Commission Communication on EU policies and volunteering


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Presentation by Jutta König Georgiades (European Commission) during the EESC hearing on Volunteering infrastructure and quality of volunteering (23.02.2011)

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Commission Communication on EU policies and volunteering

  1. 1. Commission Communication on EU policies and volunteering EESC Coordination Group 23 May 2011 Jutta König Georgiades
  2. 2. Commission Communication on EU policies and volunteering <ul><li>Context: </li></ul><ul><li>Organising a European Year of Volunteering 2011 has been a first step; </li></ul><ul><li>Implementation of EYV 2011 goes very well; </li></ul><ul><li>Reflection inside Commission starts now: What comes next? </li></ul>
  3. 3. Commission Communication on EU policies and volunteering <ul><li>Purpose of the Communication: </li></ul><ul><li>= > To take stock of the situation of volunteering in the EU and to examine what EU and Member states can do to promote volunteering, in particular cross-border volunteering </li></ul>
  4. 4. Commission Communication on EU policies and volunteering <ul><li>Roadmap: </li></ul><ul><li>Adoption of Commission Communication in September 2011; </li></ul><ul><li>Final conference: December 2011: presentation of conclusions by civil society </li></ul>
  5. 5. Commission definition of ‘volunteering’: <ul><li>‘ Volunteering’ refers to all types of voluntary activity, whether formal, non-formal or informal, and which are undertaken of a person’s own free will, choice and motivation, without concern for financial gain. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Facts and figures: <ul><li>Almost 100 million people (25% of Europeans) aged 15 and older engage in some form of voluntary activity; </li></ul><ul><li>Voluntary sector: 5% of GDP; </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteers reflect variety of European society; </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteering takes place in many sectors: Sport, social sector, welfare and health sector… </li></ul>
  7. 7. Challenges for volunteering in the EU <ul><li>To match demand and supply of volunteers, </li></ul><ul><li>To create more favourable legal conditions in Member States, </li></ul><ul><li>To overcome lack of recognition, infrastructure and sustainable funding. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Obstacles to volunteering in the EU <ul><li>Legal, administrative, organisational and financial obstacles, like for example: </li></ul><ul><li>absence of a legal status for volunteers (problems connected to residence permit, visa…) </li></ul><ul><li>loss of social benefits and lack of insurance when volunteering abroad </li></ul>
  9. 9. EU policies and volunteering <ul><li>EU funding programmes targeting volunteers: </li></ul><ul><li>Youth in Action Programme and European Voluntary Service, </li></ul><ul><li>Lifelong Learning Programme and Grundtvig </li></ul>
  10. 10. EU policies and volunteering <ul><li>Other EU funding programmes: </li></ul><ul><li>Programme for the distribution of food to the most deprived persons (EAGF), </li></ul><ul><li>PROGRESS Programme, </li></ul><ul><li>DAPHNE III, </li></ul><ul><li>LIFE Programme, </li></ul>
  11. 11. Revision of Commission Financial Regulation <ul><li>Recognition of volunteering as contribution in kinds ? </li></ul><ul><li>Use of lump sums ? </li></ul>
  12. 12. EU policies and volunteering <ul><li>Volunteering as expression of active citizenship => developing solidarity, tolerance and European identity </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteering holding society together => fostering social cohesion and inclusion, </li></ul><ul><li>Education => volunteering helps to acquire skills </li></ul>
  13. 13. EU policies and volunteering <ul><li>Youth => active participation can be fostered through volunteering, </li></ul><ul><li>Sport => voluntary activities play crucial role </li></ul><ul><li>Employee volunteering => motivating staff, creating new values and traditions while helping local communities </li></ul>
  14. 14. EU policies and volunteering <ul><li>Development policies => contribution of volunteers essential, </li></ul><ul><li>Humanitarian Aid => Legislative proposal for European Humanitarian Aid Corps in 2012 </li></ul>
  15. 15. First conclusions <ul><li>Volunteering brings benefits to our economy, society and to the volunteers. </li></ul><ul><li>Many EU policies have an impact on volunteering and volunteering adds to EU policies. </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteering can be further developed within EU 2020 strategy. </li></ul><ul><li>Cross-border volunteering important to enhance mobility, inter-cultural learning and to reinforce European identity </li></ul>
  16. 16. Active citizenship Social agenda Europe 2020 Strategy Overall purpose: to encourage and support — notably through the exchange of experience and good practices — the efforts of the Member States, local and regional authorities and civil society to create the conditions conducive to volunteering in the European Union Year’s Objectives Activities Medium- & longer-term results Policy context conditions conducive to volunteering in the European Union Impact <ul><li>Improved EU level recognition systems (European Skills Passport), </li></ul><ul><li>New EU & MS legislative initiatives to overcome obstacles to volunteering. </li></ul><ul><li>New transnational networking initiatives. </li></ul><ul><li>. </li></ul><ul><li>High visibility and good media coverage </li></ul><ul><li>Regular dialogue on V between the MS, </li></ul><ul><li>New dialogue on V within MS. </li></ul><ul><li>V ‘mainstreamed’ in EU funding programmes. </li></ul>Enabling environment Empowering and quality Reward and recognition Awareness Exchanges of good practices, debate, dissemination of studies, events, information and promotion campaign carried out at all levels and involving EU & national public authorities and civil society
  17. 17. Volunteer! Make a difference