Brussels, 4th May 2021
Social Services Europe issues Statement on European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan
On 4 March the European Commission published the European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan. On 7 and 8 May our leaders are gathering for the Social Summit in Porto. We issue this statement ahead of this crucial moment to promote a Social Europe.
Social Services Europe, representing not-for-profit social service providers of social and health care and support to millions of people in Europe, welcomes the ambition the European Commission has set in terms of creating jobs in the social services sector, investing in the health and care workforce, and putting forward European initiatives promoting social inclusion.
Social service providers have been essential for coping with the pandemic, proving to be resilient whilst being exposed on the front line along with the healthcare sector. Set against the current context of a deepening social crisis, Social Services Europe sees the potential of the Action Plan to step up support for the social service sector, to act as a lever to bring social justice on a par with economic and sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, to revamp the current economic, social and ecological system and to put the social agenda on an equal footing with the green and digital agendas. This potential now needs to be seized and realised with effective measures and initiatives on all levels.
Supporting Member States to invest in social services and social infrastructure while making the best use of EU funding will be vital. EU policy guidance – including through new actions proposed by the Action Plan and existing processes such as the European Semester – needs to emphasise investing in people, in the quality of social services and leaving no one behind.
The Social Services Europe Statement stresses key elements of progress in the Action Plan we welcome. It lists a range of policy initiatives in the Action Plan relevant for the members of Social Services Europe which we will be following closely and contributing to. Social Services Europe urges its effective realisation and that the not-for-profit social service providers and their national and European umbrella organisations are fully involved in all steps of the related policy making, implementation and monitoring processes within the EU Members States and at EU level. For Social Services Europe, the success of the European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan, and social progress in the EU in general, will only happen if the ambition and strategic direction that the European Commission sets out with it are matched with political commitment in the Member States, comprehensive policy design and implementation backed up by adequate public funding. Social Services Europe looks forward to constructive collaboration with the European Commission and the Member States to realise these joint ambitions.