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News

Scouting and European Parliament: EU to empower volunteering!

1st Jan 2009

European Scouting raises the issue of restrictive practices and policies to the agenda of European Parliament.

European Scouting met with Members of European Parliament on 8 December to discuss restrictive practices and policies that hinder Scout activities. This meeting was a direct response to Resolution 9/2007 passed by the European Scout Conference, in which the NSOs required the Region to take action in order to ensure the recognition of Scout practices and to provide exciting programme for young people free from unnecessary bureaucratic burden because of regulation.

The meeting, chaired by Mr. Ville Itälä, MEP, provided an opportunity for European Scouting to bring this issue to the attention of the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs)and key people responsable in the European Commission. The MEPs and Commission representatives were presented with the challenges faced by European NSOs in the areas of health and safety regulations as well as audit and financial rules.

As a follow-up to the meeting the European Scout Region issued a joint statement with MEPs demanding EU institutions and the European Parliament in particular to pay more attention the role of EU regulations and policies in empowering volunteering. The statement demands that:

  • Legislation should be drawn-up giving careful consideration to the impact it could have on volunteering and the development of volunteering;
  • The EU regulatory framework should take into account the specific nature of volunteering and voluntary organisations, not only to commercial actors;
  • EU legislation overall should allow the continuation of Scouting and other voluntary activities in Europe.
    The European Parliament Committees should pay attention to the impact of European policies and legislation on volunteering;
  • The European Parliament Committees should actively involve volunteering organisations in the legislative process in order to ensure that stakeholders are systematically consulted, including "unusual suspects" such as voluntary organizations.
  • The European Parliament will recommend to Member States that they should give greater attention to the impact of national legislation on volunteering and the development of volunteering, especially when transposing European legislation into national system

Is your NSOs facing problems with restrictive legislation? Do not hesitate to contact the amasson@scout.org for help and advice or to share your experiences.