Latest News from our Members

November 24, 2019

Public Affairs Event – Active Inclusion of People with Disabilities through social economy employment models

On December 3rd, EPR, one of our members will host its annual Public Affairs Event in Brussels from 9.00 to 13.00

This year’s Public Affairs Event will be focused around the role of social economy employment models as tools to implement the European Pillar of Social Rights and Active Inclusion. ‘A tool for Active Inclusion of People with Disabilities – Social Economy Employment Models‘.

EPR will present the findings of a study focused on social economy employment models and how they employ people with disabilities and support their inclusion in mainstream employment. Following last years’ study on social enterprises and employment of people with disabilities, in 2019 EPR has had a closer look to some concrete examples of its membership.

Participants will also learn about the first reflections of research carried out by the European Observatory for Inclusive Employment and Sustainable Development Goals.

October 09, 2019

Training on Employment & Job Coaching Skills

Epr(European Platform for Rehabilitation), one of our member organisation, will be having a training on employment and job coaching skills. The exercise will be on the 5th and 6th of November 2019 in Leuven (Belgium).

The training aims to provide an in-depth analysis of the skills necessary to Job Coaching, to improve the effectiveness and impact of its intervention. The course is designed for professionals who work in the field and who want to deepen and improve their skills. Find out more information here.

October 08, 2019

Quality Social Services: a Key to Implement Social Rights – 20 November

Our member organisation EPR (European Platform For Rehabilitation)  will be organizing a conference on 'Quality Social Services: A Key to Implement the Social Rights'

"One goal of this event is to promote mutual learning on providing quality services, including a focus on services relating to principles in the Pillar; facilitating exchanges on success factors and how to address challenges. Workshops will also give opportunities for participants to learn about methods to improve the quality of services and participants will be encouraged to network to create lasting connections. Another goal of the conference is to discuss and make recommendations as to how actions at EU level could support quality social services in implementing the principles" For more information about the conference and how to register check on this link

October 02, 2019

We would like to invite all those engaged in the service provision area (NGOs, policy makers, government agencies, recipients of support services, academics and researchers) to share their knowledge, skills and expertise on a range of themes related to workforce development in social care and support to be presented during one of the workshops of the conference. The purpose of the workshops is to present information and innovative approaches on workforce development in the sector of social care and support for persons with disabilities.

June 02, 2019

Our partner EPR is organising their annual conference in Tallinn the coming 3rd, 4th and 5th of June. 

In a context of limited public funding, EPR partners will discuss new strategies on how to better invest the available resources to ensure that the quality of the delivered services is maintained.

Mutual learning workshops:

  • Enable Employment

  • Live independently

  • Think digital

  • Manage smarter

Organisations wishing to propose a practice, project, reflections or research on those topics are invited to submit a proposal for a workshop and can receive a travel subsidy. More information can be found here.

May 29, 2019

Celebrate FEANTSA's 30th Anniversary
2019 marks 30 years since FEANTSA was established and we will look back at the main achievements and lessons learned since 1989.

Look ahead to 2030
All European Member States have signed up to end poverty by 2030 through the Sustainable Development Goals and we will look at how to use this commitment to help end homelessness by 2030.

Largest European homelessness networking event of the year
Mingle with over 350 participants and a range of high-level speakers from across the homeless sector and wider European policy-making field. 

Learn and share
With a range of different workshops, site visits and working spaces to choose from, come and share your inspirational practices and engage in policy debates on a diverse range of issues. 

May 15, 2019

This International Conference will give the opportunity to 250 participants to gain practical and theoretical knowledge about the variety of effective funding models across Europe and explore their suitability for the development of quality support services, in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

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Our News

Do Social Services Matter For EU?

January 15, 2020

Mr Pierfrancesco Majorino, MEP in collaboration with Social Services Europe(SSE) will be hosting a European Parliament debate ‘Do Social Services Matter for EU?’ On Tuesday, 21st Of January 2020.

This event will bring together key EU policy-makers and stakeholders to debate the current developments and challenges of the social and health care sector, and also explore what practical steps must be taken to ensure the principles of the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR) become a reality in Europe.

SSE will also present its latest research report on the Integration of Migrants in the Social Services Workforce.

Kindly register HERE if you wish to attend. You can also download the programme here

Employment for all! Nominations now open for EASPD and LADAPT’s 2020 Employment Award

January 06, 2020

The right to work is a fundamental right, as recognized in several international legal instruments. Finding long-term employment on the open labour market not only fulfill the right to work but also facilities an individual’s enjoyment of a number of other human rights.
But being employed is much more than a right, and having a job often forms an inherent part of a person’s identity, enabling them to be economically independent; provide for their families and actively contribute to their communities.
EASPD believes in all efforts to create effective systems, that enable the employment of people with disabilities, contributing to the change of the social reality and full implementation of Article 27 of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (UN CRPD).
As part of their work, to further support the implementation of different systems for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the workforce, EASPD(our member) and LADAPT are pleased to announce that applications are now open for its 2020 Employment for All Award! Now in its 4th edition, the award aims to promote strategies that  facilitate the employment of persons with disabilities on the open labour market; provide them with equal opportunities to access gainful employment and enable them to gain a greater control over their independence in terms of employment and financial stability. The deadline for nominations is 17th January 2020

Diaconia at the forefront of safe and regulated pathways for refugees

December 17, 2019

The creation of safe and regulated pathways that are complementary to refugee resettlement are an important way to meet the international protection needs of refugees and engage host communities in the integration of new arrivals.“ Heather Roy, Board member SSE&Secretary General Eurodiaconia

On the occasion of  International Migrants Day, Eurodiaconia (our member organisation), along with 10 partner organisations, co-signed a position paper calling on the European Union and Member States to develop accessible complementary pathways to provide additional, protective and durable solutions to international protection needs. Some of the recommendations include:

  • The involvement of communities, diaconal actors, NGOs and local authorities in the support of refugees is a key tool to implement complementary pathways and create an inclusive hosting society and should be developed in addition to the professional caseworkers’ role. Professional social workers, groups of citizens and communities should work in complementarity and in addition to institutional services to ensure access to beneficiaries’ rights.

  • Complementary legal pathways shall be developed in addition to existing States’ commitments to respect full access to the right to asylum for all persons in need of international protection. Such pathways shall neither undermine resettlement programs nor replace the possibility to request asylum on the territory or at borders.

  • Complementary pathways should be fully accessible to persons in need of international protection which should include the removal of administrative and legal obstacles by States to procedures.

  • As stressed in the Compact on Refugees, complementary pathways should contain protection safeguards and provide durable solutions for refugees. Ensuring protection oriented complementary pathways also includes long-term integration needs.

  • Organizations implementing complementary pathways and States should ensure transparent and fair identification processes..

Employment for all! Nominations now open for EASPD and LADAPT’s 2020 Employment Award

December 02, 2019

As part of its work, to further support the implementation of different systems for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the workforce, Our member EASPD and LADAPT are pleased to announce that applications are now open for its 2020 Employment for All Award! Now in its 4th edition, the award aims to promote strategies that facilitate the employment of persons with disabilities on the open labour market; provide them with equal opportunities to access gainful employment and enable them to gain a greater control over their independence in terms of employment and financial stability. Could you be a winner?

No-poverty strategy for all children in Europe STATEMENT ON THE OCCASION OF THE UNIVERSAL CHILDREN’S DAY, 20 NOVEMBER 2019

November 19, 2019

On the occasion of the Universal Children’s Day 2019, our member organisation Caritas Europa calls on the EU and its Member States to ensure that every child in Europe who is at risk of poverty or social exclusion has access to free healthcare, free education, free early childhood education and care, decent housing and adequate nutrition.

These services have to be available, affordable, accessible and adequate for every family in Europe. To this end, the concept of a European Child Guarantee should be translated into concrete action by adopting framework legislation and by monitoring national policy development through the European Semester process

"We live in a small cargo-container where we have only one table. After meals, my mother cleans the table, covers it with a cloth, and only then I can do my homework."
Arthashes, age 14

Existing EU funds should also be used to encourage EU Member States to monitor and improve the availability and quality of services offered to children and families at risk of poverty. In addition, a more personalised approach adapted to the specific needs of the child is indispensable. Only then will no child be left behind.

Partnerships for job creation conference 22 NOVEMBER 2019

November 17, 2019

Caritas Europa, our member organisation, is organising a one-day conference on innovative and strategic Partnerships for Job Creation, on November 22 at the European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels.

The purpose of this event is to strengthen and be inspired by multi-stakeholders partnerships that have a long-lasting impact on job creation and a strong innovation component.

The innovation can be in the process (creating new forms of cooperation between the different actors), in the product or service (introducing a new product or service that determines new patterns of behaviour among actors) or in the tools (a new infrastructure or instrument that increase the impact of the cooperation between actors and also plays a role of aggregate other potential stakeholders).  Discussions and promising practices will be presented following these three elements of innovation.

SSE Co-signs letter to Vice President-designate Věra Jourová on civil dialogue

October 29, 2019

Some members of Social Services Europe( Eurodiaconia, Solidar, Caritas Europa and EASPD) have co-signed a letter to Vice President-designate on Values and Transparency Věra Jourová. This move is a follow up on her commitment to become the contact person for civic space issues within the European Commission. Amidst appreciation, the letter reiterates how invaluable Commissioner Věra's commitment is in a context where freedom of assembly, of association and expression, are increasingly challenged in the European Union.

Eurodiaconia takes the front line against child poverty

October 16, 2019

To mark the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, Eurodiaconia, our member organisation calls on the new European Commission and the EU member states to fully commit to the eradication of child poverty, 30 years after the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

In a public statement, Eurodiaconia's Secretary General Heather Roy stressed the fact that "In today’s Europe, it is unacceptable that one in four children is at risk of social exclusion and poverty. We are far from reaching the goals adopted unanimously by the UN and now more than ever it is time to join forces and work together against poverty and strengthen social cohesion"

European Common Home panel discussion

October 10, 2019

Caritas Europa, our member organisation, will launch a European-wide publication entitled Common Home: migration and development in Europe and beyond with a panel discussion at the European Parliament, on the 5th of November.

 This is in the framework of the MIND project. Discussions during the meeting will be co-hosted by MEP Juan Fernando Lopez Aguilar (S&D, LIBE Chair) and MEP Erik Marquardt (Greens, DEVE Vice-Chair). The event will be an occasion to present the main findings of the publication and to give different stakeholders the opportunity to discuss how migration and development are interconnected.

Commissioner-designate Nicolas Schimt commits to fully implement the European pillar of social rights

October 03, 2019

Social Services Europe earlier this week welcomed Commissioner- designate’s commitment to fully implement the twenty principles of the European pillar of social rights.

Speaking during the #EPhearings2019, Mr Schimt listed some key priority areas in his plan of action:

  • Boost employment

  • Promote European market for all; people with disability, migrants and the inclusion of Roma.

  • A fairer Europe, inclusive labour market with fair wages.

  • Gender balance and gender equality

  • Fully implement work-life balance

  • Promote health and safety measures at work

  • Commitment to work with social partners

Most importantly, Commissioner Schmit pledged to fully implement the principles of European pillar of social rights by translating them into concrete actions.

He also recognised the social service sectors as an active job creator which was not destroyed during the crisis. Therefore, making it a sector that should be supported to prepare the union for any future shocks.

A strong social Europe however requires a strong up to date social legislation. We hope Commissioner Schmit will actively implement all his promises.

Social Services Europe is optimistic for the next five years with Nicolas Schimt as Commissioner of jobs and possibly social rights.

Homelessness On the Rise in Europe

September 17, 2019

 According to a report published earlier this week by the European Social Policy Network (ESPN), homelessness is on the rise in Europe. The report reveal an increase in homelessness in 24 out of 28 EU Countries in the last decade. One of the major challenges however, is the absence of consistent, accurate data  on the number of homeless people in Europe. 

Our member organisation FEANTSA is the only European NGO focusing exclusively on the fight against homelessness. Click here to read more about their work.

Read more on the ESPN report Here 

European Elections 2019 - What do our members say?

April 25, 2019

Between the upcoming 23rd and the 26th of May 350 million European citizens will decide their own future in the ballot boxes. To ensure the future of a social Europe through the provision of quality and sustainable social and health services, our members have published a series of voting recommendations, guides and statements to help you be better prepared to make an informed decision.

You can read them in the following links:

European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilites (EASPD). EASPD's Right to Vote site includes a simple yet comprehensive overview on what the parties propose in relevant areas like disability and social services.

European Platform for Rehabilitation (EPR): Inclusive Voting: Accounting for Disability in the 2019 European Parliament Elections

Caritas Europa has launched a whole micro-site dedicated to the upcoming elections. Do not forget to take the quiz! https://epelections.caritas.eu

SOLIDAR published two position papers covering some of the most relevant topics for a social Europe: Behind Nationalism and Advancing social Justice and the need for social investment

Eurodiaconia launched a very informative micro-site analyzing voting trends in European elections and the importance of a high turnout. It is Time to Vote!. 

Additionally, you can also read and sign Eurodiaconia's Manifesto for a Sustainable Europe. 

The future of Social Services funding in Europe - article by Caritas Europa and SSE.

April 25, 2019

With an eye on the current MFF negotiations and in view of the upcoming European Elections, this month Caritas Europa publishes an article on the future of Social Services' funding in Europe signed by our President Ms Laura Jones.

Many of you will have first-hand experience of how EU funding programmes play a key role in supporting and developing the quality of social service provision. Some of you will also be aware that future versions of the funding programmes for the period 2021 -2027 were proposed last year. But perhaps, not so many of you are aware of what has happened since then, and that the programmes have now entered the final, and probably critical, stage of negotiations.

Research and policy recommendations on Improving Work-Life Balance through enabling social services.

February 19, 2019

Principle 9 of the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR) states that “Parents and people with caring responsibilities have the right to suitable leave, flexible working arrangements and access to care services. (…)”. In view of addressing the challenges faced by parents and carers, the European Commission has launched in April 2017 a proposal for a Directive on work-life balance. The proposal is complemented by the European Commission Communication “An initiative to support work-balance for working parents and carers”, which outlines a set of non-legislative actions to improve the quality, affordability and access to childcare and long-term care. 

Whereas the Directive proposal would strengthen legislation on leave and flexible working arrangements across Europe, it remains weaker on access to care. Social Services Europe understands this as partly due to a lack of research done on the relationship between access to care services and work-life balance.

To counter this, Social Services Europe launched a research project aiming to provide greater clarity on the relationship between access to care services and work-life balance and employment, and female employment in particular. The research provides further evidence on the need for the European Union to be more proactive in improving access to quality care services.  This is one of the single biggest factors to improve work-life balance in Europe, whilst also boosting job creation, inclusive growth, social cohesion, gender equality and human rights.


Read the full report here

Read our policy recommendations here.

Presentation: Improving Work-Life Balance through enabling social services.

February 19, 2019

Social Services Europe has the pleasure to invite you to the presentation of our most recent research study on Improving Work Life Balance (WLB) through enabling social services.

This research study is framed within the European Commission’s call for a WLB directive and exemplifies how social service providers are key to implement and ensure the right to suitable leave, flexible working arrangements and access to care services for parents and people with caring responsibilities (principle 9 of the European Pillar of Social Rights).

SSE's statement on the parliamentary vote of the ESF+

January 16, 2019

Social Service providers welcome the adoption of the ESF+ by the European Parliament but concerns remain about support to the most deprived and delays in negotiations.

Click below to read Social Services Europe's full statement. 

Social Services Europe joins the European Commission's Group on Social Economy and Social Enterprises

September 26, 2018

We are proud to announce that our application to join the European Commission's Group on Social Economy and Social Enterprises has been successful.

The European Commission's social business initiative (SBI), launched in 2011, set up a consultative multi-stakeholder group on social entrepreneurship to examine the progress of the measures envisaged in this Communication.

The SBI named the group 'Groupe d'experts de la Commission sur l'entrepreneuriat social' (GECES). It was set up for 6 years and included representatives from EU countries, local authorities, social entrepreneurs' organisations, the banking and finance sector, as well as the academic and university sector International organisations and third countries were represented as observers.

As one result of the GECES's work, they issued a report on social enterprises and the social economygoing forward on 14 October 2016, giving input to the Commission's communication on the start-up and scale-up initiative. 

The communication recognised the potential of social economy and social enterprises for innovation and positive impact on the economy and society at large. The Communication announced further actions focusing on 5 pillars: access to finance, access to markets, better framework conditions, new technologies and social innovation, as well as the development of an international dimension.

To help the Commission implement these 5 pillars a new expert group was set up (Expert Group on Social Economy and Social Enterprises). The purpose of this new group is to discuss and agree on developing and strengthening activities related to the implementation of these 5 pillars.

Social Services Europe: CRP, ESF+ and Invest EU suggested amendments

July 18, 2018

As highlighted in our paper “Enabling Social Services through the Multi-Annual Financial Framework post-2020: A European Imperative” (March 2018), the EU budget plays a key role in funding both innovation and continuity in quality social service provision. As a result of such investment, the EU Budget contributes to improving the quality of life of all people in Europe; thus leading to a more stable, inclusive, productive and resilient European Union.

Our Initial Remarks on the Multi-Annual Financial Framework 2021-2027 (July 2018) welcome the general orientation of the European Commission’s proposals, including on the ESF+ proposal. The remarks also highlight five positive proposals and four areas with room for improvement.

These remarks form the basis of our proposed amendments to the European Commission ESF+, CRP and InvestEU proposals. 

Remarks to the MFF proposals

July 22, 2018

The EU budget plays a key role in funding both innovation and continuity in quality social service provision. As a result of such investment, the EU Budget contributes to improving the quality of life of all people in Europe; thus leading to a more stable, inclusive, productive and resilient European Union.

Having analysed the proposed texts, Social Services Europe welcomes the general orientation of the European Commission’s proposals for a Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) 2021-2027 reflecting on their most valuable aspects and the areas where there's room for improvement. 

Follow the link below to access the full text. 

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