Skip to main content


EACEA National Policies Platform


2. Voluntary Activities

2.10 Current debates and reforms

Last update: 21 March 2023
On this page
  1. Ongoing debates

Forthcoming policy developments

An amendment of the Volunteer Act was planned for the end of 2022. In this context, the NPO Competence Centre of the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration was commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection to evaluate the Volunteering Act (FreiwG 2012). Ten recommendations for action for an even better promotion of volunteering in Austria were derived from this evaluation. These then formed the basis for a civil society participation process conducted by the representation of the interests of non-profit organisations (IGO) on behalf of the Ministry of Social Affairs from April to July 2022. This resulted in a report containing the 'Civil Society Recommendations for the Amendment of the Volunteering Act'.

Ongoing debates

Organisations of the volunteering sector have called upon the government that in order to maintain the high level of voluntary engagement and to attract more young people to it, improvements in the framework conditions may be needed. Reform suggestions include improved insurance coverage, the nationwide expansion of the volunteering infrastructure (volunteer centres), qualification initiatives for volunteers, a clear legal demarcation of volunteering from employment subject to social insurance, as well as the consideration of the relevance of volunteering during the pandemic (e.g. Bündnis für Gemeinnützigkeit).

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the continuos carrying out of volunteering activities (particularly abroad) was met with severe challenges. Nevertheless, volunteering has upheld its high relevance in these times of crisis - whether young people shopping for neighbours at risk or volunteers in health care (e.g. Red Cross).

The war against Ukraine is currently moving many (young) people in Austria to help people in or from Ukraine. People who want to volunteer can find information on various volunteer platforms. These bring people who want to help together with organisations and initiatives that need support.