Catherine Bearder, Euro MP for South East England, called on the new Commissioner to use the European Year of Volunteering to create a lasting legacy for the third sector.
In a letter to the Commissioner-Designate, Johannes Hahn, Catherine asked for an assurance of his commitment to the European Year of Volunteering in 2011. Over 100 million Europeans volunteer. Although there are differences in numbers and in traditions of voluntary action across the countries in Europe, citizens volunteer all over the continent.
Catherine, who worked for many years in the voluntary sector, said, "the previous Commissioner made important commitments to the voluntary sector and I would like assurances that the new Commissioner will live up to them, and give his full support to the European Year of Volunteering."
"Volunteering and active citizenship are part of the European identity, of European culture."
"The communicative potential of local volunteers is massive if appropriately tapped into. The European Commission should raise awareness with volunteers all over Europe that what they are doing is living practice of European values; they are agents of European integration."