CM/AS(2011)Rec1948 final 23 September 2011
“Promoting volunteering in Europe” –
Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1948 (2010)
(Reply adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 21 September 2011 at the 1121st meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies)
1. The Committee of Ministers has examined Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1948 (2010) on “Promoting volunteering in Europe”. It has brought the recommendation to the attention of governments. It has also communicated it to the European Steering Committee for Youth (CDEJ), the Advisory Council on Youth (CCJ) and the Steering Committee for Education (CDED).
2. The Committee of Ministers recognises the value in supporting voluntary activities, both from the perspective of promoting active citizenship and from the educational dimension, including non-formal education. It shares the view of the Assembly that effects of voluntary activities can be beneficial, both for the individual and for society as a whole, as outlined by the Assembly in paragraph 3 of its recommendation.
3. In this context, the Committee of Ministers has taken note that the European Union has proclaimed 2011 as the “European Year of Volunteering”. It is aware that conferences and events have been taking place or are planned in many member states in this context and would invite member states to continue to support, as appropriate, any initiatives on the national level addressing volunteering issues and challenges.
4. The Committee of Ministers would inform the Assembly that the Council of Europe has been actively involved in the “The II Youth Convention on Volunteering” organised by the European Youth Forum (Brussels, 7-11 September 2011) in the framework of the European Year of Volunteering, under the title “Young Volunteers Stand Up!”. Moreover, a seminar on “Mobility of young people − Opportunities and obstacles for cross-border volunteering for young people, particularly with fewer opportunities”, was held in the European Youth Centre Strasbourg on 7 and 8 September 2011. Finally, in the framework of the partnership between the European Commission and the Council of Europe in the field of youth, in July 2011 a special issue of the “Coyote” magazine was published devoted to the subject of volunteering.
5. The Committee of Ministers has also taken note of the Assembly’s call on member states to sign and ratify the European Convention on the Promotion of a Transnational Long term Voluntary Service for Young People. It would recall that in the framework of the reform of the Organisation, a review of the relevance of all Council of Europe conventions is currently being prepared with a view to providing a basis for decisions on follow-up including measures to increase the visibility and the number of parties to relevant conventions.