European Solidarity Corps 2021-2027 launched

The Commission launched today the first call for proposals under the new European Solidarity Corps 2021-2027.
 

With a dedicated budget of €1.009 billion for 2021-2027, the new European Solidarity Corps programme will offer opportunities to at least 270,000 young people to help address societal and humanitarian challenges through volunteering or by setting up their own solidarity projects. For the first year of action, more than €138 million are available. The first annual work programme and the Programme Guide 2021 have also been published.

The call covers volunteering projects, volunteering teams in high priority areas, solidarity projects, quality label for solidarity volunteering activities and quality label for humanitarian aid volunteering. Deadlines for submission of applications are 28 May and 5 October. Applications for the quality label for solidarity volunteering can be submitted on a continuous basis. Deadline for applications for the quality label for humanitarian aid volunteering is 22 September. 

The new European Solidarity Corps supports the political priorities of the European Union and engages organisations and young people in projects to address them. The programme promotes inclusion and diversity, aims to incorporate green practices in projects and encourages environmentally sustainable and responsible behaviour among participants and participating organisations. It supports the digital transition through projects and activities that boost digital skills and fosters digital literacy. The programme also promotes participation of young people in democratic processes and civic engagement. In addition, the new programme has the flexibility to add annual priorities addressing pressing issues. This year’s additional thematic area is health. The programme will mobilise young people in projects addressing health challenges, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and recovery. 

 

*The information about the project does not come from MeetEU but from a official EU site. We cannot answer any questions about the project.

 
 
 

MeetEU – A successful start to 2021?

Let’s talk about how you liked the first months of MeetEU! To give you an overview of exactly what our ideas were for the first months of the year, we have briefly summarized them here for you.
 

We have used the first three months of the new year on MeetEU to try out new formats and diversify the backgrounds of our guests. While we welcomed many MEPs on very interesting topics at the end of last year, we have been able to discuss current issues with speakers from NGOs, climate activists and scientists in the last weeks. In this way, we have achieved our goal of introducing our participants to issues from different perspectives. In addition, we were able to offer seminars on specific topics (EU elections, strategic autonomy), which are becoming increasingly popular in this form. We have expanded our communication channels by setting up two new social media accounts, LinkedIn and Instagram.

We have also begun planning for a series of events in May. For this, the community has chosen the title: It’s up to EU. Even though a large part of the organization is still ahead of us, we are already very much looking forward to this special month, in which we will talk with guests from various political groups, especially about the conference on the future of Europe. At the same time, we have events coming up in April that we have not yet realized in this form on MeetEU.

January-April in figures:

  • Over 150 participants
  • 11 events
  • Speakers from 5 different countries (3 first time on MeetEU)

 

MeetEU is Europe”: Map ©Alexrk2 (CC BY-SA 3.0) from https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Datei:Europe_blank_laea_location_map.svg last accessed on 25.01.2021

What are your wishes for the next three months?

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Generation Equality: Picture it!

Comic and cartoon competition to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration.
 

The cartoon and comic competition launched by UN Women together with the European Commission, Belgium, France, Mexico and in partnership with Cartooning for Peace is part of the multigenerational campaign “Generation Equality: Realizing women’s rights for an equal future”. It will precede the global gathering for gender equality, the Generation Equality Forum, co-chaired by the Governments of France and Mexico, with the leadership and partnership of civil society.

The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action celebrates this year its 25th anniversary. It is considered the most progressive blueprint ever for advancing women’s rights. It remains the current source of guidance and inspiration to realise gender equality and the human rights of women and girls, everywhere.

You can get familiar with it to inspire your drawing in the “12 critical areas of concern”, but remember that your message must be communicated in comic or cartoon format and cannot include words.

Eligibility
  • You are between 18 and 28 years old.
  • You believe in gender equality and realising women’s rights for an equal future.
  • You want to express your vision of a gender-equal generation in a drawing.

Unleash the power of your creativity and PICTURE IT!

The winners will receive money prizes and will be invited to attend the virtual opening of the Forum in Paris.

Submit your drawing before 14 March 2021.

 

*The information about the project does not come from MeetEU but from a official EU site. We cannot answer any questions about the project.

 
 
 
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Call for your best EU related image!

MeetEU celebrates its first birthday on April 13. To mark this special day, we are holding a EU-Photo competition. The winner gets a small gift and we have a lot of fun.
 
 
 
 
 

You can submit your pictures on Discord in the channel #photo-contest. There is also the possibility to vote on the contributions of the others to choose a winner together. How to get on Discord is explained here.

Requirements:
– Your picture must show the EU emblem or EU stars in some form.
– Only personal photos (no memes, pictures from other websites etc).

The three pictures with the most 💙 reactions win! The winners will be awarded at our MeetEU Birthday Party on April 13th. In addition, the winners will have their photos published on our MeetEU website.

Good luck!🙂

 

What does it mean for you to be European?

We thought it would be very interesting for all of us to know what our Discord members think about their European identity – So we made a poll.
One week you had the possibility to vote, these are the results:
 

11x A – Living together peacefully
7x  B – Being able to work and study in 27 countries
4x  C – Being able to shop tax-free across Europe
7x  D – Being able to travel from Finland to Sicily without passport checks
13x E -Sharing common values of democracy, such as equality, rule of law, press freedom
7x  F – Being part of a great multicultural community („United in Diversity“)
5x  G – Being part of forward-looking society with great individual opportunities
14x H – Having a sense of cooperation and solidarity

 

The answers were very mixed, which makes us happy. And we must be honest, to choose an answer from the many had not been easy for us.

If you would like to be a part of future polls like these, join us on Discord. Here you can find out how it works.

 

You have a great answer to the question? Share it with us!

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Strategic Autonomy – Can a United Europe Do Without It?

Together with Klaus from Pulse of Europe Munich, we held a debate on the Strategic Autonomy of the EU on January 12. The various areas included, such as trade and defense, were discussed particularly intensively.

👎=10 / 👍=2

Before we began our presentation, we took a vote on whether or not the EU should pursue strategic strategic autonomy at all.

After that, we dug into the topic together and answered each other’s open questions. We noticed that under the European Treaties some states are saved from the obligation to participate in hypothetical EU operations.

You don’t know what the difference between strategic sovereignty and strategic autonomy is? We have made the presentation available for you here.

 
 
1️⃣ = 3|2️⃣ = 1|3️⃣ = 3|4️⃣ = 4|5️⃣ = 7
 

For the last question, more participants took part in the voting based on the new knowledge gained. Thereby we see quite different answers. The largest part voted for a more pronounced form of strategic autonomy. This diversity also represents the contributions of all participants during the discussion.

Many thanks to Klaus for organizing and to all MeetEU friends who were present.

 
 

“This is the absolute coolest thing after graduation”

The European Parliament regularly awards traineeships to university graduates. How to apply? What are the chances? And what are the possible locations? Annika, who is currently doing a Schuman traineeship at the European Parliament Liaison Office in Berlin, will give you the answers.

Interview: Ray Finger (19), MeetEU team member and volunteer at together.eu

Ray: Hi Annika, thank you very much for taking time for our interview. Who are you actually? Please tell us.

Annika: Hey Ray, I am currently an intern at the European Parliament Liaison Office here in Berlin. I was born in Rhineland-Palatinate. I went to Maastricht to study, where I studied European Studies for my Bachelor’s degree. Then I got the internship at the European Parliament. Since the beginning of March I have been here. It is great fun. I knew beforehand what the individual institutions stand for and how they work together, but I am still learning a lot about the way they work, the internal structures.

You said that you already had a European political background. How did that come about?

At school I have already been to France and Poland through a student exchange, and I have also seen a lot during my holidays. Through this I developed a passion for Europe. That is why I decided to study European Studies. In Maastricht we studied completely in English and also spoke more or less only English in our free time. My fellow students were from all over Europe. That was a great experience, even our professors were international.

I wanted to do this internship at a very early stage. It’s the absolute coolest thing after graduation, I thought.

"You should open the text messages and emails immediately, because you have only 72 hours to accept the offer."
Annika
Schuman Trainee

What are the requirements for the internship? Which hurdles did you have to take?

The application process is staggered. You apply within an application period of one month – for me it was November. Normally, 400 traineeships are awarded in the three main locations of Brussels, Luxembourg and Strasbourg, but also in all the liaison offices, i.e. in each capital and sometimes in larger cities of the member states.

Then you prepare your CV and letter of motivation and fill in an online form. After that you have to wait a while. Due to the large number of applications, the chances of success are around two percent. The decisive factor is a combination of your experience, your education, your letter and the position you are applying for.

In January I received a text message saying I was in the narrow selection. Thereupon you have two weeks to upload three documents: the diploma with stamps etc., a copy of your passport and your criminal record certificate. Two or three weeks later the next relieving SMS came: “Congratulations! You just got an offer for an internship.” I was so excited!

You should open the text messages and emails immediately, because you have only 72 hours to accept the offer. In the end I can say that Berlin is a beautiful city and I have a wonderful internship place right at the Brandenburg Gate.

Speaking of your work, how does the liaison office in Berlin work?

Many people don’t know the liaison offices, although they have such an important task, which is to connect the member states and the citizens with the EU. Many think that Brussels or Luxembourg are far away, but we are all the EU.

So the liaison offices of the European Parliament connect mainly members of the Parliament with the citizens through dialogues, discussions, public relations and exchanges.

But it is not only that the EU comes into the member state, but also that the citizens are taken into the EU. This happens e.g. through study trips or competitions where you can win trips to Strasbourg.

Would you say your opinion of the EU has changed?

My view has changed – for the better. You simply have a more personal relationship when you get to know all your colleagues. That really makes you part of the European Union. I am not treated like an intern, but more like a full colleague. Moreover, I work not only with my Berlin colleagues, but also with my colleagues in Brussels. Especially now that the German Presidency of the Council of the EU begins, you get a totally exciting look behind the scenes.

What’s your plan after the internship?

Unfortunately, the internship ends at the end of July, because it is always a fixed internship of five months. Then we give the next people a chance. I would prefer to stay in Berlin. Right now I’m looking for a job or an internship that will keep me here. In the long term I would like to add a Master’s degree in European Studies.

Would you recommend the internship to others?

Absolutely. It’s worth it. The only costs are time. Besides, not only people with a European political background are wanted, but everyone across the whole spectrum, such as economists, lawyers or historians.

Thank you very much for your insights and best wishes for the future!

Annika: I enjoyed it, thank you so much!