To recognize and support the contribution of volunteers, highlight the potential of youth volunteering and support the ongoing collection of good practice recognition tools across Europe.


Standardize the results of recognition tools and other opportunities to obtain supplementary European credits at universities through volunteering. Also, develop, in collaboration with other stakeholders, national standards for measuring personal competencies acquired through volunteering.


Raise awareness of the contribution that employees engaged in volunteering can make and ensure that the methods of recognition continue to reflect volunteers’ needs.


Develop systems to recognize the knowledge, skills, competencies acquired through volunteering and establish systems of volunteer management that also develop and sustain a culture of recognition within the organization.


Starting in 1996, the European Voluntary Service has allowed more than 100.000 young people to gain a life-changing experience as a volunteer. During the course of the Erasmus+ programme, many more will get the same opportunity. Youth volunteering is usually thought of as a typical form of non-formal learning: the processes and the learning environment are usually organised according to professional principles, learning outcomes are not evaluated using top-down methods and young people engage in the process on a voluntary basis. The educational aims of youth volunteering are broad rather than specific; they are grounded in responses to the needs, cultures and interests of young people rather than being pre-set; the emphasis is on the process instead of the learning outcomes. Youth volunteering is not about producing learning results; it is more about providing an environment where different young people are able to engage in groups and are able to communicate and share ideas. In order to provide an effective, sustainable environment for volunteering, the EC recommends that the EU institutions and Member States take steps to ensure that national and EU legislation enables and encourages volunteering, protects volunteers and removes legal impediments to their activities. A volunteer-based/centred approach towards youth volunteering will be implemented in order to ensure the quality, recognition and competence development of young people.