„How can we strengthen social cohesion and create a more inclusive Europe?” Many committed Europeans have been asking themselves this question in light of increasing Euro-scepticism and national egotisms 60 years after the execution of the Treaties of Rome. In particular growing social inequality is creating divides amongst communities and societies so that ever more people – among them many young people – are acutely endangered by occupational and social exclusion.
Concurrently, for the past 30 years, the Erasmus+ programme has been successfully putting European exchange and learning experiences for young people into action. Programmes like the European Voluntary Service (EVS), new mobility initiatives like the European Solidarity Corps and a range of national mobility programmes are not only popular, but more urgently needed than ever before to make Europe more perceptible, a truly lived experience. And yet, these offers are made use of only by a minority of people! How can EVS and other mobility programmes be made more accessible for young people, regardless of their educational background and social status? What are possible approaches to a European renewal process that promises a socially just and inclusive Europe, above all for young people?
These and other questions will be discussed at the European conference “Volunteering for Social Change” which will be held by the Allianz Cultural Foundation and its partners at the Allianz Forum in Berlin on 20 and 21 March. The conference will be opened with an evening event on 20 March during which i.a. Daniel Cohn-Bendit and MEP Brando Benifei will discuss which measures must be taken in order to create a socially just and inclusive Europe for young people. On Tuesday, the results of the European cooperation project "European Voluntary Service for All" (EVS4ALL) will be presented. By analysing concrete voluntary services fourteen organisations from the fields of European youth and voluntary work as well as foundations from Germany, France, Great Britain, Poland, Spain and Romania have developed European policy recommendations for an inclusive voluntary service which will be discussed with i.a. representatives of the European Commission. The project is funded by the Erasmus+ programme.
Click here for further information and the full conference progamme.