you're reading...
International Relations, PUBLICATIONS

European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps

The European Commission’s proposal for the setting up of a European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps (EVHAC) is aimed at encouraging young Europeans to contribute to EU humanitarian aid operations and make them more visible. With pilot volunteers already on the ground, adoption of the proposed regulation will ensure the initiative maximises its contribution to EU aid objectives.


Kristalina Georgieva, Member of the EC in charge of International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response gives a news conference on the EC proposal for a Regulation on the setting up of the European Voluntary Corps in Humanitarian Aid Ð a new body envisaged by the Treaty of Lisbon

© European Union, 2014

Recent relief operations around the world have highlighted that European Union (EU) humanitarian aid is often overshadowed by that of other international organisations. This is despite the fact that the contributions from the EU and its Member States together account for more than half of all international official humanitarian aid. The Lisbon Treaty introduced Article 214(5) TFEU, creating a framework for young people to contribute to EU humanitarian aid operations.

The Commission published a 2010 Communication on means to express EU citizens’ solidarity through the setting up of EU volunteers Corps inspired by the model of the United Nations Volunteers Programme. In its Conclusions of 17 May 2011 on EVHAC, the Council underlined that it should be cost-effective, it should build upon existing national and international voluntary schemes without duplicating them, and finally, should be focused at addressing concrete needs and gaps in the humanitarian field. Subsequently, on 29 September 2011, Parliament adopted a written declaration calling for the establishment of an EVHAC.

The Commission’s proposal

Following up its Communication, on 19 September 2012, the Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation establishing the EVHAC, on the legal base of Article 214(5) TFEU. The proposal’s main objective is to express the EU’s humanitarian values and solidarity with people in need and translate it into concrete actions through an effective and visible European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps. The proposal underlines that the actions of the Corps would be guided by EU humanitarian principles and deployments based on real needs identified on the ground. Further to agreement on the 2014-20 Multiannual Financial Framework, the budget will be €147.9 million, not affecting the EU budget for humanitarian aid operations.

European Parliament

On 23 April 2013, the Committee on Development (DEVE) (rapporteur Michèle Striffler, EPP, France) unanimously adopted its report on EVHAC. The report supports the Commission’s proposal, adding the stipulation that EU aid volunteers, adequately trained, should be deployed in humanitarian aid operations in accordance with the European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid except in the context of armed conflicts. DEVE members recommended the adoption of a multiannual work programme defining the objectives, the expected results and financial allocations. Lastly, the DEVE Committee proposed that the effective humanitarian contribution made by volunteers and the quality of the actions carried out be evaluated no later than 30 June 2017. Agreement on the proposal was reached in trilogue with the Council in December 2013. The DEVE Committee approved the compromise in December, and it now comes to plenary.


The main humanitarian aid organisations have been involved in the process of developing the concept of the EVHAC since the beginning, in early 2010. They all support the Commission’s proposal. Nevertheless, VOICE underlines the need for constant evaluation of the Corps as it develops. So too does the Red Cross, which believes that further investments should be given to monitoring and evaluation of the different types of actions of EU Aid Volunteers, in order to measure the added value of EVHAC.

About EPRSauthor

European Parliamentary Research Service of the European Parliament. The EPRS offers the best available research and analytical support to Members of the European Parliament, their staff, parliamentary committees and, of course, to you!


2 thoughts on “European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps

  1. I am a Euroceptic but I fully endorse this proposal. It is about time that our money is channeled towards more worthy objectives!


    Posted by Chris Agius | February 22, 2014, 22:24


  1. Pingback: Africa in focus: rethinking the EU partnership | European Parliamentary Research Service - March 31, 2014

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Download the EPRS App

EPRS App on Google Play
EPRS App on App Store
What Europe Does For You
EU Legislation in Progress
Topical Digests
EPRS Podcasts

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 3,383 other followers

Disclaimer and Copyright statement

The content of all documents (and articles) contained in this blog is the sole responsibility of the author and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily represent the official position of the European Parliament. It is addressed to the Members and staff of the EP for their parliamentary work. Reproduction and translation for non-commercial purposes are authorised, provided the source is acknowledged and the European Parliament is given prior notice and sent a copy.

For a comprehensive description of our cookie and data protection policies, please visit Terms and Conditions page.

Copyright © European Union, 2014-2019. All rights reserved.

%d bloggers like this: