Marian Harkin Expresses her delight that the European Parliament have supported 2011 as part of the European Year of Volunteering.
As leader of the campaign to have the year 2011 designated by the EU as ‘The European Year of Volunteering’, Marian Harkin MEP has warmly welcomed the overwhelming vote in favour of the designation by the European Parliament in its Plenary Session in Strasbourg today, Thursday, November 26th.
“This is the culmination of the Campaign I organised with cross group colleagues from different countries to secure deserved recognition for the role the 100 million volunteers play throughout the European Union and not least in Ireland.
“I am also very happy that the increase of €1 million I proposed has resulted in a €3 million preparatory budget for 2010 while the overall commitment for 2011 is now €10 million.
Two and a half years ago I proposed this idea as part of my Report on Volunteering to the Parliament and then successfully led a Written Declaration from the Parliament to the Commission on this matter. I am so grateful for the support of voluntary groups throughout the EU and also from the Committee of the Regions. This was an example of a collaborative success between the voluntary sector, the Parliament and the Commission and as an avid supporter of the Community and Voluntary Sector I am proud to have played the leading role in the European Parliament. “In Ireland volunteering and volunteers play a huge role in providing a range of services and I look forward to seeing the contribution of these 1.5 million plus activists duly recognised in the Irish celebrations throughout 2011.