European Year of Volunteering 2011 get go-ahead

Following many months of lobbying, we are advised that the proposal to have 2011 designated the European Year of Volunteering has been accepted by the President of the European Commission. This in itself is a recognition of the fundamentally important role played by volunteers in society, through the civil society groupings of which WOSM is a part. Congratulations to all those NSOs who actively participated in the campaign by contacting their MEPs.

We are pleased to attach the Press Release prepared by the European Volunteer Centre.

Major European civil society networks welcome decision of the European
Commission to work towards the European Year of Volunteering 2011

In a meeting held on 18th February 2009, it was announced that the European Commission, on instruction of President Barroso, has started preparing the European Year of Volunteering 2011.

This announcement follows an intensive two and a half year campaign led by an alliance of nineteen European networks active in volunteering and coordinated by the European Volunteer Centre (CEV).

We are delighted to see that the European Commission has taken up a civil society initiative. We believe that the decision to work towards 2011 as the European Year of Volunteering brings the Commission closer to the people of Europe and to their real concerns. It has responded to the voice of its citizens: over 100 million Europeans contribute to society as volunteers, putting into practice shared values of solidarity, social cohesion and active citizenship.

Since volunteers contribute to so many EU policies, we welcome this move to acknowledge, celebrate and promote their engagement. We want the European Year of Volunteering 2011 to make an impact at every level and we are ready to support the Commission in its efforts to organise and deliver a meaningful and successful Year.

A number of European bodies (the European Economic and Social Committee (2006); the Council of Education and Youth Ministers (2007); the Committee of the Regions (2008) and the European Parliament, with a Written Declaration adopted by 454 MEPs in 2008) have already declared their support for this Year.

Note to the press:

The meeting hosted by the European Commission’s DG Education and Culture, brought together Pierre Mairesse, Director, Risto Raivio, Head of Unit, and representatives of “European Year of Volunteering 2011 alliance”.

This alliance includes the European Volunteer Centre (CEV), the Social Platform, the World Organisation of the Scout Movement (European Region), the Red Cross/European Union Office, the European Youth Forum (YFJ), the older peoples platform AGE, Caritas Europa, volonteurope (CSV), Solidar, the Confederation of European Senior Expert Services (CESES), ENGAGE business network, EURAG, Johanniter International, the European Association of Voluntary Service Organisations (AVSO), the European Non-Governmental Sports Organizations (ENGSO and ENGSO Youth), Youth Action for Peace (YAP), the Euclid Network and Eurodiaconia.

> 100 Million Europeans = 100% Volunteers
=> 2011 European Year of Volunteering

For further information:
please contact Alix Masson – amasson@scout.org +32 2 534 3315

Picture: © CEV-The European Volunteer Centre

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