisation of the volunteering capacity of European citizens can also project a positive image of the Union in the world and foster interest for pan-European projects in support of humanitarian aid activities.

        The proposal builds on the 2010 Communication "How to express EU citizens’ solidarity through volunteering: First reflections on a European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps". The Communication presents the guiding principles, gaps and necessary conditions to make a positive contribution to Union humanitarian aid. The Council and the European Parliament have expressed strong support for the initiative, reaffirming the key role of the Union in promoting volunteering and identifying some of the key components of the Corps.

        This proposal will, moreover, contribute to:

        • the objectives of the Union's external policy and, in particular, the Union's humanitarian aid objectives; and
        • reinforcing the benefits delivered to the hosting communities in third countries and the impact that the volunteer activities have on the volunteers themselves.

        Furthermore, the training and informal learning experience volunteers will acquire is a strong investment in human capital which would improve their employability in global economy and thus contribute to the Europe's 2020 objectives for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.

        IMPACT ASSESSMENT: interested stakeholders, including the main humanitarian aid organisations (NGOs, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Family, UN agencies), mainstream volunteer organisations, individual volunteers, Member States' representatives and other relevant actors were specifically consulted at two dedicated conferences5 and through a public on-line consultation.

        An impact assessment report was prepared to examine policy options and their potential impacts. The main problems identified are: (1) lack of a structured EU approach towards volunteering; (2) poor visibility of EU humanitarian action and solidarity with people in need; (3) lack of consistent identification and selection mechanisms across Member States; (4) insufficient availability of qualified volunteers for humanitarian aid; (5) shortcomings in the surge capacity of humanitarian aid; and vi) weak capacity of hosting organisations.

        The impact assessment examined a number of policy options resulting from the combination of different modules and mode of management:

        • Policy Option 1, including: (1) Development of standards for identification, selection and training of volunteers and (2) Development of certification mechanism for sending organisations;
        • Policy Option 2, including the modules under Option 1 plus (3) Support to training for EU volunteers in humanitarian aid, (4) Creation of an EU Register of trained volunteers, (5) Development of standards and a certification mechanism for volunteer management in hosting organisations;
        • Policy Option 3, including all modules under Option 2 plus (6) Support to deployment of EU volunteers, (7) Building capacity in third country hosting organisations, (8) Establishment of an EU Network of humanitarian volunteers. This Option would be implemented in partnership with humanitarian aid organisations which should identify, select and deploy the volunteers.
        • Policy Option 4, including all modules under Option 3 implemented in a direct management mode by the European Commission.

        Based on this assessment of the potential economic, social and environmental impacts, Policy Option 3 was recommended as the most efficient and effective option for addressing the problems identified.

        LEGAL BASIS: Article 214(5) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).

        CONTENT: the proposal lays down the procedures and the rules for the operation of the EU Aid Volunteers. It follows an enabling approach and is limited to the essential elements necessary for the implementation of the Regulation, including specifying its general and operational objectives, the principles and the actions of which it consists, the provisions for financial assistance and the general provisions for its implementation.

        General objective and operational objectives: the objective of the EU Aid Volunteers shall be to express the Union's humanitarian values and solidarity with people in need, through the promotion of an effective and visible EU Aid Volunteers' initiative, which contributes to strengthening the Union's capacity to respond to humanitarian crises and to building the capacity and resilience of vulnerable or disaster affected communities in third countries.

        The EU Aid Volunteers shall pursue the following operational objectives:

        1. Increase in and improvement of the capacity of the Union to provide humanitarian aid;
        2. Improvement of the skills and competences of volunteers in the field of humanitarian aid and the conditions under which they are working;
        3. Building the capacity of hosting organisations and foster volunteering in third countries;
        4. Promotion of the visibility of the Union's humanitarian aid values;
        5. Enhancement of coherence and consistency of volunteering across Member States in order to improve opportunities for Union citizens to participate in humanitarian aid activities and operations.

        Progress towards the achievement of this operational objective shall be assessed on the basis of key indicators, which shall be used for monitoring, evaluation and review of performance as appropriate. They are indicative and may be amended in order to take into account experience from the progress measurement.

        General principles: EU Aid Volunteers’ actions:

        • shall be conducted in compliance with the humanitarian aid principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence;
        • shall respond to the need of local communities and hosting organisations and should contribute to the professionalization of the provision of humanitarian aid.

        In this context, the safety and security of volunteers shall be a priority.

        The EU Aid Volunteers shall promote common activities and participation of volunteers from different countries and foster joint projects and transnational partnerships between implementing organisations.

        Types of actions undertaken by the volunteers: the EU Aid Volunteers shall pursue the above-mentioned objectives through the following types of actions:

        • development and maintenance of standards regarding candidate and EU Aid Volunteers;
        • development and maintenance of a certification mechanism for sending and hosting organisations;
        • identification and selection of candidate volunteers;
        • establishment of a training programme and support for training and apprenticeship placements;
        • establishment, maintenance and updating of a Register of EU Aid Volunteers;
        • deployment of EU Aid Volunteers in third countries for humanitarian aid activities and operations;
        • capacity building of hosting organisations;
        • establishment and management of an EU Aid Volunteers' Network;
        • communication, awareness raising and visibility;
        • ancillary activity that furthers the accountability, transparency and effectiveness of the EU Aid Volunteers.

        These different actions can be supported with financial assistance and implemented by different beneficiaries based on a Commission annual work programme.

        As regards certain specific actions, the proposal specifies the following types of actions:

        • Standards regarding candidate and EU Aid Volunteers: the Commission will develop standards which will set the policy framework and minimum requirements to ensure effective, efficient and coherent recruitment and preparation of candidate volunteers and deployment and management of EU Aid Volunteers which are the main actions of this initiative. The standards will ensure duty of care and cover notably responsibilities of the sending and hosting organisations, minimum requirements on the coverage of subsistence, accommodation and other relevant expenses, insurance coverage and other relevant elements.
        • Certification: sending organisations that would like to select, prepare and deploy EU Aid Volunteers will have to be certified for compliance with these standards. They should meet different eligibility requirements and follow a differentiated certification procedure (to be defined in implementing acts), taking into account their nature and capacity (e.g. Member States' public bodies, NGOs). Civil protection and development cooperation actors acting in the field of humanitarian aid shall also be considered eligible. A differentiated certification mechanism will be established for eligible hosting organisations. Although private companies are not eligible as sending or hosting organisations, they can be associated with projects and co-finance part of the costs of the volunteer to encourage corporate volunteering.
        • Identification and selection of candidate volunteers: the EU Aid Volunteers are open for participation to Union citizens as well as nationals legally residing in the EU on a long term basis. Subject to agreements as referred to in the proposal, citizens from candidate and potential candidate countries and from partner countries from the European Neighbourhood Policy may apply to become EU Aid Volunteers. On the basis of an annual work programme, the Commission will publish calls for proposals for the identification and selection of candidate volunteers by certified sending organisations. Sending organisations that have been awarded the contracts in response to these calls will identify and select candidate volunteers for training after prior assessment of the needs in third countries by sending or hosting organisations or other relevant actors.
        • Training and pre-deployment preparation: the selected candidate volunteers will undergo tailor-made training, taking into account their prior experience. The training programme will be organised by the Commission and will be implemented by organisations with specific training expertise. In addition, as part of their training and depending on their training needs, candidate volunteers will be able to gain practical experience through apprenticeship placements or other forms of short term predeployment preparation given by certified sending organisations.
        • Register of EU Aid Volunteers: candidate volunteers should be assessed for their preparedness to be deployed in third countries. If successful, they should be included in a Register of EU Aid Volunteers eligible for deployment which will be managed by the Commission. The Register will also include volunteers who have already been deployed, if they are willing to be considered for future deployment.
        • Deployment of EU Aid Volunteers in third countries: on the basis of its annual work programme, the Commission will publish calls for proposals for the deployment of EU Aid Volunteers by certified sending organisations. Sending organisations that have been awarded the contracts in response to these calls can select volunteers from the Register and deploy them to hosting organisations. The Commission may also deploy volunteers from the Register to the Commission’s humanitarian aid field offices or in response operations in third countries through the Emergency Response Centre that facilitates the Union response to disasters. The specific terms of deployment will be set-out in a contract between the sending organisation and the volunteer.
        • Capacity building of hosting organisations: through this action, the Commission can support capacity building actions of the hosting organisations so as to ensure effective management of the EU Aid Volunteers and sustainable impact of their work, including the promotion of local volunteering.
        • EU Aid Volunteers' Network: this action envisages the establishment of an EU Aid Volunteers' Network which will be managed by the Commission. It will consist of and facilitate interaction between the EU Aid Volunteers and will also carry out specific activities, notably through knowledge sharing and dissemination of information. It shall also support activities such as seminars, workshops and alumni activities.
        • Communication, awareness raising and visibility: this action will support public information, communication and awareness raising actions to promote the EU Aid Volunteers and to encourage volunteering in humanitarian aid. The Commission will develop an information and communication action plan, which will be implemented by all beneficiaries, in particular sending and hosting organisations.

        Financial provisions: provisions are envisaged for laying down the framework for actions that are eligible for financial assistance and the potential beneficiaries of financial assistance. In this context, the Commission may consider the added-value and management advantages of creating an EU Trust Fund.

        Work programme: in order to implement this Regulation, the Commission shall adopt an annual work programme which will set out the objectives pursued, the expected results, the method of implementation and their total amount. It shall also contain the description of actions to be financed, an indication of the amount allocated to each action and an indicative implementation timetable. For grants, they shall include the priorities, the essential evaluation criteria and the maximum rate of co-financing.

        Coherence and complementarity: in implementing the Regulation, coherence shall be ensured with other areas of Union's external action and with other relevant Union policies (in particular, development policy) and with the actions undertaken in the Member States and/or with relevant international organisations.

        Report and evaluation: the Regulation shall be regularly evaluated, in particular in an interim report in 2017 and in the context of a final report preparing the ground for a communication on the continued of the implementation of the Regulation (by no later than 31 December 2018)..

        BUDGETARY IMPACT: the Commission communication entitled “A Budget for Europe 2020” provides, for the creation of the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps, with budgetary commitments amounting to EUR 239.1 million (current prices).

        DELEGATED ACTS: the Commission is empowered to adopt modalities of some of the actions through delegated acts on standards and amending indicators for operational objectives, or through implementing acts regarding the certification mechanism and modalities of the training programme.

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        text

        PURPOSE: the establishment of the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps.

        PROPOSED ACT: Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council.

        BACKGROUND: in the face of the increasing number and magnitude of humanitarian crises (natural catastrophes and man-made crises), the Union has to ensure adequate humanitarian aid.

        As envisaged in Article 214(5) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), this proposal establishes the framework for the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps, which should enable joint contributions from European volunteers in humanitarian aid operations. Its objective is to express the Union's humanitarian values and solidarity with people in need whether within or beyond the Union’s borders. Improving the mobilisation of the volunteering capacity of European citizens can also project a positive image of the Union in the world and foster interest for pan-European projects in support of humanitarian aid activities.

        The proposal builds on the 2010 Communication "How to express EU citizens’ solidarity through volunteering: First reflections on a European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps". The Communication presents the guiding principles, gaps and necessary conditions to make a positive contribution to Union humanitarian aid. The Council and the European Parliament have expressed strong support for the initiative, reaffirming the key role of the Union in promoting volunteering and identifying some of the key components of the Corps.

        This proposal will, moreover, contribute to:

        • the objectives of the Union's external policy and, in particular, the Union's humanitarian aid objectives; and
        • reinforcing the benefits delivered to the hosting communities in third countries and the impact that the volunteer activities have on the volunteers themselves.

        Furthermore, the training and informal learning experience volunteers will acquire is a strong investment in human capital which would improve their employability in global economy and thus contribute to the Europe's 2020 objectives for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.

        IMPACT ASSESSMENT: interested stakeholders, including the main humanitarian aid organisations (NGOs, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Family, UN agencies), mainstream volunteer organisations, individual volunteers, Member States' representatives and other relevant actors were specifically consulted at two dedicated conferences5 and through a public on-line consultation.

        An impact assessment report was prepared to examine policy options and their potential impacts. The main problems identified are: (1) lack of a structured EU approach towards volunteering; (2) poor visibility of EU humanitarian action and solidarity with people in need; (3) lack of consistent identification and selection mechanisms across Member States; (4) insufficient availability of qualified volunteers for humanitarian aid; (5) shortcomings in the surge capacity of humanitarian aid; and vi) weak capacity of hosting organisations.

        The impact assessment examined a number of policy options resulting from the combination of different modules and mode of management:

        • Policy Option 1, including: (1) Development of standards for identification, selection and training of volunteers and (2) Development of certification mechanism for sending organisations;
        • Policy Option 2, including the modules under Option 1 plus (3) Support to training for EU volunteers in humanitarian aid, (4) Creation of an EU Register of trained volunteers, (5) Development of standards and a certification mechanism for volunteer management in hosting organisations;
        • Policy Option 3, including all modules under Option 2 plus (6) Support to deployment of EU volunteers, (7) Building capacity in third country hosting organisations, (8) Establishment of an EU Network of humanitarian volunteers. This Option would be implemented in partnership with humanitarian aid organisations which should identify, select and deploy the volunteers.
        • Policy Option 4, including all modules under Option 3 implemented in a direct management mode by the European Commission.

        Based on this assessment of the potential economic, social and environmental impacts, Policy Option 3 was recommended as the most efficient and effective option for addressing the problems identified.

        LEGAL BASIS: Article 214(5) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).

        CONTENT: the proposal lays down the procedures and the rules for the operation of the EU Aid Volunteers. It follows an enabling approach and is limited to the essential elements necessary for the implementation of the Regulation, including specifying its general and operational objectives, the principles and the actions of which it consists, the provisions for financial assistance and the general provisions for its implementation.

        General objective and operational objectives: the objective of the EU Aid Volunteers shall be to express the Union's humanitarian values and solidarity with people in need, through the promotion of an effective and visible EU Aid Volunteers' initiative, which contributes to strengthening the Union's capacity to respond to humanitarian crises and to building the capacity and resilience of vulnerable or disaster affected communities in third countries.

        The EU Aid Volunteers shall pursue the following operational objectives:

        1. Increase in and improvement of the capacity of the Union to provide humanitarian aid;
        2. Improvement of the skills and competences of volunteers in the field of humanitarian aid and the conditions under which they are working;
        3. Building the capacity of hosting organisations and foster volunteering in third countries;
        4. Promotion of the visibility of the Union's humanitarian aid values;
        5. Enhancement of coherence and consistency of volunteering across Member States in order to improve opportunities for Union citizens to participate in humanitarian aid activities and operations.

        Progress towards the achievement of this operational objective shall be assessed on the basis of key indicators, which shall be used for monitoring, evaluation and review of performance as appropriate. They are indicative and may be amended in order to take into account experience from the progress measurement.

        General principles: EU Aid Volunteers’ actions:

        • shall be conducted in compliance with the humanitarian aid principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence;
        • shall respond to the need of local communities and hosting organisations and should contribute to the professionalization of the provision of humanitarian aid.

        In this context, the safety and security of volunteers shall be a priority.

        The EU Aid Volunteers shall promote common activities and participation of volunteers from different countries and foster joint projects and transnational partnerships between implementing organisations.

        Types of actions undertaken by the volunteers: the EU Aid Volunteers shall pursue the above-mentioned objectives through the following types of actions:

        • development and maintenance of standards regarding candidate and EU Aid Volunteers;
        • development and maintenance of a certification mechanism for sending and hosting organisations;
        • identification and selection of candidate volunteers;
        • establishment of a training programme and support for training and apprenticeship placements;
        • establishment, maintenance and updating of a Register of EU Aid Volunteers;
        • deployment of EU Aid Volunteers in third countries for humanitarian aid activities and operations;
        • capacity building of hosting organisations;
        • establishment and management of an EU Aid Volunteers' Network;
        • communication, awareness raising and visibility;
        • ancillary activity that furthers the accountability, transparency and effectiveness of the EU Aid Volunteers.

        These different actions can be supported with financial assistance and implemented by different beneficiaries based on a Commission annual work programme.

        As regards certain specific actions, the proposal specifies the following types of actions:

        • Standards regarding candidate and EU Aid Volunteers: the Commission will develop standards which will set the policy framework and minimum requirements to ensure effective, efficient and coherent recruitment and preparation of candidate volunteers and deployment and management of EU Aid Volunteers which are the main actions of this initiative. The standards will ensure duty of care and cover notably responsibilities of the sending and hosting organisations, minimum requirements on the coverage of subsistence, accommodation and other relevant expenses, insurance coverage and other relevant elements.
        • Certification: sending organisations that would like to select, prepare and deploy EU Aid Volunteers will have to be certified for compliance with these standards. They should meet different eligibility requirements and follow a differentiated certification procedure (to be defined in implementing acts), taking into account their nature and capacity (e.g. Member States' public bodies, NGOs). Civil protection and development cooperation actors acting in the field of humanitarian aid shall also be considered eligible. A differentiated certification mechanism will be established for eligible hosting organisations. Although private companies are not eligible as sending or hosting organisations, they can be associated with projects and co-finance part of the costs of the volunteer to encourage corporate volunteering.
        • Identification and selection of candidate volunteers: the EU Aid Volunteers are open for participation to Union citizens as well as nationals legally residing in the EU on a long term basis. Subject to agreements as referred to in the proposal, citizens from candidate and potential candidate countries and from partner countries from the European Neighbourhood Policy may apply to become EU Aid Volunteers. On the basis of an annual work programme, the Commission will publish calls for proposals for the identification and selection of candidate volunteers by certified sending organisations. Sending organisations that have been awarded the contracts in response to these calls will identify and select candidate volunteers for training after prior assessment of the needs in third countries by sending or hosting organisations or other relevant actors.
        • Training and pre-deployment preparation: the selected candidate volunteers will undergo tailor-made training, taking into account their prior experience. The training programme will be organised by the Commission and will be implemented by organisations with specific training expertise. In addition, as part of their training and depending on their training needs, candidate volunteers will be able to gain practical experience through apprenticeship placements or other forms of short term predeployment preparation given by certified sending organisations.
        • Register of EU Aid Volunteers: candidate volunteers should be assessed for their preparedness to be deployed in third countries. If successful, they should be included in a Register of EU Aid Volunteers eligible for deployment which will be managed by the Commission. The Register will also include volunteers who have already been deployed, if they are willing to be considered for future deployment.
        • Deployment of EU Aid Volunteers in third countries: on the basis of its annual work programme, the Commission will publish calls for proposals for the deployment of EU Aid Volunteers by certified sending organisations. Sending organisations that have been awarded the contracts in response to these calls can select volunteers from the Register and deploy them to hosting organisations. The Commission may also deploy volunteers from the Register to the Commission’s humanitarian aid field offices or in response operations in third countries through the Emergency Response Centre that facilitates the Union response to disasters. The specific terms of deployment will be set-out in a contract between the sending organisation and the volunteer.
        • Capacity building of hosting organisations: through this action, the Commission can support capacity building actions of the hosting organisations so as to ensure effective management of the EU Aid Volunteers and sustainable impact of their work, including the promotion of local volunteering.
        • EU Aid Volunteers' Network: this action envisages the establishment of an EU Aid Volunteers' Network which will be managed by the Commission. It will consist of and facilitate interaction between the EU Aid Volunteers and will also carry out specific activities, notably through knowledge sharing and dissemination of information. It shall also support activities such as seminars, workshops and alumni activities.
        • Communication, awareness raising and visibility: this action will support public information, communication and awareness raising actions to promote the EU Aid Volunteers and to encourage volunteering in humanitarian aid. The Commission will develop an information and communication action plan, which will be implemented by all beneficiaries, in particular sending and hosting organisations.

        Financial provisions: provisions are envisaged for laying down the framework for actions that are eligible for financial assistance and the potential beneficiaries of financial assistance. In this context, the Commission may consider the added-value and management advantages of creating an EU Trust Fund.

        Work programme: in order to implement this Regulation, the Commission shall adopt an annual work programme which will set out the objectives pursued, the expected results, the method of implementation and their total amount. It shall also contain the description of actions to be financed, an indication of the amount allocated to each action and an indicative implementation timetable. For grants, they shall include the priorities, the essential evaluation criteria and the maximum rate of co-financing.

        Coherence and complementarity: in implementing the Regulation, coherence shall be ensured with other areas of Union's external action and with other relevant Union policies (in particular, development policy) and with the actions undertaken in the Member States and/or with relevant international organisations.

        Report and evaluation: the Regulation shall be regularly evaluated, in particular in an interim report in 2017 and in the context of a final report preparing the ground for a communication on the continued of the implementation of the Regulation (by no later than 31 December 2018)..

        BUDGETARY IMPACT: the Commission communication entitled “A Budget for Europe 2020” provides, for the creation of the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps, with budgetary commitments amounting to EUR 239.1 million (current prices).

        DELEGATED ACTS: the Commission is empowered to adopt modalities of some of the actions through delegated acts on standards and amending indicators for operational objectives, or through implementing acts regarding the certification mechanism and modalities of the training programme.

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        text

        PURPOSE: the establishment of the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps.

        PROPOSED ACT: Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council.

        BACKGROUND: in the face of the increasing number and magnitude of humanitarian crises (natural catastrophes and man-made crises), the Union has to ensure adequate humanitarian aid.

        As envisaged in Article 214(5) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), this proposal establishes the framework for the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps, which should enable joint contributions from European volunteers in humanitarian aid operations. Its objective is to express the Union's humanitarian values and solidarity with people in need whether within or beyond the Union’s borders. Improving the mobilisation of the volunteering capacity of European citizens can also project a positive image of the Union in the world and foster interest for pan-European projects in support of humanitarian aid activities.

        The proposal builds on the 2010 Communication "How to express EU citizens’ solidarity through volunteering: First reflections on a European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps". The Communication presents the guiding principles, gaps and necessary conditions to make a positive contribution to Union humanitarian aid. The Council and the European Parliament have expressed strong support for the initiative, reaffirming the key role of the Union in promoting volunteering and identifying some of the key components of the Corps.

        This proposal will, moreover, contribute to:

        • the objectives of the Union's external policy and, in particular, the Union's humanitarian aid objectives; and
        • reinforcing the benefits delivered to the hosting communities in third countries and the impact that the volunteer activities have on the volunteers themselves.

        Furthermore, the training and informal learning experience volunteers will acquire is a strong investment in human capital which would improve their employability in global economy and thus contribute to the Europe's 2020 objectives for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.

        IMPACT ASSESSMENT: interested stakeholders, including the main humanitarian aid organisations (NGOs, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Family, UN agencies), mainstream volunteer organisations, individual volunteers, Member States' representatives and other relevant actors were specifically consulted at two dedicated conferences5 and through a public on-line consultation.

        An impact assessment report was prepared to examine policy options and their potential impacts. The main problems identified are: (1) lack of a structured EU approach towards volunteering; (2) poor visibility of EU humanitarian action and solidarity with people in need; (3) lack of consistent identification and selection mechanisms across Member States; (4) insufficient availability of qualified volunteers for humanitarian aid; (5) shortcomings in the surge capacity of humanitarian aid; and vi) weak capacity of hosting organisations.

        The impact assessment examined a number of policy options resulting from the combination of different modules and mode of management:

        • Policy Option 1, including: (1) Development of standards for identification, selection and training of volunteers and (2) Development of certification mechanism for sending organisations;
        • Policy Option 2, including the modules under Option 1 plus (3) Support to training for EU volunteers in humanitarian aid, (4) Creation of an EU Register of trained volunteers, (5) Development of standards and a certification mechanism for volunteer management in hosting organisations;
        • Policy Option 3, including all modules under Option 2 plus (6) Support to deployment of EU volunteers, (7) Building capacity in third country hosting organisations, (8) Establishment of an EU Network of humanitarian volunteers. This Option would be implemented in partnership with humanitarian aid organisations which should identify, select and deploy the volunteers.
        • Policy Option 4, including all modules under Option 3 implemented in a direct management mode by the European Commission.

        Based on this assessment of the potential economic, social and environmental impacts, Policy Option 3 was recommended as the most efficient and effective option for addressing the problems identified.

        LEGAL BASIS: Article 214(5) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).

        CONTENT: the proposal lays down the procedures and the rules for the operation of the EU Aid Volunteers. It follows an enabling approach and is limited to the essential elements necessary for the implementation of the Regulation, including specifying its general and operational objectives, the principles and the actions of which it consists, the provisions for financial assistance and the general provisions for its implementation.

        General objective and operational objectives: the objective of the EU Aid Volunteers shall be to express the Union's humanitarian values and solidarity with people in need, through the promotion of an effective and visible EU Aid Volunteers' initiative, which contributes to strengthening the Union's capacity to respond to humanitarian crises and to building the capacity and resilience of vulnerable or disaster affected communities in third countries.

        The EU Aid Volunteers shall pursue the following operational objectives:

        1. Increase in and improvement of the capacity of the Union to provide humanitarian aid;
        2. Improvement of the skills and competences of volunteers in the field of humanitarian aid and the conditions under which they are working;
        3. Building the capacity of hosting organisations and foster volunteering in third countries;
        4. Promotion of the visibility of the Union's humanitarian aid values;
        5. Enhancement of coherence and consistency of volunteering across Member States in order to improve opportunities for Union citizens to participate in humanitarian aid activities and operations.

        Progress towards the achievement of this operational objective shall be assessed on the basis of key indicators, which shall be used for monitoring, evaluation and review of performance as appropriate. They are indicative and may be amended in order to take into account experience from the progress measurement.

        General principles: EU Aid Volunteers’ actions:

        • shall be conducted in compliance with the humanitarian aid principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence;
        • shall respond to the need of local communities and hosting organisations and should contribute to the professionalization of the provision of humanitarian aid.

        In this context, the safety and security of volunteers shall be a priority.

        The EU Aid Volunteers shall promote common activities and participation of volunteers from different countries and foster joint projects and transnational partnerships between implementing organisations.

        Types of actions undertaken by the volunteers: the EU Aid Volunteers shall pursue the above-mentioned objectives through the following types of actions:

        • development and maintenance of standards regarding candidate and EU Aid Volunteers;
        • development and maintenance of a certification mechanism for sending and hosting organisations;
        • identification and selection of candidate volunteers;
        • establishment of a training programme and support for training and apprenticeship placements;
        • establishment, maintenance and updating of a Register of EU Aid Volunteers;
        • deployment of EU Aid Volunteers in third countries for humanitarian aid activities and operations;
        • capacity building of hosting organisations;
        • establishment and management of an EU Aid Volunteers' Network;
        • communication, awareness raising and visibility;
        • ancillary activity that furthers the accountability, transparency and effectiveness of the EU Aid Volunteers.

        These different actions can be supported with financial assistance and implemented by different beneficiaries based on a Commission annual work programme.

        As regards certain specific actions, the proposal specifies the following types of actions:

        • Standards regarding candidate and EU Aid Volunteers: the Commission will develop standards which will set the policy framework and minimum requirements to ensure effective, efficient and coherent recruitment and preparation of candidate volunteers and deployment and management of EU Aid Volunteers which are the main actions of this initiative. The standards will ensure duty of care and cover notably responsibilities of the sending and hosting organisations, minimum requirements on the coverage of subsistence, accommodation and other relevant expenses, insurance coverage and other relevant elements.
        • Certification: sending organisations that would like to select, prepare and deploy EU Aid Volunteers will have to be certified for compliance with these standards. They should meet different eligibility requirements and follow a differentiated certification procedure (to be defined in implementing acts), taking into account their nature and capacity (e.g. Member States' public bodies, NGOs). Civil protection and development cooperation actors acting in the field of humanitarian aid shall also be considered eligible. A differentiated certification mechanism will be established for eligible hosting organisations. Although private companies are not eligible as sending or hosting organisations, they can be associated with projects and co-finance part of the costs of the volunteer to encourage corporate volunteering.
        • Identification and selection of candidate volunteers: the EU Aid Volunteers are open for participation to Union citizens as well as nationals legally residing in the EU on a long term basis. Subject to agreements as referred to in the proposal, citizens from candidate and potential candidate countries and from partner countries from the European Neighbourhood Policy may apply to become EU Aid Volunteers. On the basis of an annual work programme, the Commission will publish calls for proposals for the identification and selection of candidate volunteers by certified sending organisations. Sending organisations that have been awarded the contracts in response to these calls will identify and select candidate volunteers for training after prior assessment of the needs in third countries by sending or hosting organisations or other relevant actors.
        • Training and pre-deployment preparation: the selected candidate volunteers will undergo tailor-made training, taking into account their prior experience. The training programme will be organised by the Commission and will be implemented by organisations with specific training expertise. In addition, as part of their training and depending on their training needs, candidate volunteers will be able to gain practical experience through apprenticeship placements or other forms of short term predeployment preparation given by certified sending organisations.
        • Register of EU Aid Volunteers: candidate volunteers should be assessed for their preparedness to be deployed in third countries. If successful, they should be included in a Register of EU Aid Volunteers eligible for deployment which will be managed by the Commission. The Register will also include volunteers who have already been deployed, if they are willing to be considered for future deployment.
        • Deployment of EU Aid Volunteers in third countries: on the basis of its annual work programme, the Commission will publish calls for proposals for the deployment of EU Aid Volunteers by certified sending organisations. Sending organisations that have been awarded the contracts in response to these calls can select volunteers from the Register and deploy them to hosting organisations. The Commission may also deploy volunteers from the Register to the Commission’s humanitarian aid field offices or in response operations in third countries through the Emergency Response Centre that facilitates the Union response to disasters. The specific terms of deployment will be set-out in a contract between the sending organisation and the volunteer.
        • Capacity building of hosting organisations: through this action, the Commission can support capacity building actions of the hosting organisations so as to ensure effective management of the EU Aid Volunteers and sustainable impact of their work, including the promotion of local volunteering.
        • EU Aid Volunteers' Network: this action envisages the establishment of an EU Aid Volunteers' Network which will be managed by the Commission. It will consist of and facilitate interaction between the EU Aid Volunteers and will also carry out specific activities, notably through knowledge sharing and dissemination of information. It shall also support activities such as seminars, workshops and alumni activities.
        • Communication, awareness raising and visibility: this action will support public information, communication and awareness raising actions to promote the EU Aid Volunteers and to encourage volunteering in humanitarian aid. The Commission will develop an information and communication action plan, which will be implemented by all beneficiaries, in particular sending and hosting organisations.

        Financial provisions: provisions are envisaged for laying down the framework for actions that are eligible for financial assistance and the potential beneficiaries of financial assistance. In this context, the Commission may consider the added-value and management advantages of creating an EU Trust Fund.

        Work programme: in order to implement this Regulation, the Commission shall adopt an annual work programme which will set out the objectives pursued, the expected results, the method of implementation and their total amount. It shall also contain the description of actions to be financed, an indication of the amount allocated to each action and an indicative implementation timetable. For grants, they shall include the priorities, the essential evaluation criteria and the maximum rate of co-financing.

        Coherence and complementarity: in implementing the Regulation, coherence shall be ensured with other areas of Union's external action and with other relevant Union policies (in particular, development policy) and with the actions undertaken in the Member States and/or with relevant international organisations.

        Report and evaluation: the Regulation shall be regularly evaluated, in particular in an interim report in 2017 and in the context of a final report preparing the ground for a communication on the continued of the implementation of the Regulation (by no later than 31 December 2018)..

        BUDGETARY IMPACT: the Commission communication entitled “A Budget for Europe 2020” provides, for the creation of the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps, with budgetary commitments amounting to EUR 239.1 million (current prices).

        DELEGATED ACTS: the Commission is empowered to adopt modalities of some of the actions through delegated acts on standards and amending indicators for operational objectives, or through implementing acts regarding the certification mechanism and modalities of the training programme.

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        PURPOSE: the establishment of the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps.

        PROPOSED ACT: Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council.

        BACKGROUND: in the face of the increasing number and magnitude of humanitarian crises (natural catastrophes and man-made crises), the Union has to ensure adequate humanitarian aid.

        As envisaged in Article 214(5) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), this proposal establishes the framework for the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps, which should enable joint contributions from European volunteers in humanitarian aid operations. Its objective is to express the Union's humanitarian values and solidarity with people in need whether within or beyond the Union’s borders. Improving the mobilisation of the volunteering capacity of European citizens can also project a positive image of the Union in the world and foster interest for pan-European projects in support of humanitarian aid activities.

        The proposal builds on the 2010 Communication "How to express EU citizens’ solidarity through volunteering: First reflections on a European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps". The Communication presents the guiding principles, gaps and necessary conditions to make a positive contribution to Union humanitarian aid. The Council and the European Parliament have expressed strong support for the initiative, reaffirming the key role of the Union in promoting volunteering and identifying some of the key components of the Corps.

        This proposal will, moreover, contribute to:

        • the objectives of the Union's external policy and, in particular, the Union's humanitarian aid objectives; and
        • reinforcing the benefits delivered to the hosting communities in third countries and the impact that the volunteer activities have on the volunteers themselves.

        Furthermore, the training and informal learning experience volunteers will acquire is a strong investment in human capital which would improve their employability in global economy and thus contribute to the Europe's 2020 objectives for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.

        IMPACT ASSESSMENT: interested stakeholders, including the main humanitarian aid organisations (NGOs, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Family, UN agencies), mainstream volunteer organisations, individual volunteers, Member States' representatives and other relevant actors were specifically consulted at two dedicated conferences5 and through a public on-line consultation.

        An impact assessment report was prepared to examine policy options and their potential impacts. The main problems identified are: (1) lack of a structured EU approach towards volunteering; (2) poor visibility of EU humanitarian action and solidarity with people in need; (3) lack of consistent identification and selection mechanisms across Member States; (4) insufficient availability of qualified volunteers for humanitarian aid; (5) shortcomings in the surge capacity of humanitarian aid; and vi) weak capacity of hosting organisations.

        The impact assessment examined a number of policy options resulting from the combination of different modules and mode of management:

        • Policy Option 1, including: (1) Development of standards for identification, selection and training of volunteers and (2) Development of certification mechanism for sending organisations;
        • Policy Option 2, including the modules under Option 1 plus (3) Support to training for EU volunteers in humanitarian aid, (4) Creation of an EU Register of trained volunteers, (5) Development of standards and a certification mechanism for volunteer management in hosting organisations;
        • Policy Option 3, including all modules under Option 2 plus (6) Support to deployment of EU volunteers, (7) Building capacity in third country hosting organisations, (8) Establishment of an EU Network of humanitarian volunteers. This Option would be implemented in partnership with humanitarian aid organisations which should identify, select and deploy the volunteers.
        • Policy Option 4, including all modules under Option 3 implemented in a direct management mode by the European Commission.

        Based on this assessment of the potential economic, social and environmental impacts, Policy Option 3 was recommended as the most efficient and effective option for addressing the problems identified.

        LEGAL BASIS: Article 214(5) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).

        CONTENT: the proposal lays down the procedures and the rules for the operation of the EU Aid Volunteers. It follows an enabling approach and is limited to the essential elements necessary for the implementation of the Regulation, including specifying its general and operational objectives, the principles and the actions of which it consists, the provisions for financial assistance and the general provisions for its implementation.

        General objective and operational objectives: the objective of the EU Aid Volunteers shall be to express the Union's humanitarian values and solidarity with people in need, through the promotion of an effective and visible EU Aid Volunteers' initiative, which contributes to strengthening the Union's capacity to respond to humanitarian crises and to building the capacity and resilience of vulnerable or disaster affected communities in third countries.

        The EU Aid Volunteers shall pursue the following operational objectives:

        1. Increase in and improvement of the capacity of the Union to provide humanitarian aid;
        2. Improvement of the skills and competences of volunteers in the field of humanitarian aid and the conditions under which they are working;
        3. Building the capacity of hosting organisations and foster volunteering in third countries;
        4. Promotion of the visibility of the Union's humanitarian aid values;
        5. Enhancement of coherence and consistency of volunteering across Member States in order to improve opportunities for Union citizens to participate in humanitarian aid activities and operations.

        Progress towards the achievement of this operational objective shall be assessed on the basis of key indicators, which shall be used for monitoring, evaluation and review of performance as appropriate. They are indicative and may be amended in order to take into account experience from the progress measurement.

        General principles: EU Aid Volunteers’ actions:

        • shall be conducted in compliance with the humanitarian aid principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence;
        • shall respond to the need of local communities and hosting organisations and should contribute to the professionalization of the provision of humanitarian aid.

        In this context, the safety and security of volunteers shall be a priority.

        The EU Aid Volunteers shall promote common activities and participation of volunteers from different countries and foster joint projects and transnational partnerships between implementing organisations.

        Types of actions undertaken by the volunteers: the EU Aid Volunteers shall pursue the above-mentioned objectives through the following types of actions:

        • development and maintenance of standards regarding candidate and EU Aid Volunteers;
        • development and maintenance of a certification mechanism for sending and hosting organisations;
        • identification and selection of candidate volunteers;
        • establishment of a training programme and support for training and apprenticeship placements;
        • establishment, maintenance and updating of a Register of EU Aid Volunteers;
        • deployment of EU Aid Volunteers in third countries for humanitarian aid activities and operations;
        • capacity building of hosting organisations;
        • establishment and management of an EU Aid Volunteers' Network;
        • communication, awareness raising and visibility;
        • ancillary activity that furthers the accountability, transparency and effectiveness of the EU Aid Volunteers.

        These different actions can be supported with financial assistance and implemented by different beneficiaries based on a Commission annual work programme.

        As regards certain specific actions, the proposal specifies the following types of actions:

        • Standards regarding candidate and EU Aid Volunteers: the Commission will develop standards which will set the policy framework and minimum requirements to ensure effective, efficient and coherent recruitment and preparation of candidate volunteers and deployment and management of EU Aid Volunteers which are the main actions of this initiative. The standards will ensure duty of care and cover notably responsibilities of the sending and hosting organisations, minimum requirements on the coverage of subsistence, accommodation and other relevant expenses, insurance coverage and other relevant elements.
        • Certification: sending organisations that would like to select, prepare and deploy EU Aid Volunteers will have to be certified for compliance with these standards. They should meet different eligibility requirements and follow a differentiated certification procedure (to be defined in implementing acts), taking into account their nature and capacity (e.g. Member States' public bodies, NGOs). Civil protection and development cooperation actors acting in the field of humanitarian aid shall also be considered eligible. A differentiated certification mechanism will be established for eligible hosting organisations. Although private companies are not eligible as sending or hosting organisations, they can be associated with projects and co-finance part of the costs of the volunteer to encourage corporate volunteering.
        • Identification and selection of candidate volunteers: the EU Aid Volunteers are open for participation to Union citizens as well as nationals legally residing in the EU on a long term basis. Subject to agreements as referred to in the proposal, citizens from candidate and potential candidate countries and from partner countries from the European Neighbourhood Policy may apply to become EU Aid Volunteers. On the basis of an annual work programme, the Commission will publish calls for proposals for the identification and selection of candidate volunteers by certified sending organisations. Sending organisations that have been awarded the contracts in response to these calls will identify and select candidate volunteers for training after prior assessment of the needs in third countries by sending or hosting organisations or other relevant actors.
        • Training and pre-deployment preparation: the selected candidate volunteers will undergo tailor-made training, taking into account their prior experience. The training programme will be organised by the Commission and will be implemented by organisations with specific training expertise. In addition, as part of their training and depending on their training needs, candidate volunteers will be able to gain practical experience through apprenticeship placements or other forms of short term predeployment preparation given by certified sending organisations.
        • Register of EU Aid Volunteers: candidate volunteers should be assessed for their preparedness to be deployed in third countries. If successful, they should be included in a Register of EU Aid Volunteers eligible for deployment which will be managed by the Commission. The Register will also include volunteers who have already been deployed, if they are willing to be considered for future deployment.
        • Deployment of EU Aid Volunteers in third countries: on the basis of its annual work programme, the Commission will publish calls for proposals for the deployment of EU Aid Volunteers by certified sending organisations. Sending organisations that have been awarded the contracts in response to these calls can select volunteers from the Register and deploy them to hosting organisations. The Commission may also deploy volunteers from the Register to the Commission’s humanitarian aid field offices or in response operations in third countries through the Emergency Response Centre that facilitates the Union response to disasters. The specific terms of deployment will be set-out in a contract between the sending organisation and the volunteer.
        • Capacity building of hosting organisations: through this action, the Commission can support capacity building actions of the hosting organisations so as to ensure effective management of the EU Aid Volunteers and sustainable impact of their work, including the promotion of local volunteering.
        • EU Aid Volunteers' Network: this action envisages the establishment of an EU Aid Volunteers' Network which will be managed by the Commission. It will consist of and facilitate interaction between the EU Aid Volunteers and will also carry out specific activities, notably through knowledge sharing and dissemination of information. It shall also support activities such as seminars, workshops and alumni activities.
        • Communication, awareness raising and visibility: this action will support public information, communication and awareness raising actions to promote the EU Aid Volunteers and to encourage volunteering in humanitarian aid. The Commission will develop an information and communication action plan, which will be implemented by all beneficiaries, in particular sending and hosting organisations.

        Financial provisions: provisions are envisaged for laying down the framework for actions that are eligible for financial assistance and the potential beneficiaries of financial assistance. In this context, the Commission may consider the added-value and management advantages of creating an EU Trust Fund.

        Work programme: in order to implement this Regulation, the Commission shall adopt an annual work programme which will set out the objectives pursued, the expected results, the method of implementation and their total amount. It shall also contain the description of actions to be financed, an indication of the amount allocated to each action and an indicative implementation timetable. For grants, they shall include the priorities, the essential evaluation criteria and the maximum rate of co-financing.

        Coherence and complementarity: in implementing the Regulation, coherence shall be ensured with other areas of Union's external action and with other relevant Union policies (in particular, development policy) and with the actions undertaken in the Member States and/or with relevant international organisations.

        Report and evaluation: the Regulation shall be regularly evaluated, in particular in an interim report in 2017 and in the context of a final report preparing the ground for a communication on the continued of the implementation of the Regulation (by no later than 31 December 2018)..

        BUDGETARY IMPACT: the Commission communication entitled “A Budget for Europe 2020” provides, for the creation of the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps, with budgetary commitments amounting to EUR 239.1 million (current prices).

        DELEGATED ACTS: the Commission is empowered to adopt modalities of some of the actions through delegated acts on standards and amending indicators for operational objectives, or through implementing acts regarding the certification mechanism and modalities of the training programme.

        New

        PURPOSE: the establishment of the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps.

        PROPOSED ACT: Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council.

        BACKGROUND: in the face of the increasing number and magnitude of humanitarian crises (natural catastrophes and man-made crises), the Union has to ensure adequate humanitarian aid.

        As envisaged in Article 214(5) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), this proposal establishes the framework for the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps, which should enable joint contributions from European volunteers in humanitarian aid operations. Its objective is to express the Union's humanitarian values and solidarity with people in need whether within or beyond the Union’s borders. Improving the mobilisation of the volunteering capacity of European citizens can also project a positive image of the Union in the world and foster interest for pan-European projects in support of humanitarian aid activities.

        The proposal builds on the 2010 Communication "How to express EU citizens’ solidarity through volunteering: First reflections on a European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps". The Communication presents the guiding principles, gaps and necessary conditions to make a positive contribution to Union humanitarian aid. The Council and the European Parliament have expressed strong support for the initiative, reaffirming the key role of the Union in promoting volunteering and identifying some of the key components of the Corps.

        This proposal will, moreover, contribute to:

        • the objectives of the Union's external policy and, in particular, the Union's humanitarian aid objectives; and
        • reinforcing the benefits delivered to the hosting communities in third countries and the impact that the volunteer activities have on the volunteers themselves.

        Furthermore, the training and informal learning experience volunteers will acquire is a strong investment in human capital which would improve their employability in global economy and thus contribute to the Europe's 2020 objectives for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.

        IMPACT ASSESSMENT: interested stakeholders, including the main humanitarian aid organisations (NGOs, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Family, UN agencies), mainstream volunteer organisations, individual volunteers, Member States' representatives and other relevant actors were specifically consulted at two dedicated conferences5 and through a public on-line consultation.

        An impact assessment report was prepared to examine policy options and their potential impacts. The main problems identified are: (1) lack of a structured EU approach towards volunteering; (2) poor visibility of EU humanitarian action and solidarity with people in need; (3) lack of consistent identification and selection mechanisms across Member States; (4) insufficient availability of qualified volunteers for humanitarian aid; (5) shortcomings in the surge capacity of humanitarian aid; and vi) weak capacity of hosting organisations.

        The impact assessment examined a number of policy options resulting from the combination of different modules and mode of management:

        • Policy Option 1, including: (1) Development of standards for identification, selection and training of volunteers and (2) Development of certification mechanism for sending organisations;
        • Policy Option 2, including the modules under Option 1 plus (3) Support to training for EU volunteers in humanitarian aid, (4) Creation of an EU Register of trained volunteers, (5) Development of standards and a certification mechanism for volunteer management in hosting organisations;
        • Policy Option 3, including all modules under Option 2 plus (6) Support to deployment of EU volunteers, (7) Building capacity in third country hosting organisations, (8) Establishment of an EU Network of humanitarian volunteers. This Option would be implemented in partnership with humanitarian aid organisations which should identify, select and deploy the volunteers.
        • Policy Option 4, including all modules under Option 3 implemented in a direct management mode by the European Commission.

        Based on this assessment of the potential economic, social and environmental impacts, Policy Option 3 was recommended as the most efficient and effective option for addressing the problems identified.

        LEGAL BASIS: Article 214(5) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).

        CONTENT: the proposal lays down the procedures and the rules for the operation of the EU Aid Volunteers. It follows an enabling approach and is limited to the essential elements necessary for the implementation of the Regulation, including specifying its general and operational objectives, the principles and the actions of which it consists, the provisions for financial assistance and the general provisions for its implementation.

        General objective and operational objectives: the objective of the EU Aid Volunteers shall be to express the Union's humanitarian values and solidarity with people in need, through the promotion of an effective and visible EU Aid Volunteers' initiative, which contributes to strengthening the Union's capacity to respond to humanitarian crises and to building the capacity and resilience of vulnerable or disaster affected communities in third countries.

        The EU Aid Volunteers shall pursue the following operational objectives:

        1. Increase in and improvement of the capacity of the Union to provide humanitarian aid;
        2. Improvement of the skills and competences of volunteers in the field of humanitarian aid and the conditions under which they are working;
        3. Building the capacity of hosting organisations and foster volunteering in third countries;
        4. Promotion of the visibility of the Union's humanitarian aid values;
        5. Enhancement of coherence and consistency of volunteering across Member States in order to improve opportunities for Union citizens to participate in humanitarian aid activities and operations.

        Progress towards the achievement of this operational objective shall be assessed on the basis of key indicators, which shall be used for monitoring, evaluation and review of performance as appropriate. They are indicative and may be amended in order to take into account experience from the progress measurement.

        General principles: EU Aid Volunteers’ actions:

        • shall be conducted in compliance with the humanitarian aid principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence;
        • shall respond to the need of local communities and hosting organisations and should contribute to the professionalization of the provision of humanitarian aid.

        In this context, the safety and security of volunteers shall be a priority.

        The EU Aid Volunteers shall promote common activities and participation of volunteers from different countries and foster joint projects and transnational partnerships between implementing organisations.

        Types of actions undertaken by the volunteers: the EU Aid Volunteers shall pursue the above-mentioned objectives through the following types of actions:

        • development and maintenance of standards regarding candidate and EU Aid Volunteers;
        • development and maintenance of a certification mechanism for sending and hosting organisations;
        • identification and selection of candidate volunteers;
        • establishment of a training programme and support for training and apprenticeship placements;
        • establishment, maintenance and updating of a Register of EU Aid Volunteers;
        • deployment of EU Aid Volunteers in third countries for humanitarian aid activities and operations;
        • capacity building of hosting organisations;
        • establishment and management of an EU Aid Volunteers' Network;
        • communication, awareness raising and visibility;
        • ancillary activity that furthers the accountability, transparency and effectiveness of the EU Aid Volunteers.

        These different actions can be supported with financial assistance and implemented by different beneficiaries based on a Commission annual work programme.

        As regards certain specific actions, the proposal specifies the following types of actions:

        • Standards regarding candidate and EU Aid Volunteers: the Commission will develop standards which will set the policy framework and minimum requirements to ensure effective, efficient and coherent recruitment and preparation of candidate volunteers and deployment and management of EU Aid Volunteers which are the main actions of this initiative. The standards will ensure duty of care and cover notably responsibilities of the sending and hosting organisations, minimum requirements on the coverage of subsistence, accommodation and other relevant expenses, insurance coverage and other relevant elements.
        • Certification: sending organisations that would like to select, prepare and deploy EU Aid Volunteers will have to be certified for compliance with these standards. They should meet different eligibility requirements and follow a differentiated certification procedure (to be defined in implementing acts), taking into account their nature and capacity (e.g. Member States' public bodies, NGOs). Civil protection and development cooperation actors acting in the field of humanitarian aid shall also be considered eligible. A differentiated certification mechanism will be established for eligible hosting organisations. Although private companies are not eligible as sending or hosting organisations, they can be associated with projects and co-finance part of the costs of the volunteer to encourage corporate volunteering.
        • Identification and selection of candidate volunteers: the EU Aid Volunteers are open for participation to Union citizens as well as nationals legally residing in the EU on a long term basis. Subject to agreements as referred to in the proposal, citizens from candidate and potential candidate countries and from partner countries from the European Neighbourhood Policy may apply to become EU Aid Volunteers. On the basis of an annual work programme, the Commission will publish calls for proposals for the identification and selection of candidate volunteers by certified sending organisations. Sending organisations that have been awarded the contracts in response to these calls will identify and select candidate volunteers for training after prior assessment of the needs in third countries by sending or hosting organisations or other relevant actors.
        • Training and pre-deployment preparation: the selected candidate volunteers will undergo tailor-made training, taking into account their prior experience. The training programme will be organised by the Commission and will be implemented by organisations with specific training expertise. In addition, as part of their training and depending on their training needs, candidate volunteers will be able to gain practical experience through apprenticeship placements or other forms of short term predeployment preparation given by certified sending organisations.
        • Register of EU Aid Volunteers: candidate volunteers should be assessed for their preparedness to be deployed in third countries. If successful, they should be included in a Register of EU Aid Volunteers eligible for deployment which will be managed by the Commission. The Register will also include volunteers who have already been deployed, if they are willing to be considered for future deployment.
        • Deployment of EU Aid Volunteers in third countries: on the basis of its annual work programme, the Commission will publish calls for proposals for the deployment of EU Aid Volunteers by certified sending organisations. Sending organisations that have been awarded the contracts in response to these calls can select volunteers from the Register and deploy them to hosting organisations. The Commission may also deploy volunteers from the Register to the Commission’s humanitarian aid field offices or in response operations in third countries through the Emergency Response Centre that facilitates the Union response to disasters. The specific terms of deployment will be set-out in a contract between the sending organisation and the volunteer.
        • Capacity building of hosting organisations: through this action, the Commission can support capacity building actions of the hosting organisations so as to ensure effective management of the EU Aid Volunteers and sustainable impact of their work, including the promotion of local volunteering.
        • EU Aid Volunteers' Network: this action envisages the establishment of an EU Aid Volunteers' Network which will be managed by the Commission. It will consist of and facilitate interaction between the EU Aid Volunteers and will also carry out specific activities, notably through knowledge sharing and dissemination of information. It shall also support activities such as seminars, workshops and alumni activities.
        • Communication, awareness raising and visibility: this action will support public information, communication and awareness raising actions to promote the EU Aid Volunteers and to encourage volunteering in humanitarian aid. The Commission will develop an information and communication action plan, which will be implemented by all beneficiaries, in particular sending and hosting organisations.

        Financial provisions: provisions are envisaged for laying down the framework for actions that are eligible for financial assistance and the potential beneficiaries of financial assistance. In this context, the Commission may consider the added-value and management advantages of creating an EU Trust Fund.

        Work programme: in order to implement this Regulation, the Commission shall adopt an annual work programme which will set out the objectives pursued, the expected results, the method of implementation and their total amount. It shall also contain the description of actions to be financed, an indication of the amount allocated to each action and an indicative implementation timetable. For grants, they shall include the priorities, the essential evaluation criteria and the maximum rate of co-financing.

        Coherence and complementarity: in implementing the Regulation, coherence shall be ensured with other areas of Union's external action and with other relevant Union policies (in particular, development policy) and with the actions undertaken in the Member States and/or with relevant international organisations.

        Report and evaluation: the Regulation shall be regularly evaluated, in particular in an interim report in 2017 and in the context of a final report preparing the ground for a communication on the continued of the implementation of the Regulation (by no later than 31 December 2018)..

        BUDGETARY IMPACT: the Commission communication entitled “A Budget for Europe 2020” provides, for the creation of the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps, with budgetary commitments amounting to EUR 239.1 million (current prices).

        DELEGATED ACTS: the Commission is empowered to adopt modalities of some of the actions through delegated acts on standards and amending indicators for operational objectives, or through implementing acts regarding the certification mechanism and modalities of the training programme.

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        activities/1/docs/0/text
        • PURPOSE: the establishment of the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps.

          PROPOSED ACT: Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council.

          BACKGROUND: in the face of the increasing number and magnitude of humanitarian crises (natural catastrophes and man-made crises), the Union has to ensure adequate humanitarian aid.

          As envisaged in Article 214(5) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), this proposal establishes the framework for the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps, which should enable joint contributions from European volunteers in humanitarian aid operations. Its objective is to express the Union's humanitarian values and solidarity with people in need whether within or beyond the Union’s borders. Improving the mobilisation of the volunteering capacity of European citizens can also project a positive image of the Union in the world and foster interest for pan-European projects in support of humanitarian aid activities.

          The proposal builds on the 2010 Communication "How to express EU citizens’ solidarity through volunteering: First reflections on a European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps". The Communication presents the guiding principles, gaps and necessary conditions to make a positive contribution to Union humanitarian aid. The Council and the European Parliament have expressed strong support for the initiative, reaffirming the key role of the Union in promoting volunteering and identifying some of the key components of the Corps.

          This proposal will, moreover, contribute to:

          • the objectives of the Union's external policy and, in particular, the Union's humanitarian aid objectives; and
          • reinforcing the benefits delivered to the hosting communities in third countries and the impact that the volunteer activities have on the volunteers themselves.

          Furthermore, the training and informal learning experience volunteers will acquire is a strong investment in human capital which would improve their employability in global economy and thus contribute to the Europe's 2020 objectives for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.

          IMPACT ASSESSMENT: interested stakeholders, including the main humanitarian aid organisations (NGOs, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Family, UN agencies), mainstream volunteer organisations, individual volunteers, Member States' representatives and other relevant actors were specifically consulted at two dedicated conferences5 and through a public on-line consultation.

          An impact assessment report was prepared to examine policy options and their potential impacts. The main problems identified are: (1) lack of a structured EU approach towards volunteering; (2) poor visibility of EU humanitarian action and solidarity with people in need; (3) lack of consistent identification and selection mechanisms across Member States; (4) insufficient availability of qualified volunteers for humanitarian aid; (5) shortcomings in the surge capacity of humanitarian aid; and vi) weak capacity of hosting organisations.

          The impact assessment examined a number of policy options resulting from the combination of different modules and mode of management:

          • Policy Option 1, including: (1) Development of standards for identification, selection and training of volunteers and (2) Development of certification mechanism for sending organisations;
          • Policy Option 2, including the modules under Option 1 plus (3) Support to training for EU volunteers in humanitarian aid, (4) Creation of an EU Register of trained volunteers, (5) Development of standards and a certification mechanism for volunteer management in hosting organisations;
          • Policy Option 3, including all modules under Option 2 plus (6) Support to deployment of EU volunteers, (7) Building capacity in third country hosting organisations, (8) Establishment of an EU Network of humanitarian volunteers. This Option would be implemented in partnership with humanitarian aid organisations which should identify, select and deploy the volunteers.
          • Policy Option 4, including all modules under Option 3 implemented in a direct management mode by the European Commission.

          Based on this assessment of the potential economic, social and environmental impacts, Policy Option 3 was recommended as the most efficient and effective option for addressing the problems identified.

          LEGAL BASIS: Article 214(5) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).

          CONTENT: the proposal lays down the procedures and the rules for the operation of the EU Aid Volunteers. It follows an enabling approach and is limited to the essential elements necessary for the implementation of the Regulation, including specifying its general and operational objectives, the principles and the actions of which it consists, the provisions for financial assistance and the general provisions for its implementation.

          General objective and operational objectives: the objective of the EU Aid Volunteers shall be to express the Union's humanitarian values and solidarity with people in need, through the promotion of an effective and visible EU Aid Volunteers' initiative, which contributes to strengthening the Union's capacity to respond to humanitarian crises and to building the capacity and resilience of vulnerable or disaster affected communities in third countries.

          The EU Aid Volunteers shall pursue the following operational objectives:

          1. Increase in and improvement of the capacity of the Union to provide humanitarian aid;
          2. Improvement of the skills and competences of volunteers in the field of humanitarian aid and the conditions under which they are working;
          3. Building the capacity of hosting organisations and foster volunteering in third countries;
          4. Promotion of the visibility of the Union's humanitarian aid values;
          5. Enhancement of coherence and consistency of volunteering across Member States in order to improve opportunities for Union citizens to participate in humanitarian aid activities and operations.

          Progress towards the achievement of this operational objective shall be assessed on the basis of key indicators, which shall be used for monitoring, evaluation and review of performance as appropriate. They are indicative and may be amended in order to take into account experience from the progress measurement.

          General principles: EU Aid Volunteers’ actions:

          • shall be conducted in compliance with the humanitarian aid principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence;
          • shall respond to the need of local communities and hosting organisations and should contribute to the professionalization of the provision of humanitarian aid.

          In this context, the safety and security of volunteers shall be a priority.

          The EU Aid Volunteers shall promote common activities and participation of volunteers from different countries and foster joint projects and transnational partnerships between implementing organisations.

          Types of actions undertaken by the volunteers: the EU Aid Volunteers shall pursue the above-mentioned objectives through the following types of actions:

          • development and maintenance of standards regarding candidate and EU Aid Volunteers;
          • development and maintenance of a certification mechanism for sending and hosting organisations;
          • identification and selection of candidate volunteers;
          • establishment of a training programme and support for training and apprenticeship placements;
          • establishment, maintenance and updating of a Register of EU Aid Volunteers;
          • deployment of EU Aid Volunteers in third countries for humanitarian aid activities and operations;
          • capacity building of hosting organisations;
          • establishment and management of an EU Aid Volunteers' Network;
          • communication, awareness raising and visibility;
          • ancillary activity that furthers the accountability, transparency and effectiveness of the EU Aid Volunteers.

          These different actions can be supported with financial assistance and implemented by different beneficiaries based on a Commission annual work programme.

          As regards certain specific actions, the proposal specifies the following types of actions:

          • Standards regarding candidate and EU Aid Volunteers: the Commission will develop standards which will set the policy framework and minimum requirements to ensure effective, efficient and coherent recruitment and preparation of candidate volunteers and deployment and management of EU Aid Volunteers which are the main actions of this initiative. The standards will ensure duty of care and cover notably responsibilities of the sending and hosting organisations, minimum requirements on the coverage of subsistence, accommodation and other relevant expenses, insurance coverage and other relevant elements.
          • Certification: sending organisations that would like to select, prepare and deploy EU Aid Volunteers will have to be certified for compliance with these standards. They should meet different eligibility requirements and follow a differentiated certification procedure (to be defined in implementing acts), taking into account their nature and capacity (e.g. Member States' public bodies, NGOs). Civil protection and development cooperation actors acting in the field of humanitarian aid shall also be considered eligible. A differentiated certification mechanism will be established for eligible hosting organisations. Although private companies are not eligible as sending or hosting organisations, they can be associated with projects and co-finance part of the costs of the volunteer to encourage corporate volunteering.
          • Identification and selection of candidate volunteers: the EU Aid Volunteers are open for participation to Union citizens as well as nationals legally residing in the EU on a long term basis. Subject to agreements as referred to in the proposal, citizens from candidate and potential candidate countries and from partner countries from the European Neighbourhood Policy may apply to become EU Aid Volunteers. On the basis of an annual work programme, the Commission will publish calls for proposals for the identification and selection of candidate volunteers by certified sending organisations. Sending organisations that have been awarded the contracts in response to these calls will identify and select candidate volunteers for training after prior assessment of the needs in third countries by sending or hosting organisations or other relevant actors.
          • Training and pre-deployment preparation: the selected candidate volunteers will undergo tailor-made training, taking into account their prior experience. The training programme will be organised by the Commission and will be implemented by organisations with specific training expertise. In addition, as part of their training and depending on their training needs, candidate volunteers will be able to gain practical experience through apprenticeship placements or other forms of short term predeployment preparation given by certified sending organisations.
          • Register of EU Aid Volunteers: candidate volunteers should be assessed for their preparedness to be deployed in third countries. If successful, they should be included in a Register of EU Aid Volunteers eligible for deployment which will be managed by the Commission. The Register will also include volunteers who have already been deployed, if they are willing to be considered for future deployment.
          • Deployment of EU Aid Volunteers in third countries: on the basis of its annual work programme, the Commission will publish calls for proposals for the deployment of EU Aid Volunteers by certified sending organisations. Sending organisations that have been awarded the contracts in response to these calls can select volunteers from the Register and deploy them to hosting organisations. The Commission may also deploy volunteers from the Register to the Commission’s humanitarian aid field offices or in response operations in third countries through the Emergency Response Centre that facilitates the Union response to disasters. The specific terms of deployment will be set-out in a contract between the sending organisation and the volunteer.
          • Capacity building of hosting organisations: through this action, the Commission can support capacity building actions of the hosting organisations so as to ensure effective management of the EU Aid Volunteers and sustainable impact of their work, including the promotion of local volunteering.
          • EU Aid Volunteers' Network: this action envisages the establishment of an EU Aid Volunteers' Network which will be managed by the Commission. It will consist of and facilitate interaction between the EU Aid Volunteers and will also carry out specific activities, notably through knowledge sharing and dissemination of information. It shall also support activities such as seminars, workshops and alumni activities.
          • Communication, awareness raising and visibility: this action will support public information, communication and awareness raising actions to promote the EU Aid Volunteers and to encourage volunteering in humanitarian aid. The Commission will develop an information and communication action plan, which will be implemented by all beneficiaries, in particular sending and hosting organisations.

          Financial provisions: provisions are envisaged for laying down the framework for actions that are eligible for financial assistance and the potential beneficiaries of financial assistance. In this context, the Commission may consider the added-value and management advantages of creating an EU Trust Fund.

          Work programme: in order to implement this Regulation, the Commission shall adopt an annual work programme which will set out the objectives pursued, the expected results, the method of implementation and their total amount. It shall also contain the description of actions to be financed, an indication of the amount allocated to each action and an indicative implementation timetable. For grants, they shall include the priorities, the essential evaluation criteria and the maximum rate of co-financing.

          Coherence and complementarity: in implementing the Regulation, coherence shall be ensured with other areas of Union's external action and with other relevant Union policies (in particular, development policy) and with the actions undertaken in the Member States and/or with relevant international organisations.

          Report and evaluation: the Regulation shall be regularly evaluated, in particular in an interim report in 2017 and in the context of a final report preparing the ground for a communication on the continued of the implementation of the Regulation (by no later than 31 December 2018)..

          BUDGETARY IMPACT: the Commission communication entitled “A Budget for Europe 2020” provides, for the creation of the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps, with budgetary commitments amounting to EUR 239.1 million (current prices).

          DELEGATED ACTS: the Commission is empowered to adopt modalities of some of the actions through delegated acts on standards and amending indicators for operational objectives, or through implementing acts regarding the certification mechanism and modalities of the training programme.

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        • group: EPP name: STRIFFLER Michèle
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        links
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