The city has been chosen ahead of the other candidate, the Cypriot town of Strovolos.
On 9 December, the European Volunteer Centre (CEV) announced which city will be the european volunteering capital in 2021. The lucky one is the German city of Berlin, after a close call with Strovolos.
Berlin, a municipality with more than 3.700.000 inhabitants, will take over from the Italian city of Padova, which will hold this position during 2020, after Kosice (2019), Aarhus (2018), Sligo (2017), London (2016), Lisbon (2015) and Barcelona (2014).
In choosing Berlin as the European Volunteering Capital 2021, the Jury have recognised that “following many years of investment and collaboration with volunteering organisations there is a well-developed and sophisticated volunteering infrastructure in the city”. This means that “there are mechanisms and processes available to all volunteers and their organisations through which they can receive the necessary support and training”.
Furthermore, the jury agreed that “the city demonstrates a deep understanding of the role of volunteers and volunteering as the basis for a diverse and socially cohesive society and, as such, gives it due importance and support in ways that can be considered excellent practice and be used as a blueprint for other municipalities, large and small, across Europe”.
Strovolos, an excellent candidature
The Jury also had a few words of thanks for the Strovolos’s candidature and highlighted the significant role of the Office for Volunteerism and Active Citizenship (OVAC). "The Office operates within the national framework for volunteering in Cyprus, established by the National Commissioner for Volunteering, shows great promise and should serve as inspiration, not only for other municipalities in Cyprus, but across Europe".
The activities to ensure quality volunteering and to gather data on volunteering and active citizenship were also highlighted by the jury as an outstanding element of the overall support shown to volunteers and volunteering by the Strovolos public administration.
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.