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EACEA National Policies Platform


2. Voluntary Activities

Last update: 11 January 2021

According to a study conducted by the France Bénévolat association in 2019 (The evolution of volunteer involvement in France, from 2010 to 2019, France Bénévolat-IFOP-Crédit mutuel), France has 20 million volunteers, among which the young people aged 15 to 35 years are 23%. Volunteering rate remains practically stable for several years.

The data from the study also show that youth engagement is strongest among all age groups surveyed. Voluntary activities are also popular with the public authorities, particularly because they enable young people to take part in society, to experience citizenship, develop qualities while participating in the autonomy of young people and social cohesion.

The State intervenes in favor of volunteering, through the promotion of these activities, financial support to associations and the development of voluntary schemes both in France and abroad. Policies relating to voluntary activities are based on a joint effort between various stakeholders in the perimeters of different actions: ministries, public operators, local authorities, associations, companies...

However, volunteering and voluntary involvement is marked by inequalities: volunteering practice is associated with the social category and/or degree level. Volunteering is more important among the population whose the level of education is the highest.

Facilitating access to volunteering and democratizing it for all young people, especially the less socially advantaged young people, are therefore issues for the public authorities and associations involved in the development of volunteering.