On 9 February 2012, the European Region of WOSM was invited to speak at a European Parliament Hearing on Youth and Volunteering, organised by the European People’s Party (EPP). The Hearing gathered more than 10 Members of European Parliament (MEPs), other representatives of the European Parliament as well as representatives of civil society, the European Commission and other partners, a total of around 100 people. Alix Masson, Director for External Relations and Funding at the European Regional Scout Office,  made an input regarding the European Year of Volunteering 2011 in which WOSM had played a very active role. She offered a perspective on EYV 2011 from the eyes of her organisation, a volunteer-led movement and from the eyes of the process itself – a civil society led movement.

The process which started as early as 2006 showed how vision, lobbying of a joint effort of civil society, as well as the support of the EU citizens’ representatives, MEPs, can result in great achievements. Alix however also drew attention to the fact, that despite the impressing overall results, both at European and national levels (the local level is more difficult to evaluate), there were some targets the EYV was unable to achieve, such as the European Commission not planning on following up and committing  to work on the legacy of the year. She also mentioned the need to work on the recognition of the contribution in kind as financial contribution of volunteers (in the framework on national and European funding).

In her introduction, MEP Doris Pack made a strong case, on behalf of the EPP group and more largely the CULT committee (dealing with Youth programmes), about the next generation of European programmes, calling for an independent Youth in Action Programme and refuting the analysis of the European Commission of having a integrated programme, Erasmus for all. The other speakers focussed on other aspects such as International Voluntary Service or Sports and Volunteering.


Antal Piross
About The Author

Antal Piross

Antal comes from Hungary and he is Assistant on External Relations at the European Scout Office. He is following the Region's work on External Relations.

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