Just read that the Commission is going to make 2011 the "European Year of Volunteering".
That's a good one, something that could unite a general community orientation with European values.
But volunteering is not only a service to the community, it is a fundamental basis for a free and solidary society.
And when I see the European volunteers that I meet almost every week, I feel this spirit of connectedness between the French, Austrian, Lithuanian, German and other young people who are engaged in different social projects, including equality initiatives, NGOs that help refugees, environmental organisations etc.
If the Union can further promote this spirit, then this will be a real support to the European identity as a feeling of belonging together while coming from different backgrounds and working on different issues.
In this sense, the European Voluntary Service is even better than ERASMUS, because he brings together not only academics who want to promote their personal development but it unites different people from different countries which are united by a joint course, a joint idea.
So I hope that 2011 will be the European Year of Volunteering, not only in a Commission concept but in reality.
(via European Agenda)
The Martin Schulz bounce
2 hours ago