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EACEA National Policies Platform: Youthwiki


2. Voluntary Activities

2.2 Administration and governance of youth volunteering

On this page
  1. Governance
  2. Cross-sectoral cooperation


If we assume that a system is a set of elements that form a relatively autonomous whole segregated from the environment, within which internal links and interactions can be identified and an overall function of that whole can be defined, it must be said that such a system with regard to youth volunteering exists only in a dispersed and uncoordinated form. This is due to at least two reasons relating to both constituent elements of this term: on the one hand, there is no specialised public policy dedicated to this specific age group in Poland, and on the other, there is no co-ordinated system for the development and support of voluntary activities.

The main players involved in the development of volunteering (without identifying young people as a separate age group) include:

It terms of actions directed at young people, the following should be mentioned:


Cross-sectoral cooperation

As there is no nationwide, centrally administered and managed youth volunteering system, no planned and co-ordinated sharing of responsibilities takes place between the national and the local levels. Nor does any co-operation exist in this respect between agencies, ministries and departments. According to a document entitled the “National Action Plan for the 2011 European Year of Volunteering in Poland” (Krajowy Plan Działania dla Europejskiego Roku Wolontariatu 2011 w Polsce), “systemic solutions, which are a good example of volunteering legislation in Poland, are contained in the Act of 24 April 2003 on Public Benefit and Volunteer Work” (the provisions of this Act are discussed in Section 2.4 Laws and regulations on Youth Volunteering).

A network of 16 Regional Volunteering Centres across Poland, and their associate members – Local Volunteering Centres, are striving to build the foundations of a co-ordination system. All the networked Volunteering Centres in Poland work on the basis of common standards of action. However, they have a limited impact both territorially – at most to the province (województwo) level or regional level, and systematically – due to the lack of management competences and financial resources resulting from the fact that they are non-public institutions. They are not, of course, dedicated exclusively to the youngest age group among volunteers, although they sometimes undertake special activities in this area.