Thursday, July 31, 2008

Youth Service in the EU

In a recent article from the Times of Malta, the European Commission’s plans to expand international youth service within the EU were announced. There are already several existing programs to do volunteer work, but most lack the ability to volunteer across national borders. In light of the potential for volunteer work to act as another dimension of education, this has struck an especially positive note. The article elaborated on the plans:
Thus, volunteering is being taken one step ahead as a cross-border opportunity to offer "young people a special experience that can have strong beneficial effects on their personal development."

In fact, earlier this month the European Commission launched a proposal with the aim of "encouraging member states to improve the interoperability of national youth volunteering schemes in order to make it easier for a volunteer from one country to participate in the volunteering schemes of another."

The initiative targets people under the age of 30 who wish to carry out voluntary work in another country rather than in their home country.

"Such voluntary activities differ from formal employment, since they are usually unpaid (except for some pocket money and expenses) and cover a limited period of time, typically several months. Volunteers are active in a whole range of areas, from civil protection and social inclusion to cultural preservation and the environment."
This type of program is incredibly valuable, as it allows youth an opportunity to gain a sense of solidarity with their peers across the European Union. Not only will this benefit the host countries, but the volunteers themselves stand to reap considerable rewards for their efforts. The consequences of their work could include increased proficiency in foreign languages, breaking down cultural barriers, and the acquisition of marketable skills in an increasingly competitive job market. Once this program is established and running, it will be exciting to see the results unfold.

1 comment:

We change Europe said...

Europe-wide: direct, acitve votes for European citizens'

Direct elections in Europe are possible.

Please notice the Link I found on an Austrian Website: www.we-change-europe.eu
You know the alternative to vote Europe-wide?

Bea

 

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