Volunteering - What's different in the new Member States? Factsheet, EUROFOUND - European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, 15 February 2011
The formerly communist countries of central and eastern Europe provide a good example of how strongly volunteering is influenced by political and social traditions. These countries' communist legacy did not favour a culture of volunteering and influenced the emergence of such a culture after the collapse of the regimes. First, the very notion of volunteering as an activity arising from grassroots level challenged the power of the communist state, which claimed to have the capacity to provide for all citizens. Secondly, 'voluntary' work in these countries was – in reality – compulsory unpaid work in schemes initiated by central authorities, resulting in negative connotations for the term 'volunteering'. Nowadays, however, participation in voluntary and charitable activities in some of the new Member States (NMS) is above the EU average.
Older people and volunteering Factsheet, EUROFOUND - European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, 15 February, 2011
Older people have typically been seen as the beneficiaries of voluntary activities. Indeed, the role of voluntary services is likely to become increasingly important in the context of cuts in state-provided welfare services and payments as a result of the economic crisis. However, increasing attention is also being paid to the contribution and potential of older people as voluntary workers.
Volunteering in Europe Factsheet, EUROFOUND - European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, 15 February, 2011
The extent of formal volunteering varies between European countries, depending on the available organisational setup and infrastructure to facilitate and encourage volunteering. Since the rules and incentives for registering voluntary organisations vary between Member States, however, comparing the extent of even solely formal volunteering across countries is difficult. Data from both Eurostat's Standard Eurobarometer 2010 and Eurofound's European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) cast more light on the phenomenon of volunteering.
OPINION of the Committee of the Regions (CoR) on combating homelessness. ECOS-V-001, 86th plenary session, 5 and 6 October 2010
p 8 "41. Local and regional authorities should improve their support for the voluntary sector. Homelessness is a structural and policy problem that all public authorities must engage with, but where voluntary organisations also play an important role. Thought should be given to how the European Union can help voluntary organisations to play a more prominent role. The European Year of Volunteering 2011 should be used as an opportunity to raise awareness and explore new forms of cooperating with voluntary organisations on this important issue."
OPINION of the Committee of the Regions (CoR) on youth on the move, EDUC-V-008, 88th plenary session, 27 and 28 January 2011
p7 "notes that the 2011 European Year of Volunteering will provide an opportunity to: (a) demonstrate, among other positive aspects, the value to young people of voluntary activity as a means of helping to develop their professional career paths; and (b) to address the obstacles to volunteering and the need for appropriate legal frameworks to protect volunteers' rights and entitlements;"
OPINION of the Committee of the Regions (CoR) on a renewed European strategy "investing in youth". EDUC-IV-038 83rd plenary session, 9-10 February 2010
p4"welcomes the designation of 2011 as the European Year of Volunteering; calls upon the European Commission to explicitly include children and youth as a focus group in its agenda and; strongly encourages LRA to actively participate"
P6 "the concept of lifelong skills-based learning and working may ultimately result in retirement being closer to an "adjusted, i.e. competence-oriented, working phase" in nature. The "silver economy" provides ample opportunity to become economically stronger. Voluntary work and caring are also very valuable ways of realising this adjusted working phase. The most important thing is for citizens to remain active throughout their lives;"