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Volunteering in Europe: more than a challenge

On the occasion of the 5th anniversary of the Austrian Volunteering Act, the Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection and the European Volunteer Centre (CEV)  jointly organized a conference on current issues for volunteering in Europe.

The European Conference on Volunteering (Vienna) (ECVV 2017) was held on October 5th-6th and gathered 180 participants from across Europe representing the different volunteering stakeholders in volunteering (volunteering organisations, public administrations and universities). The three panels of the conference were developed in English, German and French (with simultaneous interpretation) with three different methodologies in order to involve the audience and promote the participation of all the attendees.  The conference also counted with a Conference App that allowed additional participation via mobile devices.

The conference was opened by Mr. Alois Stöger (Minister of Labour, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection - Austria) and Ms. Cristina Rigman (President of the European Volunteer Centre) who welcomed the participants and set the scene for the subsequent debates and discussions concerning the actual situation for volunteering in Austria and across Europe and the future perspectives and potential future developments.

Panel 1 was focused on the relation between volunteering and employability, analyzing risks, threats and opportunities in this field with the participation of different speakers from academic, public and associative sectors (this multi stakeholder approach was present in all the panels). The conference participants had the opportunity to go a little bit further into the relation between volunteering and employability in Panel 2, focusing on the promotion and development of employability via voluntary engagement whether that be full time voluntary service or free-time and part-time volunteering opportunities). Panel 3 focused on reflecting about the future of volunteering: challenges, trends, risks and solutions, new profiles of volunteers in a more communicated and digital world, mobility, non-formal education - all complex issues that need to be explored and understood in order to engage citizens as volunteers in the most appropriate way in order to get the best impact on society’s needs.

Detailed information on each panel

Panel 1

Volunteering, Employment and Employability

Volunteering creates social capital but also social skills helping people with lower formal educational attainment or socially excluded to access the labour market.

Panel 2

Full Time Voluntary Service

The special form of voluntary engagement (full-time voluntary service) takes place during the transition from school to further and higher educational opportunities or employment

Panel 3

New trends and profiles of volunteers for the next decade

New volunteering trends seem to be influenced by: fundamental social changes, effects of digitalization, shift in political priorities, the instrumentalization of the voluntary organizations and activities and the profile of...

Conference documentation

In this section you will find the documentation provided for the Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Health and Consumer Protection (Dep. V/A/6). Due to the fact that the second and third panel had been organized in a more interactive way and contributions had been more spontaneous no documents can be provided on these two panels.  

Opening- und closing speeches

Panel 1. Volunteering, Employment and Employability

Panel 2. Full time voluntary service

Further documents

Conference photos

Day One - 5th October

Akkreditierung – Freiwilligenkonferenz 5. Oktober 2017

On the first conference day the participants expect two high-ranking panels on “Volunteering,...

Heuriger - 5th October

3 Personen mit einem Glas Sekt im Gastgarten eines Heurigen

Further exchange of ideas and networking in a relaxed atmosphere at the traditional wine tavern...

Day two - 6th October

Paneldiskussion – Applaus aus dem Publikum

The second day of the conference was characterized by an intensive, interactive working process...

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