European Volunteer Centre

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The European Volunteer Centre(Centre Européen du Volontariat)
HeadquartersRue d’Edimbourg 26 Brussels, Belgium
Official language
English, French
Cristina Rigman
Key people
Gabriella Civico (director)

The European Volunteer Centre (CEV)[1] is a European network of currently over 80[2] mainly national and regional volunteer centres and volunteer development agencies across Europe and beyond that together work to support and promote voluntary activity.[3][4] CEV channels the collective priorities and concerns of its member organisations to the institutions of the European Union. It also acts as a central forum for the exchange of policy, practice and information on volunteering.


CEV's origins lie in an initiative by 7 volunteer centres, Association pour le Volontariat[5] (Belgium), Centre National du Volontariat[6] (France), the National Centre for Volunteering[7] (UK), Centro Nazionale per il Volontariato[8] (Italy), Landelijk Steunpunt Vrijwilligerswerk[9] (Netherlands) and Plataforma para la Promoción del Voluntariado en España[10] (Spain). These organisations convened at a meeting organised in Lucca, Italy, in 1989, for the representatives of National and Regional Volunteer Centres from seven European countries. The outcome of the meeting was a joint declaration for increased European cooperation.[11]

CEV was founded in February 1990 on the basis of this declaration[12] and in 1992 was officially granted the status of “international non-profit organisation" registered under Belgian law.[13] The Vlaams Steunpunt Vrijwilligerswerk,[14] Flemish Volunteer Centre, was granted the responsibility to put in place the new organisation. On 5 December 1995, CEV organised the first ever "European Day for Volunteering in the European Parliament", Brussels, Belgium, with the active support of the European Parliament, the European Commission, the Council of the European Union and UNESCO.[15]

Between 1994 and 2002 CEV administered as Technical Assistance Office over 13 contracts of the European Commission’s PHARE and TACIS-LIEN Programme in Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and released a series of publications within these programmes.[16]

Member organisations[edit]

CEV full members are national and regional support centres for volunteering and organisations exercising the role of a national or regional support centre for volunteering in European countries. Full members must be not-for profit and non-governmental organisations.[17]

Associate members are volunteer involving organisations or organisations that promote and develop volunteering in specialised field or a specific type of volunteering. Associate members act on local, regional, national or international level.


CEV is supported in its work by a Board[18] and by a Secretariat team[19] based in Brussels.


Name Term
Ms Cristina Rigman 2016–present
Ms Eva Hambach 2009– 2015
Dr Marijke Steenbergen 2007–2009
Mr Christopher Spence 2002–2007
Ms Liz Burns 1997–2001
Ms Monique Verstraeten 1992–1997


Name Term
Ms Gabriella Civico 2012–present
Mr Martijn Pakker 2011-2012
Mr Markus Held 2004–2011
Ms Gail Hurley 2002–2004
Mr Raf De Zutter 1994–2002

Partnership and collaboration[edit]

Partnership with CEV is open to any stakeholder that is willing to support CEV and its mission to contribute to the creation of an enabling political, social and economic environment for volunteering in Europe and where the full potential of volunteering can be realised.

Whilst a network itself CEV is also actively involved at European level and in international networks. CEV is a member of: EESC Liaison Group for European Civil Society, Expert Group on the Mobility of Young Volunteers, European Qualifications Framework Advisory Group, European Alliance for Volunteering, Europe Plus, Civil Society Europe, The Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe, Impact2030.

Strategic objectives[20][edit]

  • Developing partnerships with EU and other institutions at different levels, civil society organisations as a member of various Alliances, and with other volunteering stakeholders.
  • Sharing knowledge through publications, social media, training courses, studies and other initiatives & events.
  • Training members and other stakeholders on volunteering related issues, especially in the framework of the spring capacity building conferences.
  • Advocating for supportive volunteering policies as a member of EU expert groups, including the European Solidarity Corps, attending and presenting at hearings & consultations, and organising CEV policy conferences.

Current activities[edit]

European Volunteering Capital Competition - #EVCapital[edit]

In 2013 European Year of Citizens, CEV launched the European Volunteering Capital Competition.[21] This initiative aims to promote volunteering at the local level by giving recognition to municipalities that support and strengthen partnerships with volunteer centres and volunteer involving organisations and celebrate and promote volunteering and the impact made by volunteers.


The 2014 European Volunteering Capital Candidates were: Barcelona (ES), Guimaraes (PT), Laval (FR) and Rennes (FR).

The official opening ceremony for the European Volunteering Capital 2014 took place on 3 March in Barcelona. Thematic events were organised in Barcelona and a monthly newsletter was issued to tackle topics connected to volunteering to recognise and celebrate volunteers’ contribution.


For the 2015 European Volunteering Capital competition, three municipalities presented their candidatures: Basel (Switzerland), Lisbon (Portugal) and Naples (Italy).

The jury evaluated candidatures of the three cities and ranked the level of implementation of the recommendations in PAVE (Policy Agenda for Volunteering in Europe) at municipality level. The announcement of the candidates was done in the framework of the CEV VIEWSS Conference in Turin (Italy).

Lisbon, the winner of the European Volunteering Capital 2015, was announced on 4 December 2014 in Barcelona. The city of Barcelona held the title of European Volunteering Capital in 2014 and organised a ceremony in the city hall, in the framework of the International Volunteer Day celebrations. The 2015 candidate municipalities participated in the ceremony, together with CEV, volunteers and volunteer involving organisations and representatives from Barcelona.


CEV launched the third and fourth editions of the European Volunteering Capital 2016 and 2017 competitions and calls for applications from municipalities of any size that support the implementation of PAVE (The Policy Agenda for Volunteering in Europe).

Municipalities can apply to both competitions (deadline 21 September 2015). Candidates will be announced in October 2015 and the two winning municipalities will be announced on the 5 December 2015, the International Volunteer Day. The titles will be used in order to raise awareness about volunteering and volunteer-related activities at local, national, regional and EU level.


The municipality of Aarhus, Denmark has been awarded the title of European Volunteering Capital 2018. In choosing Aarhus as the European Volunteering Capital 2018 the jury have noted “the ‘Strategy on Active Citizenship’ that involves clear and appropriate funding mechanisms for volunteer-involving organisations, even the very smallest ones, using participatory budgeting for this is also commended.the jury concluded that the way in which volunteering policy is linked to policies and strategies for employability, health and social inclusion shows an excellent example to others.

SIXTH EDITION 2019 CEV just launched the sixth edition of the European Volunteer Capital competition. Deadline for applications: 30 June 2017 For more information:

Employee Volunteering European Network (EVEN)[edit]

EVEN[22] currently has 10 corporate members: Fundacion Telefonica, Intel, FASVOL, Fundacion Repsol, IBERDROLA, ArcelorMittal, IBM, The Moody’s Foundation, Cooperatie VGS, Kellogg’s and 43 volunteer involving organisations in membership.

EVEN was established by European Volunteer Centre (CEV) in 2013. This initiative aims to increase the number of employers and volunteer-involving organisations with the capacity and willingness to implement good quality employee volunteering and give greater visibility to these initiatives.

Employee Volunteering European Network (EVEN) main objectives are:

  • Increase the numbers of employers and volunteer-involving organisations with the capacity and willingness to implement good quality employee volunteering,
  • Give recognition and credibility to entities from all sectors that are able to implement good quality employee volunteering projects,
  • Share experiences and new developments on a regular basis and have access to reliable and competent partners for employee volunteering,
  • Enable affiliate members to increase their competences in employee volunteering by participating in EVEN training courses, Reports from various EVEN activities are available its website.[23]

The CEV-EVEN Workbook, a toolkit to help volunteer-involving organisations develop employee volunteering, (in EN & translations)[24] can be downloaded from its website.[25]


CEV is a partner in the following projects working towards a better recognition of volunteering: CIVCIL Project, I’VE Experienced Project, LEVER Project, DESTEVA Project, GR-EAT Project, EURAVON Project, VAPOVO Project, VOLCAR Project, EVS Realm. Read more about CEV's projects here:

Past activities[11][edit]

  • To promote volunteering to the general public, the media, businesses and policy-makers (e.g. through active participation in the Europe for Citizens Forum[26] and the 2nd EU Civil Protection Forum,[27] Contribution to a Council recommendation on mobility of young volunteers across Europe);[28]
  • To win recognition for the role and value of volunteering as an expression of active citizenship in Europe (e.g. Manifesto for Volunteering in Europe, 2006;[29] INVOLVE Project;[30] MOVE Project[31][32] Participatory Status of Council of Europe);[33]
  • To gather and provide information on developments within the EU on volunteer related topics (e.g. Research on the Legal Status of Volunteers in Europe in collaboration with AVSO,[34] Facts&Figures on Volunteering);[35]
  • To represent the needs and concerns of CEV members within EU policy and with international institutions (e.g. European Election Manifesto, 2009;[36] Public Hearing on the European Year of Volunteering 2011 in the European Parliament);[37]
  • To promote the role of volunteer development centres in advancing volunteering as an expression of active citizenship (e.g. V::I::P project;[38] Think Future Volunteer Together project);[39][40]
  • To conduct research on volunteering (e.g. Bibliography on Volunteering Research in Europe;[41] the VALUE Project);[42][43]
  • To encourage networking between organisations and to facilitate the exchange of good practice and innovation (e.g. CEV General Assembly in Prague on Employee Volunteering with Partnership Fair;[44][45] the CEV Multi-Stakeholder Forum in April 2010);[46]
  • To provide a forum for our members to find partners for European-wide projects;
  • To develop strategic alliances with other key networks and organisations (e.g. the European Year of Volunteering 2011 Alliance);[47][48]
  • Biannual General Assemblies, conferences, seminars, workshops and meetings;[49]
  • CEV News (CEV’s monthly electronic news bulletin);[50]
  • An interactive CEV Website;[51]
  • Online communication tools: Facebook,[52] Online Community,[53] and YouTube channel;[54]
  • In 2012 CEV celebrated 20 years of being the voice of volunteering in Europe!


Policy conferences[edit]

CEV General Assemblies and Conferences:

Zadar 2015

Turin 2014

Brussels 2014

Sarajevo 2013

Dublin 2013

Portugal 2012

Copenhagen 2012

Berlin 2011

Tallinn 2011

Brussels 2010

Valencia 2010

CEV Study Visits[edit]

CEV hosted study visits[55] from partner organisations in Europe and offered information about volunteering policies, programmes and practice in EU.

2012 CEV Members Study Visit took place in Brussels on 9-12 DEcember. The project involved 8 representatives from Italian CSVnet member organisations (CSVs) from different regions (Lombardia, Piemonte, Sicily, Veneto and Emilia Romagna).

Participants, accompanied by CEV staff, had the chance to visit the main European Institution, to connect with EU Officials and MEPs, as well as get in contact with the representatives of civil society organisations. They were also introduced to CEV’s activities and engagement in promoting volunteering across Europe.

CEV News[edit]

"CEV News"[56] is a monthly newsletter providing information on CEV activities, CEV members' projects, EU policies and relevant calls for proposals, events and any other relevant information for volunteer stakeholders within the CEV membership and beyond.

Publications and reports[edit]

CEV serves as a knowledge and research resource for volunteering, funding opportunities and practice in Europe. CEV regularly publishes documents including conference conclusions, annual reports and other policy statements. Wider selection of published research and resources in relation to volunteering can be found on its website.[57]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-01-02. Retrieved 2010-05-06.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "Member Organisations - European Volunteer Centre (CEV)".
  3. ^ "Other Publications and Resources".
  4. ^
  5. ^ "PFV - La Plate-forme francophone du Volontariat".
  6. ^ "France Bénévolat, du cœur à l'action".
  7. ^ "NCVO - Volunteering".
  8. ^ "Centro Nazionale per il Volontariato".
  9. ^ "IISH - Archives".
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-06-25. Retrieved 2010-05-19.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ a b "The requested page is not available - Social Platform".
  12. ^
  13. ^ Moniteur Belge, Reg 446 777 248
  14. ^ "Vrijwilligerswerk - Recente vacatures & Nieuws - Vlaams Steunpunt Vrijwilligerswerk vzw".
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-06-13. Retrieved 2010-05-19.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  16. ^ Court of Auditors of the European Communities: Special Report No 12/2000 on the management by the Commission of European Union support for the development of human rights and democracy in third countries, together with the Commission's replies (paragraph 55)
  17. ^ "Member Organisations - European Volunteer Centre (CEV)".
  18. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-09-23. Retrieved 2015-08-31.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  19. ^ "CEV Secretariat - European Volunteer Centre (CEV)".
  20. ^ Archived 2010-06-13 at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ "European Volunteering Capital 2015 - European Volunteer Centre (CEV)".
  22. ^ "EVEN - European Volunteer Centre (CEV)".
  23. ^
  24. ^ "CEV-EVEN Workbook Translations - European Volunteer Centre (CEV)".
  25. ^
  26. ^ "EU Conference "participation through volunteering" - 16 December 2009".
  27. ^ "Second Civil Protection Forum (Brussels, 22-23 November 2007), panel sessions".
  28. ^ "EUR-Lex - 32008H1213(01) - EN - EUR-Lex".
  29. ^ Volunteers, United Nations. "World Volunteer Web: European Volunteer Centre launches 'Manifesto for Volunteering in Europe'".
  30. ^ "".
  31. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-06. Retrieved 2010-05-19.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  32. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-06. Retrieved 2010-05-19.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  33. ^
  34. ^ "Activities". Archived from the original on 2009-11-20. Retrieved 2010-05-19.
  35. ^ "EUR-Lex - 52006AE1575 - EN - EUR-Lex".
  36. ^ Archived 2009-12-24 at the Wayback Machine or
  37. ^ "European Parliament, Committee on Culture and Education, Minutes of the meeting 10 November 2009".
  38. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-08-22. Retrieved 2010-05-19.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  39. ^ "ICV - Short Term Projects Think Future, Volunteer Together".
  40. ^
  41. ^ "International Association for Volunteer Effort". Archived from the original on 2010-07-10. Retrieved 2010-05-19.
  42. ^
  43. ^ "Home page - Institute for Volunteering Research".
  44. ^[permanent dead link]
  45. ^ " - Event - General assembly of the European Volunteer Centre and a conference Developing Employee Volunteering".
  46. ^
  47. ^ "European Year of Volunteering is 2011 –". Archived from the original on 2011-07-18. Retrieved 2010-05-19.
  48. ^ "EUR-Lex - 52009SC0725 - EN - EUR-Lex".
  49. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-10-01. Retrieved 2010-05-19.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  50. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-06. Retrieved 2010-05-19.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  51. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-06-15. Retrieved 2010-05-19.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  52. ^ "Facebook - Log In or Sign Up".
  53. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-08-13. Retrieved 2012-03-08.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  54. ^ "European Volunteer Centre (CEV)".
  55. ^ "CEV Members Study Visit - European Volunteer Centre (CEV)".
  56. ^ "Newsletter CEV".
  57. ^ "Publications - European Volunteer Centre (CEV)".

External links[edit]