"When we practice solidarity we can leave a trace in the history" says EESC President George Dassis at the European Solidarity Corps Forum

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The President of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), Georges Dassis, participated on 12 April in the concluding session of the European Solidarity Corps Stakeholder Forum, alongside the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, and the President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani.

"When we practice solidarity, we achieve successes, sometimes so great that they can leave a trace in history ", said President Dassis.

As the voice of civil society, the EESC is committed to improving young people's engagement in European projects. In this context, President Dassis welcomed the European Solidarity Corps initiative and underlined that " the European Economic and Social Committee has asked for measures to be taken, under the European label, which are directly oriented towards the daily life of citizens and have a social character.This battle will not be won by speeches but rather by actions that must be made known to the population".

"There is nothing smarter to help someone else" said the President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani mentioned the need of solidarity under extremely difficult situations like natural disasters.

"We are still the richest part of the world that's why we have to learn to share", said Jean –Claude Junker, "Europe is love and solidarity serving the whole world, summarizing the Forum.

Launched by Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on 14 September 2016, the initiative aims to give 18-30 year olds the chance to engage in projects and activities to help those in disadvantageous situations in the EU. The projects range from helping rebuild communities after natural disasters, to help the socially excluded or the integration of migrants and refugees. Since the first phase of this project was launched in December 2016, more than 27,000 young people have already registered. An online public consultation was also launched and closed on 2 April 2017.

The EESC supports young citizens' by constantly advocating for the Civil society prize while annually organises the Your Europe, Your Say! youth event, where the European students  have their say on current issues affecting Europe nowadays and provide their recommendations to policy-makers. Furthermore, on May 18 the EESC will be celebrating the 30 year anniversary of Erasmus+, by organising a conference dedicated to the occasion.

The Stakeholder Forum gathered representatives of civil society organisations at national and EU-level, policy-makers, NGOs and other stakeholders to discuss the setup and design of the European Solidarity Corps.