• Our work

    Eurodiaconia links diaconal actors to examine social needs, develop ideas and influence policies impacting Poverty and Social Exclusion, Social and Health Care Services and the Future of Social Europe.

    Eurodiaconia also provides a platform for transnational networking and best practice sharing.  


  • Our vision

    As the leading network for diaconal work in Europe, we look to develop dialogue and partnership between members and influence and engage with the wider society.  We do this to enable inclusion, care and empowerment of the most vulnerable and excluded and ensure dignity for all.


  • Our goals

    We aim to see a positive social change in Europe through:

    Praxis, enabling membership engagement and partnerships

    Advocacy, creating a network of competence to impact policies at European and national level

    Identity and values, supporting the development of approaches and thinking on Diaconia in Europe today


Calendar Sunday, August 30, 2015
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Volunteering is at the heart of much of the work of the members of Eurodiaconia and we currently count over 600 000 volunteers active in our members all across Europe. Our membership draws together organisations, institutions and churches providing social and health services and education, which rely on both professional staff and volunteers. 

Eurodiaconia has written a policy paper on volunteering to highlight why we support volunteering in the EU and in diaconal organisations. Until recently, the Volunteering Working Group met once or twice annually to share best practice in volunteering and to discuss volunteering policy, however from November 2011 onwards we will look at volunteering issues and policy within the People in Diaconia Network.

Eurodiaconia maintains good cooperation with EDYN (Ecumenical Diaconal Year Network). EDYN has been a guest membership of the Eurodiaconia volunteering working group. We are also an active member of the steering group of EYV2011 Alliance, which is an informal network of major NGO European networks with a particular interest in volunteering who have committed to working together on the promotion, lobbying, organisation and implementation of the EYV 2011

• Eurodiaconia Policy paper on volunteering
• Eurodiaconia Briefing on volunteering
Report from the EYV2011 Kick-off meeting

Download our calender of events related to the EYV volunteering here.

To learn more about volunteering in Eurodiaconia, please contact Theresa at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Volunteering update 2014

18 December 2014

Please download the volunteering update HERE to read highlights from 2014...

Update on the European Alliance for Volunteering (EAV)

24 April 2014

Eurodiaconia attended the 2nd General Assembly of the European Alliance for Volunteering (EAV) which took place on 31 January 2014 in Brussels. The meeting was preceded by a workshop on the implementation of the Policy Agenda for Volunteering in Europe  (P.A.V.E.). The GA elected a new member of the EAV Board – Anamarija Sočo, representing the European Youth Forum, and accepted a new associate member – Experiment e.V. The Annual Report 2013 was approved and priorities for 2014 were discussed. The EAV will now concentrate on the European Parliament elections campaign with the focus on establishment of the EP Intergroup on Volunteering and afterwards, they will focus on working towards a single contact point for volunteering in the European Commission.

  • Download the annual report here
  • Read more about the EAV here
Volunteering for social inclusion of refugees and asylum seekers

19 September 2013

The Red Cross has recently completed a project Volunteering for Social Inclusion (VSI) supported by the European Commission. The projects focussed on the barriers and opportunities for volunteering for young refugees and asylum seekers in Europe with the project piloted in Denmark and the UK.

In both countries, a large number of young asylum seekers and refugees as well as volunteer organisations were interviewed about their knowledge of each other and their opportunities to meet in a community that can contribute to asylum seekers’ and refugees´ social inclusion in society through volunteering. In addition to interviews, the project has conducted workshops for young people focusing on the possibilities of volunteering as well as the young people’s own competencies and motivation to become involved. After the introductory workshop, several of the young people participated in a number of volunteer activities and were interviewed about their new-found experiences as volunteers.

A guide has been developed on the background of the experiences gained in the project. It outlines a number of considerations and tips about what you can do as an organisation if you want to involve more young asylum seekers and refugees in volunteering in an organisation.

• To read the guide see here

Eurodiaconia attended a seminar which was held to look at the project results. Heather Roy, Secretary General of Eurodiaconia gave a keynote speech as President of Social Platform. She stressed that there are not only political and practical barriers to the inclusion of migrants, but also social questions. In 2011 46,7% of migrants were at risk of poverty and social exclusion in Europe. Whilst fully in favour of promoting volunteering as an excellent tool for social inclusion, she raised a note of caution about governments replacing paid professional staff in the white sector with volunteers to cut costs. Heather also highlighted some of the recommendations from the new Position paper adopted by Social Platform on migration.

Workshops explored the support role in social inclusion of migrants including the Trampoline House in Copenhagen and the legal Guardian system in Denmark and the UK for unaccompanied or minor asylum seekers.

See here for more about the project http://newtimes.dk/nt/newwaystoinclusion/

Eurodiaconia and CSC of CEC send joint letter to European Commission concerning Youth Guarantee

Eurodiaconia and the Church and Society Commission of CEC have together sent a letter to Director General for Employment, Social Affairs, and Inclusion concerning the Youth Employment Guarantee initiative. In the letter it was emphasized that diaconal organisations have been engaging young people in a diaconal year of service for many years, and that the Ecumenical Diaconal Year Network (EDYN) exists to facilitate such volunteering experiences. As the Youth Guarantee focuses on giving young people opportunities to work, volunteer, and undergo training after finishing their education, Eurodiaconia and CEC proposed that the diaconal year can be taken as an example of good practice for the Council and should be part of the Commission's proposal for the Council's recommendation. 

You can read the full letter here.

Eurodiaconia co-founds European Alliance for Volunteering

11 February 2013

Last week, Eurodiaconia attended the Founding General Assembly of the “EAV” the European Alliance for Volunteering together with the other European Founding members: European Youth Forum (YFJ), European Volunteer Centre (CEV), World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), World Organisation of the Scout Movement (WOSM) and Volonteurope.

Eurodiaconia has joined the EAV as an associate member and is looking forward to continuing the excellent cooperation that started in 2008 when lobbying for the European Year of Volunteering. Winning a European grant, the EYV2011 Alliance successfully implemented a 2 year project as the coordinating body for civil society fir the European Year. This newly founded association will provide the natural next step for the follow up of the Year by following up on the outcomes of 2011.

The objectives of the Alliance are to:
• Actively coordinate and develop efforts aimed at appropriate follow-up by targeted stakeholders of the policy recommendations contained in P.A.V.E and pursue other policy developments;
• Monitor and communicate developments in the European environment for volunteering and related policies, acting as a knowledge hub for volunteering;
• Coordinate and develop initiatives that respond to European policies impacting on volunteers and the volunteering sector.

The first President of EAV, Mr. Pavel Trantina, nominated by the World Organisation of the Scout Movement, highlighted “In two years time, I see the EAV as a well-established, fully functional platform with a membership reaching 20-30 pan-European networks dealing with volunteering. And as a reliable partner of the EU institutions, pushing forward P.A.V.E. and making visible the work of its member organisations, being considered as the main resource of expertise in the field, able to recommend specialists from its member organisations.”

The Founding General Assembly of EAV also elected the Board consisting of Vice-President Mr. Piotr Sadowski (Volonteurope) and members Ms. Christianna Papalia (WAGGGS) and Mr. Renzo Razzano (CEV). The Board has appointed Mr. Joao Salviano as a temporary Secretary General. The participants also adopted a Work Plan for the new platform.

End of year volunteering update

12 December 2012

As 2012 draws to a close, we have a prepared an update on volunteering with news about our work on volunteering in Eurodiaconia, from our volunteering partners and also information about volunteering policy developments in the EU institutions. 

Click here to download the document.

The Commission proposes a Recommendation on the validation of non-formal and informal learning

3 December 2012

The European Commission has recently (this September) released a Proposal for a Council Recommendation on the Validation of non-formal and informal learning. The proposed actions include practical recommendations to Member States to provide by 2015 every citizen with the opportunity to have his/her skills acquired outside formal education and training systems validated and to use this validation for working and learning purposes throughout Europe.

For individuals, validation increase awareness of one’s skills and competences (for example gained through volunteering) and enables individuals to present those to other parties. It provides an opportunity to recognise untapped knowledge, skills and competences which can in turn tackles issues of unemployment and skills mismatch. It also benefits employers in terms of staff recruitment and development. This could be important for diaconal organisations and their volunteers as many Eurodiaconia members engage volunteers on a short to long-term basis. This would help skills and competences gained through volunteering experiences or in-company training for example be recognised across Europe in a transferable way.

Non-formal learning would include in-company training, structured online learning or courses organised by civil society organisations for their members, their target group or the general public. Whilst informal learning would include languages and intercultural skills acquired during a stay abroad, skills acquired through volunteering, cultural activities, sports, youth work and through activities at home (e.g. taking care of a child). The objectives of this initiative are outlined below.

• To read the proposal click here (see here for other languages)

General objectives of the initiative:
(1) To provide citizens in all Member States with the opportunity to validate their skills
acquired outside formal education and training systems;
(2) To provide citizens with the opportunity of using their validated skills for working
and learning purposes throughout Europe.
Specific objectives:
(1) To put in place systems for the validation of non formal and informal learning at
national level linked to the National Qualifications Framework;
(2) To establish an appropriate level of comparability and coherence between national
validation systems linked to the National Qualifications Framework.
Operational objectives:
(1) To promote national qualification frameworks in a way that qualifications can be
acquired through formal programmes as well as through the validation of non-formal
and informal learning;
(2) To provide mechanisms for the identification, documentation, and quality assured
assessment and validation of skills acquired through non-formal and informal
learning, taking advantage of common European instruments such Europass, ECTS,
(3) To allow individuals to have their skills and competences identified and documented
without resulting into a formal qualification;
(4) To extend and intensify the cooperation and exchange of good practice between
Member States, supported by peer-learning activities and European reporting tools;
(5) To raise the awareness of validation opportunities.

What does the Commission have to do?
The proposed actions call on the Commission to: 1) regularly update the European Guidelines for validating non-formal and informal learning; 2) facilitate effective peer-learning and exchange of experience and good practice allowing the least developed countries in validation to benefit from the experiences in the most developed countries; 3) in cooperation with the Member States, ensure that the European programmes for education, training, and youth and the European Structural Funds support the follow-up of this Recommendation and 4) assess and evaluate, in cooperation with the Member States and after consulting stakeholders, the
follow-up of the proposed actions.

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