For over a decade now, Volonteurope and European Civic Forum have been working closely together and in partnership to promote more social justice in Europe. Our two networks have been particularly focusing on advocating for active citizenship, activism and empowering every person to be able to exercise their democratic rights. For a number of years, our joint European Citizenship Awards recognised the most brilliant grassroots actions which ensure that no one is left behind and that the rule of law is upheld across the countries of Europe.

Over the years, we have also worked together on the joint Active Citizenship Footprint toolkit, which was the result of our campaign ‘Active Citizens for the Common Good’, launched to amplify the engagement of citizens, fostering reflections on the meaning of civic participation and barriers and enablers to engagement. Volonteurope and European Civic Forum joined forces to work collaboratively on the project, to reach a broader audience and show that active citizenship is an incredibly important form of civic engagement. It encompasses a wide range of values and activities, allows for existing structures and injustices to be challenged, helps to improve social connectedness and empower people with the knowledge and understanding required to make informed decisions and influence the decision which affect their lives.

“The European Civic Forum is an incredibly important actor on the civil society stage in Europe,” says our Secretary General, Piotr. “We are delighted that, at their General Assembly of 8 October 2020, the members of European Civic Forum unanimously approved Volonteurope’s membership within their structure. Based on our years of cooperation with the Forum, we are fully aware of the importance of working together with other European civil society networks, especially on the vital issues of civil dialogue, democracy, respect of the rule of law and freedoms, protection from discrimination and support for active citizenship and volunteering, as routes for achieving more social justice in Europe and beyond. As our leading quote from Helen Keller, Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much, which guides all of Volonteurope’s partnerships, states, together with the European Civic Forum, we can ensure that social justice lies at the basis of all policy and decision making, and opportunities for active citizenship and volunteering are resourced, managed, protected, and reach as many people in Europe and beyond, as possible.”