European Commission Communication on volunteering and policy

On 20 September the Commission adopted its Communication on Volunteering. AGE welcomes the announcement of the Commission’s plans to further improve the recognition and promotion of volunteering in the EU and for a range of measures that will help foster voluntary activities in the EU, including the development of a ‘European Skills Passport’, the role the private and public sector can play in promoting voluntary activities through CSR measures, and the Commission’s intention to give the proposed European Year of Citizens (2013) an appropriate volunteering dimension. However, we are disappointed that the only specific mention of planned action in relation to older volunteers is that the Commission is willing to further explore possibilities to strengthen the link between volunteering and health/welfare, in particular with regard to the ageing society.

Volunteering among older people needs to be addressed within a broader context. It can bring great value both in terms of supporting active ageing and in encouraging solidarity between the generations and the different political levels and stakeholders can play a key role in foster these objectives. Moreover, AGE believes it is important to build on the momentum created by the EYV2011 to facilitate older people’s engagement in community and volunteering activities under the EY2012 and looks at how the avenues created for raising awareness of the value and contribution of older volunteers under the EYV2011 can be enhanced by the more politically strategic approach that will be taken in EY2012.

Communication on EU Policies and Volunteering:

AGE position paper on Active ageing through older volunteering: making the link between the EYV 2011 and EY2012

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