16 March 2022 – 10:00-12:00
Organised by: The Centre for European Volunteering (CEV), Volonteurope and the EESC section for Employment, Social Affairs and Citizenship (SOC) and the EESC section for Economic and Monetary Union and Economic and Social Cohesion (ECO)
Live streaming: https://youtu.be/VCe576oMuys
Moderated by Piotr Sadowski, Secretary General, Volonteurope
- 10.00-10:05 a.m. Opening by SOC President Laurenţiu Plosceanu
- 10:05-10:15 Presentation by EESC member Krzysztof Pater on the EESC Opinion on "Volunteers - Citizens Building the future of Europe". European Year of Volunteers 2025
- 10:15-10:20 Reaction from EESC Member Andris Gobiņš.
- 10:20-10:35 Presentation of the "Blueprint for Volunteering in Europe 2030" by CEV Director Gabriella Civico (online) and George Thomson, CEV Vice President
- 10:35-10:40 Break
- 10:40-11:40 Panel Discussion on Intergenerational Volunteering and Older people volunteering
- Frances Brace (Grandmentor Volunteer) and Tekle Berihu (Migrant Mentee): "Grandmentors Programme", Volunteering Matters (Volonteurope member),UK
- Jacques Van Egten: President, CESES (European Network of Senior Experts)
- Marta Hauser: "Family Volunteering" Expert associate on the promotion and analysis of public policies, Croatian Volunteer Development Centre (online)
- Philippe Seidel: Age Platform EU
- 11:40-11:55 Monika Chabior (Vice-Mayor of Gdansk and Member of the Committee of the Regions) "The Importance of Volunteers for Regional and Local Prosperity in Europe". (online)
- 11:55-12 noon Conclusions and Close
2021 was the 10th anniversary of the European Year of Volunteering 2011 (EYV 2011). Since 2012, volunteering has appeared only occasionally in official EU documents, but the launch of the European Solidarity Corps, together with a highly visible and crucial volunteer response to needs that arose in the COVID-19 pandemic, has generated renewed interest in, and a greater focus on, the role and value of volunteering and solidarity in the European Union. However, this recognition of volunteering must continue beyond the time when we finally emerge from the pandemic and, even more importantly, there must be a robust recognition of and investment in volunteering infrastructure beyond the European Solidarity Corps, both at European and Member State levels, if we are to live in Europe where we can all share from the Union's prosperity.
Volunteers play a crucial role in the implementation of all of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and are to be found across all sections of society and all age groups. During the debate on the future of Europe, policy-makers must be aware that this future will be shaped not only by politicians or formally structured bodies, but also by millions of citizens – volunteers who spend their time and energy every day acting in solidarity with others for the common good.
As part of #EYVplus10 activities in 2021, the Centre for European Volunteering (CEV) has published the new "Blueprint for European Volunteering 2023" that was also endorsed by Volonteurope and other key stakeholders. Also in 2021, the EESC adopted a new opinion on Volunteering entitled Volunteers - Citizens Building the future of Europe and a new study on volunteering in Europe commissioned by the EESC has also been published.
The EESC has previously made other important contributions to the discourse on volunteering in Europe, and continues to do so:
- The 2006 EESC opinion on Voluntary activity: its role in European society and its impact;
- The 2013 EESC opinion on Statistical tools for measuring volunteering;
- The 2011 Group III Conference in Warsaw, as part of the European Year of Volunteering (many of the conclusions from this conference were incorporated by the Polish presidency into the Council conclusions as a summary of this Year);
- The forthcoming (in 2022) Diversity Group Conference in Poland (initially scheduled for March 2020) on The role of volunteering in the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
This workshop will address a number of sub-topics:
- Assessing policy and programme support for volunteering in the framework of the Next Generation EU Recovery Fund and its contribution to prosperity.
- Exploring how to better measure the value of volunteering to prosperity in Europe and thus have a stronger evidence base for current and future policies.
- Understanding the economic contribution of volunteering to the recovery process and increased prosperity.
- Reflecting on volunteering that is focused on democracy and active citizenship, as an expression of European values contributing to future prosperity in Europe, including the active inclusion of established and growing migrant populations.