Volonteurope is an international network promoting the values and principles of volunteering, active citizenship and social justice at a local, regional, national and European level, both in the Member States of the European Union and the Council of Europe.
The network is registered in the Netherlands while its Secretariat is hosted and supported by CSV, the UK’s largest volunteering and social action NGO.
We seek to implement innovative approaches to encouraging Active European Citizenship across the continent. We do this by facilitating the exchange of information, good practices, cooperation and capacity‐building, through seminars, conferences, Active Citizens of Europe (ACE) Awards and research, as well as development of effective partnerships amongst our members, associates, as well as other partners in Europe. Through joint efforts, we engage in campaigns and lobbying activities at all levels.
We were one of the founders of the European Year of Volunteering 2011 Alliance and contributed to the implementation of the Year, as well as the creation of the ‘Policy Agenda on Volunteering in Europe’ (P.A.V.E.), a comprehensive document setting out recommendations for keeping volunteering high on the political agenda in Europe. We are pursuing the follow‐ up to P.A.V.E. by having jointly established, with fellow European networks, the European Alliance for Volunteering (EAV), founded on 8 February 2013 in Brussels.
We are actively engaged in the implementation of the European Year of Citizens (EYC) 2013 on behalf of the civil society, in partnership with over 50 other European networks cooperating in the EYC Alliance. We do this by contributing to policy development undertaken by EYCA Thematic Working Groups, which focus on active citizenship as manifested by volunteering, civic participation and respect for human rights. We also help steer the direction of the EYCA work through its Steering Group. A number of our members are also co‐leading National Coalitions for EYC 2013 across the EU Member States.
Volonteurope also actively works with European Institutions – European Commission, European Parliament, European Economic and Social Committee and the Council of Europe – where we promote the work of our members, associates and partners, as well as voice their concerns.
In our engagement/work we are really satisfied when we see young people from disadvantaged backgrounds getting involved in cross-European programmes and realising their rights, as EU citizens, to full mobility.
This is how we achieved change: working in cross-European partnerships and alliances to raise awareness about the importance of volunteering and active citizenship while also involving young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in European programmes to help them realise their rights, as EU citizens, to full mobility.