We are excited to announce that on 20 September 2011 the European Commission officially recommended that:
“Research and data collection on volunteering should be encouraged at the national level. In this context, the use of the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) Manual on the Measurement of Volunteer Work and the United Nations Handbook on Non-Profit organizations is recommended.”
This recommendation represents an important development for the European Volunteer Measurement Project. It sends a clear signal to European statistics agencies about the importance of measuring volunteering, and provides greater leverage for civil society and volunteer leaders in Europe to encourage their governments to do so.
The recommendation was made in a special Communication on EU Policies and Volunteering and Promoting Crossborder Voluntary Activities in the EU to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee, and the Committee of Regions.
The implementation of the ILO Manual by governments will address the problem of “insufficient data,” which the Commission identified as one of “the potential obstacles to volunteering” in Europe. Noting that the contribution of volunteers “can be very important during times of economic difficulty and austerity,” the Communication emphasized that “better comparable data on volunteering in the Member States can help identify best practices and improve policy making.”
This Communication will be very helpful for civil society and volunteer groups pursuing the measurement of volunteering at the national level. We encourage you to disseminate this information to your third sector partners and statistical office contacts to highlight the clear signal being sent to Member States to pursue the implementation of the ILO Manual and the UN Handbook on Nonprofit Institutions.
This recognition from the Commission represents an important success for EVMP project partners CEV, SPES, and JHU, which have been working as part of this project to bring information about the scale of volunteer activities, and the importance of measuring them, to the attention of EU institutions.
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