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European Year of Volunteering 2011

The European Year of Volunteering (EYV) 2011, officially adopted on 24th November, 2009 by the Council of the European Union, is an civil society initiative led by the so-called “EYV 2011 Alliance”, a platform of European civil society organisations. AEGEE joined the Alliance this year, and is now one of the 28 member organisations promoting the four objectives of the Year:

1. Create a better (legal) environment for volunteering

2. Empower volunteer organisations

3. Improve the recognition of voluntary activities

4. Raise public awareness of the importance of volunteering for our society

AEGEE’s activities will mainly focus on the objectives nr. 1 and 4. On the one hand, AEGEE members will be involved in the process of drafting the policy proposals to improve the (legal) environment for volunteering in Europe, advocating the interests of volunteers all over Europe that do not have direct access to policy making – one of the priorities of the Alliance for the Year. On the other hand, AEGEE Antennae (local branches) will support the work of the European Commission on a national level, cooperating with the so-called “National Coordinating Bodies” (NCBs) and the national governments to promote volunteering as one of the fundamental pillars that sustain our society.

The European Commission designed two main instruments for the promotion of volunteering on a national level:

1. The official EYV Tour, which will visit the capital cities of every EU member state and offer a widely visible space (tent or public building) in the city centre for European volunteering organisations and initiatives to present themselves. AEGEE will not only present itself in most of these countries, but also actively contribute to the logistics and organisation of exhibitions, presentations and other activities that will be carried out in this context.

2. A journalist relay, with journalists volunteering in every country to document the world of volunteering in Europe and make it visible to the European public. AEGEE is planning to host journalists in selected countries and give them the logistical support they need to carry out their documenting activities.

AEGEE is looking forward to a European Year of Volunteering 2011 full of activity!