Partners from the five different European organisations composing the EUROVIP consortium have drafted articles in the rubric “resources” of this website, which you are invited to visit to know more on the specificities of volunteering in France, Belgium, Germany, Romania and the United Kingdom!
Here is a little bit of teasing!
Volunteering activities are wildly spread in the UK. According to the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, 42% of the UK population over the age of 16 undertook a formal volunteering engagement at least once a year, in formal or less formal contexts. This type of commitment is not always formalised, but “volunteering agreement” between the organisation and the volunteer are recommended and spread.
In Germany, in which in 2016 more than 23 Million people have been volunteering, there is no official definition or agreement for volunteering activities. It needs to take place in a nonprofit area and without payment of the volunteer. At the regional level, volunteering agencies provide information about regulations and support the contact between those interested in volunteering and vacancies.
In Belgium, volunteering is only possible in nonprofit organisations. More and more young from 18 to 25 years old choose to engage through the citizen service, during 6 to 9 months, and commit themselves in solidarity based projects, in which the time is divided between 80% of field activities and 20% of trainings.
A very similar program exists in France. Called “service civique’”, it targets the same group and type of missions. It belongs to the formalised type of volunteering, for which an agreement is made between the young and the host organisation, defining missions and the level of remuneration. Informal volunteering is nevertheless spread in France. In this case, the responsibility and engagement of the volunteer is only moral.
The concept of volunteering is evolving rapidly in Romania, which enjoys a very comprehensive legal framework. Romania has indeed a legal framework that regulates volunteering activities, to avoid the exploitation of human resources and to ensure the security of the volunteer. An interesting aspect is also the recognition of volunteering as professional experience if the volunteering experience is done in the same field as one’s studies.
Now go on the resources page for a more in depth look into the European volunteering landscape!