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2012 - September


On the 4th of September the Knowledge Partners from Hungary, Denmark and Spain travelled to Ioannina city for the first INTERREGional VERSO workshop organised by the University of Ioannina. The workshop set the framevork for the further research of volunteering in the combat against unemployment.

VERSO (Volunteers for European Employment)  is a Pan-European development and knowledge-sharing project funded by the European Regional Development Fund, INTERREG IVC. The INTERREGional VERSO workshop was held from the 5th till the 7th of September. The four knowledge partners finalized the Methodology Manual and an online-survey questionnaire which the eight public authorities in eight countries will use to identify 24 good practices of volunteering improving the employment situation of the involved individuals.

“The uniqueness of VERSO project lies on the fact that it does not constitutes a merely academic research but rather a close collaboration between the policy makers and implementers and the researchers. The constant interaction among public authorities and knowledge partners offers an invaluable debate in which ideas from the theory and praxis are being fermented and new ideas are being emerged”, explains Professor Dr. Spiros Pantazis from the University of Ioannina.

An alternative arena …

“Volunteering is seen as an activity performed out of free will for a number of diverse reasons and has as a result the contribution to the public good and interest. Voluntarism is an alternative arena where both marginalized groups as well as the unemployed workforce in general can maintain and develop job skills and enhance their network in an informal educational setting. In this sphere it is possible to acquire, re-acquire or re-orient job skills and develop familiarity with or tolerance of changing job demands”, explains Professor Dr. Spiros Pantazis from the University of Ioannina.

During the workshop the local media covered the workshop proceedings and the knowledge partners had the opportunity to inform the public about the aims of the VERSO project. At the last day of the workshop the representative of the Lead Partner of the project, Ms. Anette Eriksen, together with knowledge partners visited the Political Panel Board Member of the University of Ioannina, Mrs. Aikaterini Ramioti at the local branch of the Red Cross and Red Crescent and the Perifery of the Region of Epirus. Then, a press conference was delivered at the Perifery of Epirus with the Political Panel Board Member of the Region of Epirus, Mr. Odysseas Potsis, the Project Manager of the University of Ioannina, Prof. Dr. Spiros Pantazis, the representative of the Lead Partner, Ms. Anette Eriksen and the Project Manager of the Region of Epirus, Ms. Eleni  Kalampoka. The VERSO Project concept and aims as well as the results of the 1st INTERREGional workshop were presented. The close collaboration between the University and the Periphery of Epirus in order to address the rising unemployment through innovative and efficient policy measures borrowed from other EU countries was highlighted.

Next stop East Riding of Yorkshire

The workshop was the third European meeting in the VERSO project. Next stop will be East Riding of Yorkshire in UK November 21th - 23th, where the partners from four universities and eight regional authorities from different European countries will meet for a Political briefing and a European press conference about the project.


The VERSO project is intended to illuminate how volunteerism can help regional authorities in their efforts to combat unemployment and improve the quality of life for millions of unemployed Europeans. Four Universities and Eight regional authorities from different European countries are involved in the project, which will continue until 2014. From Greece, the University of Ioannina, and Region of Epirus are partners in the project, which is supported by the INTERREG IVC Programme /European Regional Development Fund with 2 million Euros.

Read more about VERSO project on the website:

Contact information

Ioannina University:
Professor Spiros Pantazis, Phone.  + 45 8716 3709 / + 45 2933 2656

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Revised 2013.04.02