Officially launching the values and principles document, Minister of State at the Department of Rural and Community Development, Joe O’Brien, said: “The publication of these values and principles copper-fastens the renewed relationship and partnership between government and the community and voluntary sector, which has been central in addressing the crises of recent times.”

“These will form the bedrock of engagement and collaboration going forward. I am very proud of our record in working with the community and voluntary sector, but I know we can always go further. Our mutual objective is to support and empower communities and the individuals within those communities.”

He said both sides had “come to a shared understanding” and he hailed “the values and principles that bind and drive both the sector and state.”

“These values and principles will support consultation, inclusion and participation of communities, particularly disadvantaged communities, in public policy and decision-making at all levels and forms a foundation for collective approaches to local and national issues,” he said.

“The success of this initiative will ultimately be in the realisation and embedding of these Values and Principles, and I look forward to championing them,” he added.

He said he had checked with his Department and the values and principles have been “warmly welcomed” by other government departments. It was important to spread the word widely, he said.

“A lot of people in the community and voluntary sector don’t know that the government has bought into this.

“My Department will champion these values and principles as well as ensuring they remain at the heart of all we do,” he said.

He singled out one value and one principle and quoted both in full from the document. These are the value of active participation and the principle of subsidiarity.

From now on, the document is intended to be widely used in interactions with the community and voluntary sector.

The seven-page document is available online at: