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International Conference on Volunteering

The First International Conference on Volunteering for Youth Employment, Mobilization, Social Inclusion & Quality of Life, was held on 25-26 October 2013 at Aarhus University, Campus Emdrup, in Copenhagen, Denmark. The conference was an open event in connection with EU OPEN DAYS.

Researchers from across Europe participated in the conference and focused on the challenges and contradictions when volunteering is on the agenda, not only in the national states, but also in the EU. One part of the renewed interest in  volunteering is often linked to budget cuts, implying that volunteers have to match the demands of a welfare state under erosion. Volunteers should simply take over the tasks which paid work cannot meet. The economic recession since 2007/08 would do as an explanation. On the other hand, volunteering could also be interpreted as a continuation of an age-old practice, meaning that developmental work embracing volunteers and professionals has been seen as the main vehicle for social services, integration of minorities, and integration in the labour market, local cultural institutions, and lifelong learning. The intention of the conference was to consider quality of life as well as a number of indirect outcomes of voluntary work.

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Revised 2014.08.21