Europe launches Volunteering Manifesto
26 June 2003
Brussels: The Manifesto for Volunteering in Europe 2003 was launched today at the European Parliament in Brussels. Developed by the European Volunteer Center (CEV) network, the Manifesto outlines the importance of volunteering and includes ways on how European stakeholders can best foster it.
Attended by the European Parliament, United Nations and CEV representatives, the launch marked the beginning of a year-long campaign to raise awareness on volunteerism within institutions in the European Union. The campaign aims to highlight the importance and value of voluntary activities and encourage more support for its development at the social, legislative
and financial levels.
The campaign is rooted in two UN General Assembly Resolutions: the first (A/RES/56/38) proposes recommendations on ways in which governments can effectively support volunteerism. The second (A/RES/57/106) invites all key stakeholders to continue to acknowledge
the important role of volunteerism and to support it as a strategic tool to enhance social and economic development.
Speaking on behalf of the United Nations during the launch, UN Brussels Liaison Office Director Omar Bakhet referred to volunteering as being "at the heart of the work and mission of the United Nations" and as key to attaining and sustaining the Millennium Development Goals.
Members of the European Parliament Richard Howitt and Michael Cashman expressed their support for the idea of a "White Paper on Volunteering and Citizen Engagement in Europe", to review the scale and importance of voluntary activity in Europe and examine strategies that could be implemented by the Community and Member States to support it.
The White Paper will be at the center of the advocacy campaign, which will be organized and led by CEV in the next months.