Comparable data on volunteering in the individual EU Member States has never been available. Such activities, however, represent real economic value and this data could provide a very useful tool for facilitating implementation of many social and economic policies. Therefore the Committee calls on the European Commission to work on a standardised methodology for research into volunteer work and to ensure its adoption by the Member States via an appropriate EU Regulation. In so doing, use should be made of the ILO Manual on the Measurement of Volunteer Work. The Commission should also introduce binding legal measures to enable the non-profit sector to co-finance public grants with the economic value of volunteer work.
The EESC endorses views expressed in the European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid regarding the objectives and assets of humanitarian action and expresses its conviction that humanitarian aid includes protecting people affected by humanitarian crises, maintaining their dignity and respecting their rights. The Committee stresses the genuine nature of voluntary action which should not be confused with other types of action involving work Volunteer involvement must always be needs-based, following an analysis and assessment of the situation and the needs of populations affected by disasters or complex crises.
The aim of the conference is to reaffirm the important social and economic role of volunteering in meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and to highlight that, in view of the growing societal challenges that the authorities of the EU Member States are often unable to meet, volunteers can play an effective part in achieving these goals by meeting social needs more rapidly and efficiently than public institutions. The role of volunteering should therefore be recognised and valued by all Commissioners under the policy of the new European Commission, and there should be long-term support for volunteers. There is a fairly widespread view that, following the end of the European Year of Volunteering, the issue had started to slowly fade from the European debate and, in general, was not visible among the initiatives of the European Commission, the Council or the European Parliament.
Newsletter of the Various Interests Group
Presentation by Elise DROUET (World Organisation of Scout Movement) during the EESC hearing on Volunteering infrastructure and quality of volunteering (23.02.2011)
Presentation by Jutta König Georgiades (European Commission) during the EESC hearing on Volunteering infrastructure and quality of volunteering (23.02.2011)
Presentation by Géraldine Libreau (European Commission) during the EESC hearing on Volunteering infrastructure and quality of volunteering (23.02.2011)