2011 to be the European Year of
Make a difference."
In the European Union, millions of citizens are volunteering.
People of all ages make a positive contribution to their community by
investing some of their free time in civil society organisations, in youth
clubs, in hospitals, in schools, in sport clubs, etc. For the Commission,
volunteering is an active expression of civic participation and
strengthens common European values such as solidarity and social cohesion.
Volunteering also provides important learning opportunities, because
involvement in voluntary activities can provide people with new skills and
competences and can even improve their employability. This is particularly
important in this time of economic crisis. Volunteering plays an important
role in sectors as varied and diverse as education, youth, culture, sport,
environment, health, social care, consumer protection, humanitarian aid,
development policy, research, equal opportunities and external relations.