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Council agrees on European Voluntary Service programme

The Council of the EU, meeting in Luxembourg on 28 October 1997, reached agreement on a common position on the proposed European Voluntary Service programme.

The EVS programme aims to encourage mobility among young Europeans, providing them with a means to participate in acti...
The Council of the EU, meeting in Luxembourg on 28 October 1997, reached agreement on a common position on the proposed European Voluntary Service programme.

The EVS programme aims to encourage mobility among young Europeans, providing them with a means to participate in activities of benefit to society in countries other than their own. These activities would equally benefit the young volunteers, giving them a wider range of experiences and some informal training. The programme will not be limited to the EU, with participants also coming from Central and Eastern European countries, as well as other associated European countries. Volunteers may also be able to complete their activities outside Europe.

Under the agreement reached by the Council, EVS will allow young volunteers, aged between 18 and 25, to spend up to twelve months participating in a project recognized by the Member State and the Community. The volunteers will not be paid nor be allowed to profit from their activities, although they will receive a grant, along with lodgings and training. The Council has agreed on a budget of ECU 35 million for the two years of the programme (1998 and 1999).

During the Council meeting, Ministers also held an open debate on the perspectives of Community action in the youth field, in which they called for further development of Community policy in the field, and underlined the need to increase the involvement of young people in the decision-making process.

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