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European elections and the future

This year my country celebrates 15 years of being a member of European Union.

There were a lot of changes in Poland during that time – in my opinion mostly good ones. And thanks to it I could become an EVS volunteer in Madeira.
Being a part of the European Union brought many advantages for young people who can now study or volunteer abroad. My parents didn’t have this opportunity and they are happy that I could go abroad thanks to the Erasmus+ program. In my opinion it’s very important for young people to get to know other cultures, learn languages, meet people from different countries, get experience in new areas.

When they learn and get another point of view they will be able to build a better future for themselves and their children in Poland. I also think that there are benefits on both sides – not only for the volunteer but also for the place where he or she goes. Volunteers support local society, which in my case means collecting money for students from the University of Madeira to finance meals, books, accommodation, scholarships etc. We also integrate with the local people letting them to get to know ourselves, which is very important for example for those people who don’t have a possibility to travel.

We have to realize that apart from benefits there is a lot of responsibility on us. Soon the elections for European Parliament are coming and it depends on us what will be the future of our country and the European Union. Each citizen should get involved and choose the best way for us and the next generations.

Poland is changing, as well as other countries and the European Union. It’s hard to predict things in 50 years, but I hope each country will be safe for its citizens and we will be free to travel, study and work abroad.

Text written in February 2019.

Short bio of the volunteer

I come from Chorzow, a city on the south of Poland. I am 26 years old, I like travelling, learning languages and getting to know other cultures.


Erasmus+ is a programme of the European Commission embracing the fields of education, training, youth and sports during the period 2014-2020. One of the major aspects is the cooperation between the different fields where the programme acts, hence contributing for a diverse and rich Europe.

Amongst the several goals of the programme, the following are prioritised: the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy, including the headline education target; the aims of the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET 2020), including the corresponding benchmarks; the sustainable development of Partner Countries in the field of higher education; the overall goals of the renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field (2010-2018); the objective of developing the European dimension in sport, in particular grassroots sport, in line with the EU work plan for sport and the promotion of European values in accordance with Article 2 of the Treaty on the European Union.

In order to achieve these goals, the Erasmus+ has several action policies. The Key Action 1 (KA1) is directed towards the mobility of people; Key Action 2 (KA2) for the cooperation for innovation and the interchange of good experiences; and Key Action 3 (KA3) which is for the support of reformation policies.

European Voluntary Service

Since 1991 the University of Madeira Students’ Union has developed a wide incentive policy for voluntary work. In 2013 the Students’ Union started the process to receive, send and coordinate Erasmus+ projects of the European Voluntary Service, in order to have a larger influence in the volunteering field. The Union received its first volunteer withing the ambit of a KA1 project in 2014. Many efforts have been done to allow young people from Madeira to take part in several initiatives in Europe, as well as propose several projects allowing young people from several countries to work in the projects of the Students’ Union of the University of Madeira. The main goal of the voluntary work is the contribution of the volunteers to the communities and places they will be staying, being their work not rewarded with payment.

We believe that the European Voluntary Service is a mechanism full of experiences, allowing the approved candidates to have the privilege of taking part in these projects and benefit the places and communities where these volunteers will be staying.

Since 2013, the University of Madeira Students’ Union has received volunteers that have collaborated in several activities and initiatives. Besides being able to enjoy a wonderful experience which will contribute to their personal and professional growth, they are able to contribute in a unique way to the community in which they are inserted and to join dozens of volunteers from the University of Madeira.