The EU Aid Volunteers initiative
05th March 2015

The EU Aid Volunteers initiative An information-sharing day was organized in connection with the international tasks of the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps on 23 January in Brussels, and on 26 January, in Ljubljana, a regional workshop was held on the establishment of the corps.

Amongst the co-chairs of the event, we can find Christos Stylianides,European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Florika Fink-Hooijer,Director Strategy, Policy and International Cooperation, DG ECHO, and Brian Holmes,Director of the Executive Agency for Education, Audiovisual and Culture.

Christos Stylianides, in his opening remarks, highlighted the significance of politically supporting voluntarism by EC, since this institution is suitable for expressing and strengthening solidarity and coherence of EU citizens.

He also mentioned that recently, the number of emergencies and their devastating effects have increased. However, the performance of the economy does not and cannot follow the increase of damages, therefore, any assistance by the voluntary should be appreciated and they should be supported.

The commissioner told the audience that in 2014, the legal statutes that formulate clear and uniform rules for the voluntary. These criteria should be met by all who wants to join the corps. The driving force of voluntarism is great but it cannot be further increased. Therefore, the establishments of capacities and the support of technical assistance and cooperation is a priority goal. Finally, he also mentioned that the EuropeanCommission is dedicated to raise the importance of the Corps within EU in the future to become an added value.

Florika Fink-Hooijer, in the following, gave account of the legislation process. Brian Holmes introduced the organization represented by him and highlighted that the activity of the corps should not be confused with the voluntary work of the ERASMUS+ program, because the people participating in the latter do not respond in the incident sites, while the ones of the Corps do.

After the keynote speakers, the approximately 150 participants attended the interactivepanel meetings and gave account of their organizations’ activities and shared ideas on the possible future cooperation. During the rest of the day, the rules of classifying the sending and receiving parties were scrutinized, including capacity building and technical assistance.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the republic of Slovenia held a regional workshop on 26 January in Ljubljana on the setup of the Corps. The event was opened by Mitja Štrukelj, Director General for International Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Assistance of the Ministry. Afterwards, Caroline White, representative of DG ECHO gave a detailed presentation on the Corps.

Captain Zsolt Dalnoki, National Vice President of the Hungarian Civil Protection Association and Secretary General of European Voluntary Civil Protection Forum represented the above organizations at the two events.


The EU Aid Volunteers initiative The EU Aid Volunteers initiative The EU Aid Volunteers initiative