Wishes to simplify voluntary work

Volunteer work stream cleaningVolunteers cleaning up a stream. Photo: Pixabay.com

The Government wishes to simplify voluntary work

The first parliamentary report on volunteering since 2007 is issued. The Norwegian Government wants to make it easier to operate voluntary organisations in Norway.


Minister of Culture, Trine Skei Grande (Liberals), presented the main content of the parliamentary announcement on Wednesday afternoon. That happened on Frivillighet Norge’s (Volunteer Norway) marking of the UN International Day for Voluntary Efforts at DOGA in Oslo.

Among the main points in the volunteer report is the focus on VAT compensation, which has been a central theme of Volunteer Norway’s main demands to the Government.

Additionally, the Government wants to make everyday life easier for volunteers in Norway through a simplification reform. The reform entails, among other things, an increased focus on the voluntary register, attempts at multi-annual allocations and the creation of a separate simplification council.

– Almost all community institutions in Norway originate from volunteer work, which, at some stage, the Norwegian state has taken over. Volunteering must be free of political governance, and that entails more trust and responsibility, the Minister of Culture says.

Important community arena

– Volunteering is one of the most important community arenas we have in Norway. It is an important educational institution because it helps to empower citizens to take responsibility for society’s development, Grande tells NTB after the presentation.

Secretary-General in Volunteer Norway, Stian Slotterøy Johnsen, states that he is optimistic after the presentation of the volunteer report.

– We are happy to have a Minister of Culture who understands and acknowledges the importance of volunteering, and who speaks our language, he exclaims.

He believes the message shows ambitions to strengthen volunteering and says he has high expectations for the implementation.

– It’s gratifying that the government wants to commit to an escalation plan, but we already know that this is not enough to ensure full VAT compensation, Slotterøy Johnsen, who urges KrF to work for the cause in the Government talks, implores.

Among the most volunteering in the world

Norwegians are among the most volunteering in the world, according to the Trade organisation, Virke. In 2016, voluntary efforts amounted to NOK 75 billion nationwide, equivalent to 148,000 full-time equivalents. The Government now wishes to facilitate for even more volunteers.

– We are very pleased that the report now has the aim to achieve more volunteers. This turns Norway into a better and warmer society, says Director in Virke, Ivar Horneland Kristensen.

He is very pleased with the report’s simplification reform.

– I am involved in arranging a festival at Mortensrud myself and know how much time is required to run voluntary organisations and activities. Simplification work will make work easier and we can spend more time on the activity itself and less time on reporting, form-filling and bureaucracy, Kristensen concludes.


© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today