The skills and knowledge gained by volunteers should also help them find jobs or be recognised as part of their training, say MEPs in a resolution adopted on Tuesday in Strasbourg. They support the creation of a "skills passport" to validate this experience and call for more funding for voluntary activities.

"This resolution is very important because until only a few months ago volunteering was a kind of unknown quantity in the EU. Particularly at times of crisis, like the one we are going through now, volunteering has had a special role in the non-profit sector. We wanted to highlight the role of volunteering in the European Union", said the rapporteur, Marco Scurria (EPP, IT), during the debate in Strasbourg.


Volunteering helps social integration


Official recognition of the skills gained in voluntary work will give added value to a CV and should help make young people more employable, aiding them in their career choices, say MEPs. A European Skills Passport could become an essential tool for both professional and learning purposes.


Volunteering activities in sports clubs, cultural associations, charities and other organisations help strengthen solidarity and social inclusion. People with disabilities or immigrants who take part in them could also benefit from adequate educational and financial support.


Stable funding for volunteering organisations


Parliament urges national, regional and local authorities to ensure stable funding and provide tax incentives for organisations involved in volunteering activities. It wants priority to go small organisations with limited budgets and to cross-border volunteering activities and it calls for easier access to European programmes and funding.


MEPs recommend setting up a centralised EU portal to help volunteering organisations spread information, improve cooperation and exchange best practice.


The resolution was adopted by 603 to 23, with 63 abstentions.