The European Volunteering Capital is a Europe-wide open competition that aims to promote volunteering at the local level by giving recognition to municipalities that support and strengthen partnerships with volunteer centers and volunteer-involving organizations and celebrate and promote volunteering and the impact made by volunteers.
In order to contribute to strengthen, inspire and celebrate volunteering and solidarity in Europe, in 2013 the European Volunteer Centre (CEV) launched the European Volunteering Capital (EVCapital) competition to recognize the local volunteering initiatives, strengthen the local framework and inspire the culture of volunteering.
The competition aims to strengthen volunteering at the local level and connect present and future local volunteering actions, strategies, policies, and programs to the European Context. It enables volunteers, volunteer-involving, and volunteer infrastructure organizations to collaborate more closely with local policymakers in a common cause to strengthen, inspire, and celebrate volunteers in their area. Becoming a candidate requires a detailed analysis and assessment (‘Audit’) of volunteer provision at the local level, therefore helping to identify strengths and weaknesses of the approaches taken, as well as acting as a catalyst for improvements.
Participation enables stakeholders from different fields and sectors to come together and further develop their local volunteering policy and practice frameworks and strategies, using European standards as guidelines. It also assists the development of volunteering and solidarity in Europe more widely, as the examples are shared to serve as inspiration for others all across Europe.
Finally, joining the competition as a candidate municipality provides the opportunity to join a unique community of practice of municipalities “European Volunteer Capital Candidates Community” (EVCCC) (and other levels of local and regional authorities) that have expertise in, and a shared concern for strengthening, inspiring and celebrating VOLUNTEERING and SOLIDARITY.
Former European Commission Vice President Viviane Reding welcomed the initiative given that it clearly showed the strong link between European Years 2011 and 2013, and demonstrated CEV’s continued support for cross-border volunteering in Europe.
All European Municipalities can participate. The awarded municipality is chosen from the candidates by an international jury of key personalities connected with volunteering, representing civil society, the private, for-profit sector, as well as the EU institutions.
The awardee is chosen from the applicant municipalities by an international jury of experts who assess the extent to which the recommendations as listed in P.A.V.E. and the “5R” policy priorities as identified in the P.A.V.E. five-year review Helping Hands, are shown to be implemented. How the European Solidarity Corps will be supported and promoted is also part of the criteria.
The northeastern Italian city of Padua in Veneto region officially marked its status as the European Capital of Volunteering 2020. The year-long program would see several initiatives with a focus on seven core areas, including health and well-being, technology and innovation, and environment and urban planning, according to the local organizing committee.
Italian President Sergio Mattarella, addressing a gathering of 5,000 volunteers from all over Italy at the opening event, stressed that “volunteering is the indispensable energy for our society.”
Here you can find the call for European Volunteering Capital 2022 Competition, deadline extended until 22 June 2020: https://df2253af-c034-4026-aac2-5d1c91f60490.filesusr.com/ugd/3ec99c_adadc1cffb3a4e308ed80d8e2964b6db.pdf