With an estimated 93 million adults in the European Union being involved in volunteering, it is important to establish a common legal framework and clear legislation across the member states. For volunteering services across the EU, there is demand for stable funding for volunteering infrastructure, as well as an agreed understanding of what quality volunteering looks like.
Volonteurope, supported by a European Working group on impact measurement, decided to embark in the work to produce a report that aims to promote the need for greater recognition of volunteering and explore ways to better capture its impact in systemic form. In order to facilitate the discussion on the value of volunteering and the management and measurement of its impact, the report contains an analysis of the current situation on the matter in Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Italy, the Netherlands, Romania, Serbia and the United Kingdom.
Volunteering infrastructures and rules differ between European states. This paper highlights some of these differences, providing a summary of research carried out. For example in countries that were under a Communist regime, e.g. Romania, Serbia and Bulgaria, there is a less developed culture and infrastructure of volunteering, while countries in northern Europe, especially the Netherlands and the UK, have high rates of volunteering and enabling volunteering infrastructures.