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.
Volunteers do not just deliver services that benefit communities, they also play an essential role in promoting European values and creating a better future for the EU
In the context of the own-initiative opinion on Volunteers – Citizens building the future of Europe, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) is organising a remote public hearing on Monday 20 September 2021. The aim of the hearing is to gather the points of view of social partners and other civil society organisations, experts and coordinators of projects related to volunteering, on the topic, and to hold a discussion on the impact of civil society trends for volunteering and the current state of play of volunteering at European level.
Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 has proved to be an endurance test for human and social rights, democratic values, the rule of law and economic resilience in the EU. While navigating stormy waters, organised civil society is playing a key role in coping with the countless pandemic-related challenges at European, national, regional and local level.
The conference was originally planned for 12 March 2020, but it has been postponed due to the sanitary situation resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The present catalogue of good practices is a collection of numerous successful initiatives implemented by civil society organisations in Europe in response to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The information set out in this catalogue was brought together in the framework of the study "The response of civil society organisations to face the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent restrictive measures adopted in Europe", commissioned by the European Economic and Social Committee at the request of the Diversity Europe Group.
As the COVID-19 pandemic hits societies and economies, bringing a global and unprecedented public health and social crisis, civil society organisations (CSOs) are responding by providing frontline help and defending the rights of people across the world. At the same time, CSOs have faced themselves profound impacts that may harm their capacities to continue playing their central roles in delivering services, advocating for rights and protecting the most fragile, while safeguarding participatory democracy and civic debate in the near future.