Cultural Playing Field


European Years: What do they mean for us? by Robin Simpson
January 30, 2012, 10:49 am
Filed under: meetings | Tags: , , , , , ,

On Friday afternoon I attended an Office for Civil Society Strategic Partners event, ‘European Years: What do they mean for us?’ at Europe House in London. Connecting the European Year of Volunteering 2011 with the European Year of Active Aging 2012 and the European Year of Citizenship 2013; this event involved the European Commission and key government departments coming together in dialogue with a range of civil society organisations. As the European Year of Active Aging 2012 begins, we shared learning from previous European Years as part of the last gathering of our European Year of Volunteering 2011 steering group. The general consensus seemed to be that the European Year of Volunteering had been very successful across Europe but only partly successful in England. The challenge was exemplified by one participant in a European Year of Volunteering event in Manchester who had memorably said “what on earth has Europe got to do with Oldham?!” There was some very sensible discussion about the need for a greater handover period between European Years – maybe three months at the end of each year in which the connections between the two themes are explored in more detail.

Robin Simpson.

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