In the European Union, almost 100 million citizens of all ages invest their time, talents and money to make a positive contribution to their community by volunteering.
The European Volunteer Centre (Centre européen du volontariat, CEV) is the European network of 88 national, regional and local volunteer centres and volunteer support agencies across Europe, that work together to support and promote voluntary activity. 'Volunteering England' is represented on the CEV Board of Directors.
A Study on Volunteering in the European Union is available, providing research and insights into the current situation of volunteering in the European Union. It includes a comparative analysis of volunteering in 27 Member States with 27 national reports, a sector study on volunteering in sport and 27 national fiches on volunteering in sport.
The purpose of the study was to reach a better understanding of the conditions and the state of volunteering in the 27 Member States including the national, regional and local level and to identify trends, similarities and differences, opportunities and challenges.
European Year of Volunteering 2011
Objectives of the European Year
The EU will use the Year to work towards four main objectives:
The Commission expects the European Year of Volunteering will lead to an increase in volunteering and to greater awareness of its added value, and that it will highlight the link between voluntary engagement at local level and its significance in the wider European context.
The aim is to involve all levels – European, national, regional and local, but the emphasis is very much on a bottom-up approach. In this way the ownership of the European Year shall remain as much as possible with the volunteers and the volunteer organisations.
The European Commission is working closely with the European Year of Volunteering 2011 Alliance – an informal network of major NGO European networks with a particular interest in volunteering who have committed to working together on the promotion, lobbying, organisation and implementation of the EYV 2011. Together, they represent over 1500 volunteering organisations across the EU.
Volunteering England and Community Service Volunteers are also involved in promoting the year. The United Kingdom Cabinet Office was involved with supporting related projects in the UK. And the UK’s National Council for Voluntary Organisations has a long history of involvement in EU and international civic society and shapes the direction of EU policy in an increasingly interdependent world.
A volunteering roadshow will tour the EU with the aim of bringing Europe closer to volunteers, and promoting volunteering throughout the European Union. The campaign will tour Europe’s 27 capitals over the course of 2011. It will last around a week in each Member State, and will provide volunteers and volunteer-involving organisations with an opportunity to:
Citizens and volunteers will also find out about volunteering in other Member States and better understand the European dimension of volunteering. The tour will be in London from 28 October until 3 November 2011.