On the initiative of the European Parliament, 2011 has been declared the ‘Year of Volunteering’, while 2012 will be the ‘Year of Intergenerational Solidarity’: two good reasons for the European Parliament to conduct a Eurobarometer survey in order to discover what Europeans think about these two concepts, and to understand better how they experience them or put them into practice.
This Eurobarometer survey was conducted between 1 and 16 May 2011 by TNS opinion.
Before analysing the responses from Europeans, it is necessary to emphasise some important points which can be drawn from this survey. It is very difficult to reach general conclusions because of the different status of the voluntary sector in different Member States. In the absence of Eurostat or other general statistics, the number of Europeans undertaking voluntary work cannot be quantified with any certainty. The contribution of the voluntary sector to the GDP of the EU and its Member States is very difficult to estimate. No EU-wide statistics are available. National data are only available in a few countries. There is a broad consensus that volunteering plays an important role in society, based on the values of solidarity. It contributes to citizenship, especially through the fact that it is well-established at a local level, and is a factor for personal fulfilment and development. 22 to 25% of Europeans are involved in voluntary work Sport and culture: the main areas for voluntary work Solidarity and humanitarian aid: the area in which the voluntary sector plays the most important role Maintaining and strengthening social cohesion, the first benefit of volunteering in the EU Defining an operating framework for the voluntary sector at national or EU level: a divided response. Massive support for the creation of volunteer rescue teams in every region - Encouraging intergenerational solidarity.
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- Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Belgium, Austria, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Germany, Czech Republic, Spain, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, United Kingdom, France, Croatia, Greece, Ireland, Hungary, Lithuania, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg