Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2016-10-27-Speech-4-034-000"

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"Mr President, it is very appropriate that 20 years after the EVS was started and five years after the European Year on Volunteering, that we can stand back and reflect on the progress we have made and map out a pathway for the future. As a founder member of the Volunteering Interest Group in Parliament, I and many of my colleagues, many of whom are here today, have worked in partnership with voluntary groups in our own Member States and with the Centre for European Volunteering (CEV). Indeed after 2011, the CEV coordinated the setting up of an alliance which fed into a document called the ‘Policy Agenda for Volunteering’. This document speaks of the partnership approach which will work towards building and enabling volunteering infrastructure in Europe. Indeed, our own resolution calls on the Commission to facilitate the development of a more coordinated volunteering policy with a view to establishing a single contact point in the Commission. One of the things that I have heard again and again, from the CEV in particular, is that volunteering is spread across a number of different DGs. We need to streamline the system. Other issues that need to be dealt with include the fact that all Member States adopt the system developed by the ILO to measure volunteering. I am pleased to hear that the Commission is going to support volunteering as an essential part of third-level courses; indeed we have some excellent examples of what we call service learning in NUI Galway and St Angela’s in Sligo. I am also pleased to hear the announcement of the European Solidarity Corps. Finally I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate my own hometown Sligo, which who has been named European Volunteering Capital for 2017. It is a huge opportunity to recognise and support our wonderful volunteers and I hope it will be a catalyst to encourage even more volunteers and particularly young people, some of whom may well join the European Solidarity Corps."@en1

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