The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe are pleased with improvements to organizational aspects of 2011 European Year of Volunteering which will result in greater support for active citizenship.
"More than one million people in Europe engage in active citizenship through volunteering, thus strengthening their social and professional skills. Lowering administrative barriers helps individuals and organizations to focus on their core activities, making a more effective impact and contribution to European societies." declared Marietje SCHAAKE (D66, Pays-Bas), Shadow rapporteur for ALDE on the Culture Committee. "Volunteers foster participation within European societies as well as engagement with third countries, thus contributing to Europe's position in the world and the fight against poverty. The European Parliament encourages participation by all individuals including refugees and asylum seekers." "This European year of volunteering is an opportunity to be seized to promote better exchange of experiences and best practice. In addition to its social role, volunteering presents an economic value and it contributes notably to the economy. It was also agreed to promote the recognition of time given up by volunteers to be considered as co-financing of European projects" insisted Marian Harkin (Independent, Ireland) rapporteur of the opinion for the Employment and Social Affairs Committee, who introduced this idea through her own initiative report adopted by the European Parliament in 2008. "It is for this purpose that we have given it a budget of 10 million euros and clarified the rules of co-financing by Member States"