Role of Social Services Providers
Social Services Europe has an important contribution to bring to the overall success of the Europe 2020 Strategy and in addressing the social impacts of the present crisis. Social services are an integral part of the active inclusion agenda, which is itself in line with the headline targets recently adopted by the European Union.
Social Services Europe represents 100,000 social and health services active across Europe promoting social inclusion and social cohesion. The sector, employing 10% of the EU workforce, has a long term commitment to vulnerable people and is constantly searching for innovative and cost effective solutions to providing services.
The current debates around the Europe 2020 Strategy, quality in Social Services of General Interest (SSGI), state aid, public procurement and social innovation show that there is an importance being attached to SSGI and there is a space for a formal, strong network that can promote the not-for-profit agenda.
Social services of general interest are a key component of the European social model. They are also important automatic stabilisers in times of economic recession, as was again illustrated during the ongoing crisis. Although they have no legal recognition, they are referenced by a series of official documents from the European Institutions.