[:en]The 28th Annual Volonteurope Conference mixed political debate with networking and workshops focussing on the promotion of European values and participation through volunteering.

Former Labour MP Roger Casale, who heads up civil rights organisation New Europeans, gave a keynote address in which he called on civil society to occupy the fringe of European Politics.

He said: “Like Edinburgh’s Fringe festival which has become the dominant and influential voice of the arts world, I believe we, as a united sector, should occupy the fringe of EU politics ahead of the Future of Europe Conference.

“We have a unique opportunity as civil society to understand and crowd-source ideas about what needs to be done within Europe.

“We work on the frontline and see all the issues facing society, so we should play a major role in helping shape the future direction of Europe to make sure it’s a Europe of Citizens where all voices are heard and everyone can play their part.”

His comments were then picked up by other leading European organisations during a political debate discussing how to make Europe work for everyone.

Moderated by Volonteurope’s Vice President, David Lopez, the debate involved discussions with Birkena Xhomaqi, Director of the Lifelong Learning Platform, Gabriella Civico, Director of CEV European Volunteer Centre, Julia Aramendi, Project Director of Voluntariado y Estrategia, Kélig Puyet, Director of Social Platform and Pavel Trantina, Member of the European Economic and Social Committee.

The afternoon saw members split into four workshops to find out more about European projects involving member organisations;

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To close the day Oonagh thanked everyone for their attendance and noted the key issues and themes from the day including moving away from labelling people, such as refugees, when ‘newcomers’ can be used instead.

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