• Our work

    Eurodiaconia links diaconal actors to examine social needs, develop ideas and influence policies impacting Poverty and Social Exclusion, Social and Health Care Services and the Future of Social Europe.

    Eurodiaconia also provides a platform for transnational networking and best practice sharing.  


  • Our vision

    As the leading network for diaconal work in Europe, we look to develop dialogue and partnership between members and influence and engage with the wider society.  We do this to enable inclusion, care and empowerment of the most vulnerable and excluded and ensure dignity for all.


  • Our goals

    We aim to see a positive social change in Europe through:

    Praxis, enabling membership engagement and partnerships

    Advocacy, creating a network of competence to impact policies at European and national level

    Identity and values, supporting the development of approaches and thinking on Diaconia in Europe today


Calendar Friday, March 27, 2015
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Read up on what has been happening this week on our weekly editorial.

We're Back!

4 September 2014

Hello and we hope you have had a good summer!  This week we are all back in the Eurodiaconia office and gearing up for a busy autumn.  In the next few days we will have a breakfast meeting in the European Parliament, hosted by five of the political groups, to present Eurodiaconia's key themes on how poverty and social exclusion can be addressed in Europe and in particular, how the European Parliament can be more active in calling for greater social and economic justice.  

Next week we will also hold a meeting in Sweden where we will look at how to develop employment in the social and health care sector, particularly in terms of skills and training and looking at how to make the sector more attractive as a career path.  We are partnering with Bracke Diaconia who are hosting this event and with Diakonie Deutschland and we hope that this could be the launch of a longer term project on this crucial topic.

Towards the end of the month we will have our annual seminar on the Europe 2020 strategy and the process of the European Semester.  It is particularly relevant this year as we are developing our contribution to the mid term review of the strategy.  If you are not already signed up please do so in the coming days!

We are also launching our research project on the financing of social services in the coming weeks as well as our research on the accessibility of social services for migrants so if you are a member please watch out for more news on how you can be involved in both these projects.

There is also a lot happening in Brussels.  We are still waiting for confirmation of the new European Commission and the European Parliament is now pretty much organised in terms of committees and groups.  We have been working with many of you to link with your MEP's and have also been working with the new parliament on framing questions to the new Commissioners in their parliament hearings later this month.  Watch this space for more information on that.

So, lots happening and lots to do but as ever, lots to gain for a more just, fair and equitable Europe.

have a great weekend




Last E-news before the summer break

This was the last busy week in Brussels before the summer as the European Parliament will now break for a five week holidays resuming on 1st September. In the office the team has been working on Eurodiaconia’s midyear report for Progress as well as preparing our forthcoming activities such as the Joint Network Meetings on Long Term Care and Employment in Diaconia (10-12 September, Gothenburg, Sweden) and the Europe 2020 Mid Term review: What track record, what opportunities? (25-26 September, Brussels). There are still some spaces available to participate so if you or one of your colleagues are interested, please register!

Eurodiaconia is also coordinating the organisation of a cross-party breakfast meeting to take place in the European Parliament on 9th September. The idea is to gather new and re-elected MEPs who would like to work particularly on poverty and social exclusion, with a specific perspective on the provision of social services, and social investment. To keep us busy in the coming weeks, the Eurodiaconia secretariat is working, among other things, on a final briefing on the fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived, on a toolkit on funding, on a response to a European Commission consultation on "stakeholder guidelines" and on our 2015 work programme.

There will be no e-news over the summer break, but we are available in August as ever if you have any questions regarding Eurodiaconia, upcoming meetings or developing partnerships.

Wishing you a great summer,

The Eurodiaconia secretariat

Strengthening the social economy

17 July

This week Heather Roy is taking an active part in the informal joint meeting of EU Social, Labour and Environment Ministers which is taking place in Milan, under the auspices of the Italian Presidency. It is the first time that the Social Platform is invited to contribute and is fully associated to all ministerial debates. Heather is speaking as president of the Social Platform at the opening plenary on the poverty targets in the Europe 2020 strategy mid-term review as well as the plenary on the importance of the social economy. As the Italian presidency deals with the mid-term review, it is an important opportunity to stress the need to re-focus on the social objectives, rather than prioritising financial and economic goals. 

Heather will also have the opportunity to stress the importance of developing the social economy, which could contribute to reducing poverty and creating jobs, particularly in the social and health care sector. In particular, Eurodiaconia's policy position ‘Social enterprises for social inclusion’ (2014) fed into the Social Platform’s contributions to the workshop on the importance of social economy held today. In a letter to the Italian Presidency, Eurodiaconia recommended that EU-level actions are taken to support social enterprises of all types and that initiatives relating to financial support instruments for social enterprises do not only address private financing mechanisms, but also public.

Issues related to social impact measurement and financing instruments will also be discussed in Milan. Eurodiaconia has been working on these important issues together with partners and our members. In a seminar organised in June 2014, members discussed measuring the social and economic impact of social services as well as public and private financing. You can read the meeting report here.

Let’s hope the emphasis on the social economy under the Italian Presidency is a step in the right direction to a stronger social union, with a clearer focus on the social objectives of the EU 2020 strategy.

Have a lovely summer weekend,


Alzheimer's in the news

10 July 2014

This week Alzheimer’s disease was in the news as research was published showing blood testing can identify certain proteins that predict the onset of dementia with 87% accuracy. The recently published report on the state of long-term care in the EU developed by the Commission with Member States got little publicity however, despite making important recommendations, many of which coincide with Eurodiaconia’s members recommendations as seen in our policy paper. These include an emphasis on the need for integration of social and health care and on prevention. We will be developing a response to the report with members at our Healthy Ageing and Long-term Care Network meeting in September.

As well as valuing and funding research into diagnosis and cures, we must also ensure funds go in to prevention, care and ensuring our living environments are “friendly” to all age groups. This reminded me of a community based approach that Diakonie Hessen has developed with the federal sports organisation in Germany that we heard about in one of our meetings last year. The programme, called “Moment!” combines mental with physical training to encourage people with dementia to use sports clubs in order to benefit from the positive effect of exercise, raise awareness about dementia in our society and “normalise” it, as well as strengthen the possibilities for participation of people with dementia in daily life.  

Another integrated, community approach that we will hear more about at the next Network meeting is the Diaconia Valdese project "Us with You – Ambassadors for Alzheimer’s”. The various elements of the project acknowledge, support, maintain, extend, demonstrate and ‘celebrate the possible’ in the lives of people with Alzheimer’s and offer them the opportunity to be advocates or ‘Ambassadors for Alzheimer’s’ in the local community. Members interested to know more are warmly invited to join the meeting. To promote further learning between organisations on what can be done for and with persons with dementia we would encourage other members to tell us about their initiatives in this field.

All of you interested in ageing and long-term care should check out the report I mentioned at the start, including the summary for your country (there is one for every EU member state). And remember that one of the benefits of living a healthy life now is to help prevent the onset of diseases like Alzheimer’s. (A small health promotion “advertisement” to end with!)

Have a good weekend,


On the agenda...

3 July 2014

This week we had the opportunity to attend a meeting with Herman Van Rompuy, the President of the European Council who gave a summary of the Council meeting held on 26th and 27th June. He explained that the Council adopted several key decisions such as the nomination of Jean-Claude Junker as President of the European Commission (to be finalised by a European parliament vote on 16th July), the adoption of the Country Specific Recommendations 2014, and the closing of this European Semester cycle. This week also saw Italy take over the rotating 6-month Presidency of the EU (see our letter to the Italian Presidency on youth exclusion).

Another key decision made by the Council was the adoption of a “strategic agenda for the Union in times of change”. This document aims to set the direction for the European Union’s legislative work for the next five years and emphasizes the European Union’s priorities for action through five objectives. Whilst we welcome the recognition of rising inequalities and its direct reference to the empowerment and protection of citizens in the text, Eurodiaconia has raised concern that Europe 2020 and particularly the poverty reduction objective risks getting lost in the midst of this new agenda. It also puts an unbalanced emphasis on economic growth and there is still no commitment to identifying and addressing the social impact of economic reforms (see our press release here on these new strategic priorities). The press release prompted a request from the European Parliament magazine to write for them - see here for Heather's article.

If you would like to learn more about Europe 2020 and European Semester process, why it’s important and how to get engaged, please remember to register for our training seminar to take place in Brussels from the 25-26 September.

In this week’s issue you will also see members have an opportunity to feed into two policy papers which are being drafted or updated, one on intra-EU mobility and the other is on Roma inclusion. We look forward to members’ input!

Have a good weekend

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