On 5 December, in the Danish city of Aarhus, the 2018 European Volunteering Capital, it was announced which city will be the volunteering capital in 2020. The lucky one is the Italian city of Padova, after a close call with Stirling.
Padova, a municipality with 210,000 inhabitants, will take over from the Slovak city of Kosice, which will hold this position during 2019, after Aarhus (2018), Sligo (2017), London (2016), Lisbon (2015) and Barcelona (2014).
In choosing Padova as the European Volunteering Capital 2020 the Jury have noted that "Padova shows specific and multiple examples of how they support and encourage volunteers from diverse groups and backgrounds, as well as a wide variety of volunteering organizations".
Furthermore, "It has a positive focus on how to contribute to the social inclusion and well-being of vulnerable groups through volunteering. Padova has an agreement to offer asylum seekers the chance to volunteer, which includes training, and also shows a great organizational support of the European Solidarity Corps through the Youth Project's Office". The Volunteer Centre, that they support, plays a key role in the implementation of volunteering projects, whether that be through funding, or providing space free of charge for volunteers who wish to carry out a program or project.
The Jury also had a few words of thanks for the Stirling's candidature: "Stirling shows that volunteering has an important value to the city - both as a municipality and community - and demonstrates strong efforts to recognise volunteering and assess its impact. The municipality not only has an established base and engagement of the public for volunteering, but its future plans will continue to do the same on a larger scale".
This competition was created in 2013 by the European Volunteer Centre (CEV) with the aim to promote volunteering at the local level, by giving recognition to local municipalities that offer support and close collaboration with organizations and associations of volunteers or that promote altruism, as highlighted by the recommendations set out in the Policy Agenda on Volunteering in Europe.
The competition is held every year and the winning municipality is chosen by a jury composed of many personalities from the European volunteering sector.