Fedactio @ Paleizenstraat 27, 1030 BRUSSELS
European Professionals Network (EPN) organised a seminar programme on professional life & volunteering. This programme is designed in accordance with the European Year of Volunteering 2011. With the participation of distinguished speakers at the European level, the event aimed to discuss the importance of volunteering for European social and economic life in general and its relevance to high-skilled professionals in particular.
Volunteering is pivotal for social and economic life in Europe as well as in the world in terms of its role in strengthening the relations amongst generations and people from different backgrounds and cultures. As underlined in the Europe 2020 Strategy, social cohesion and an inclusive economic life are two of the priorities of Europe. Besides, the last economic crisis has displayed that Europe has not only serious economic problems but also equally important social problems. Volunteering is one of the most efficient ways to reach social cohesion, mutual understanding and solidarity between generations.
As European Professionals Network, we believe in the importance of volunteering amongst high-educated and high-skilled people. However, volunteering shouldn`t be deemed as just a period of few months before jumping into the professional life, but rather an ever-continuing process which we call as “Life-long volunteering”.
For us, voluntary involvements can be combined with professional life provided that it is well scheduled and organised. If it is well managed, voluntary engagements will even generate more efficiency and better work results rather than hindering career achievements.
* Eva HAMBACH, President, European Volunteer Centre – Director, Vlaams Steunpunt Vrijwilligerswerk
* John MACDONALD, Head of Task Force for European Year of Volunteering 2011, European Commission
* Secretary-General, European Professionals Network, Brussels