European Year 2011

2011 European Year of Volunteering




EYV2011: Time to celebrate older volunteers!


AGE Platform Europe welcomes the European Year  of Volunteering (EYV) 2011, which aims to raise awareness of the importance of voluntary work as a means of promoting active citizenship, social cohesion and solidarity and of the challenges that face millions of volunteers throughout the EU.

The four main objectives of the EYV defined by the European Commission are:

  • reducing the obstacles to volunteer work in the EU,
  • improving the quality of volunteer work,
  • rewarding and acknowledging volunteer work, and
  • raising awareness of society and of individuals regarding the value and importance of volunteering for the economy, society and the individual.

AGE is actively involved in the Year as a member of the Steering Group of the EYV2011 NGO Alliance, a NGO coalition running and coordinating the activities around the Year. AGE will also seek to facilitate the involvement of its members in the Year's activities.

For more information on the objectives of the European Year 2011 and AGE involvement, please read our January Special Briefing on the EYV.

AGE hopes that the Year will highlight the huge contribution that older volunteers bring to society in improving the quality of life and of services in many sectors (such as health, education, personal assistance, etc.), preventing social exclusion and strengthening the solidarity between generations and that it will help remove the barriers preventing more older people to volunteer.

More in AGE press release and in AGE leaflet 'Promoting Volunteering for Europe's seniors'/ 'Promouvoir le bénévolat pour les personnes âgées en Europe' EN - FR

EYV2011 European Commission website

Campaign visual elements (logo, slogan, PPT, template,...)

For more information on the European Year of Volunteering 2011, please contact Rachel Buchanan, AGE Policy Officer for Employment and Non-Discrimination, at


AGE Platform Europe welcomes the 2011 European Year of Volunteering which aims to promote active citizenship as one of the key dimensions of European modern democracies and to further foster solidarity and non-discrimination in society.  The objectives of this European Year are to:

·         create an enabling and facilitating environment for volunteering in the EU; 

·         empower volunteer organisations and improve the quality of volunteering; 

·         reward and recognise volunteering activities; and 

·         raise awareness of the value and importance of volunteering. 

While the aim is to involve all levels - European, national, regional and local - emphasis is placed very much on a bottom-up approach. In this way, the ownership of this European Year will remain as much as possible with volunteers themselves and volunteer organisations. 

It is expected that the European Year of Volunteering will lead to an increase in volunteering activities and to greater awareness of the added value that volunteering brings. It is also hoped that it will highlight the link between voluntary engagement at local level and its significance in the wider EU context.

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The contents of the articles are the sole responsibility of AGE Platform Europe and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Commission.