"Volunteering strengthens our core European values: solidarity and social cohesion. As we launch the European Year of Volunteering, I want to rally support for people who make a difference. Now is the time for us to share and to give something back, for us to focus on helping the helpers!" said Viviane Reding, EU Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship during the launch event in Brussels on 2 December 2010.
The Youth in Action
programme helps young people to get involved in unpaid voluntary work through the European Voluntary Service
, which will celebrate its 15th anniversary in 2011; since 1996 approximately 50 000 young European volunteers have travelled outside their home countries to help, gain knowledge, exercise skills and extend their social networks, which can often lead to new or better job prospects, as well as personal and social development. The European Year of Volunteering in 2011 has four main objectives: to lower obstacles to volunteering in the EU; to improve the quality of volunteering; to reward and recognise volunteering activities; and to raise awareness of the value and importance of volunteering to the economy, society and the individual. Throughout the Year of Volunteering, hundreds of activities and projects, among them the European Voluntary Service projects, will be highlighted and promoted inter alia during the 2011 European Year of Volunteering Tour
visiting all 27 capitals of the European Union. More information
European Voluntary Service: /youth/youth-in-action-programme/european-voluntary-service_en.htm
Official website for the European Year: www.europa.eu/volunteering
(includes the timetable of the European Year of Volunteering Tour) Press release: http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/10/1640&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en