On 12th June, The Report on recognising and promoting cross-border voluntary activities in the EU was voted in the plenary sitting of 12 June 2012.
The paper, initiated by MEP Marco Scurria, under the Committee on Culture and Education was created with the aim of highlighting the importance of voluntary activities in the framework of the 2011 European Year of Volunteering.
Voluntary activities are an expression of active citizenship in all spheres of social life and as an essential activity for the development of democratic values, human dignity, equality and subsidiarity.
The need to continue to differentiate clearly and unequivocally between the value of volunteering, provided free of charge, and profit-making activities, still remains. So, it is essential to emphasise the role of volunteering in promoting the principles of identity and common European values, such as solidarity and social cohesion, within the EU and beyond.
It is also important to focus on various specific measures to promote voluntary activities, such as the idea of establishing a centralised EU portal on volunteering with a specific section dedicated to cross-border volunteering, creating a ‘European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps’ and developing a ‘European Skills Passport’. The European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps will select, train and send volunteers to provide support to local organisations in the event of natural disasters; while the European Skills Passport will provide for the cross-border recognition of professional skills, and will make it possible for a record to be kept of competences and skills acquired through volunteering. The Passport will be based on the Europass model (European on-line CV) to allow skills to be recorded in a transparent and comparable way. What is required is greater public recognition of volunteering as a useful experience for young people with the aim of acquiring skills that can be used, for example, in education and in work.
Marco Scurria, MEP who initiated the report, showed himself very satisfied at the approval by the European believing that the adoption of such a Report shows that volunteering is an indispensable tool and active support for the expansion of a common public spirit.
For further information, please visit http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A7-2012-166&language=EN