The EU has named 2011 as the year of volunteering, yet a new study by the think tank Praxis finds that campaign platforms for Estonia’s elections are vague in their proposals for advancing citizen education and volunteer work.
“Civic volunteering, the value of which international studies find is already twice as great as monetary donations, deserves a place in the campaign promises,” wrote the analysis.
All of the parties propose to boost citizen participation in the political process, which has been most clearly defined by the social democrats, according to Praxis.
One Green Party proposal would reform the income tax so that taxpayers could direct 1 percent to support a citizens group of their choice. Meanwhile, the People’s Union and the Centre Party wish to see a legal framework that would simplify the popular initiative process; however, they have not detailed the system.
“None of the parties sees further advancement of civic participation as an objective to ensure balanced development of the society,” the report concluded.