The EYV 2011 Alliance has established 6 working groups. They have met for the first time on January 7th and 8th in the European Youth Centre in Budapest, Hungary. The working groups involve more than 100 experts many of them volunteers themselves who have been nominated by EYV 2011 Alliance member organisations and will meet in total at least 5 times during 2011 including the Kick Off Conference in Budapest and three further Working Group meetings held in Brussels in March, May & September 2011. The closing conference will be in Poland (December 2011) and will see the approval of the "EYV 2011 Alliance European Policy Agenda on Volunteering" to be presented to policy makers at the EC EYV 2011 closing conference also in Poland in December 2011.
Working towards the European Policy Agenda on Volunteering the Working Groups will address:
• Work towards a common understanding of "quality volunteering"
• Clarify the roles and responsibilities of the organizers of volunteering in ensuring quality volunteering experiences.
• Identify and disseminate good practice in the field of quality assurance and quality assessment tools used by volunteer organisations.
• Map research on the legal status of volunteers in Europe
• Collect concerns in terms of legal barriers and bottlenecks caused by legal provisions at any level that result in limiting volunteering in Europe.
• Advocate for recommendations for improvement of the legal status of volunteers and a clear legal status for volunteers everywhere in Europe
• Extract good practice indicators of an enabling volunteering infrastructure at different levels feeding into a European framework recommendation allowing space for national diversity of volunteering to be respected.
• Identify key legal features for volunteer organisations to provide an enabling infrastructure.
• Map the existing tools for recognition of volunteers - extract good practice examples.
• Map tools of how to recognize the contribution of volunteer organisations
• Formulate recommendations for better recognition of volunteering in different areas and by different tools.
• Devise a strategy for implementation of the recommendations
• Identification of tools and ways to identify, measure and express the value of volunteering.
• Valuing the contribution of volunteering in positively shaping the European society and as an expression of solidarity, a value which is not only in great need in the current economic and social climate, but also one upon which the EU has been built.
• Recognising the contributions of volunteers as co-funding in all European and national project funding.
• Increase understanding and recognition of the concept of Employee Volunteering as a key element of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
• Contribute to making Employee Volunteering accessible for all, in all sectors (private, public and non-profit).