• 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 Saturday, September 20, 2014
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Healthy ageing and long-term care

Eurodiaconia runs a network on Healthy Ageing and Long-term Care for members to engage in policy discussions related to ageing and care for older people, feeding into Eurodiaconia's advocacy work, and to share experiences and best practice in care for older people.

In the context of demographic change Eurodiaconia has focussed on services for older people. With Members Eurodiaconia drew up a policy paper in 2009 outlining the challenges members see in the field and proposing recommendations. This was developed and revised in 2014.

Key Eurodiaconia documents:

In 2012 a publication entitled "Ageing Well: Together" was launched which features reflections from Eurodiaconia and Heinz K. Becker MEP, recommendations and projects and services from members focusing on ensuring social inclusion for older people.

The European Commission published a working paper on long-term care in 2013, a briefing can be found below:

Eurodiaconia has been involved in the Coalition for the European Year of Active Ageing and Solidarity between generations 2012 (EY2012) working for a stronger recognition of the role of social and health services in ensuring active ageing, independent living. Eurodiaconia contributed to the coalition's brochure which makes recommendations for different types of stakeholders on how to promote active ageing and intergenerational solidarity. The Roadmap provides an overview of of activities that the Coalition commit to undertaking in 2012 to ensure that all  relevant stakeholders will be actively involved in the  implementation of the  EY2012 and the European Union will do its outmost to complement and support Member States’ actions aiming at creating an Age-Friendly European Union  by 2020.

To learn more about healthy ageing and elderly care work in Eurodiaconia, please contact Laura Jones on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Long-term care and employment in the care sector - members discuss in Gothenburg

18 September 2014

Last week, over twenty participants gathered at Bräcke Diakoni in Gothenburg, Sweden, for discussions about long-term care and employment in the care sector. Two network meetings were held back to back: the Healthy Ageing and Long-Term Care Network (HALTC) and the Employment in Diaconia Network (EiD), joined with a workshop on ‘Tackling employment challenges in Diaconia with a focus on long-term care’.

At the HALTC network, the group discussed the Swedish context and Bräcke Diakoni and City Mission Gothenburg’s work with older people. Models and methods of integrated care at different levels was a focus of the meeting. Participants heard an example from Diakoniewerk Salzburg of an intergenerational residential project where community activities, volunteers and care services are coordinated (www.rosazukunft.at/).

A representative from the Diaconia Valdese (Italy) presented a comprehensive project that works to improve the quality of life for persons with dementia and theivictoria munsey presenting compressedr families. Activities range from an Alzheimer café in a local bar, to awareness raising meetings and support for informal carers. The group also discussed the recently published SPC-European Commission report on long-term care, feeding into a response and recommendations that Eurodiaconia is preparing.

Gintnstgarden dog therapyParticipants visited a Bräcke Diakoni care home for persons with dementia, and were impressed by the attention to detail, particularly in the décor, that can make a difference for the quality of life for the older people living there. The group were also able to participate in a short music therapy session and experience dog therapy activities.

The workshop saw discussions about challenges members face in recruitment and retention in the care sector, and discussed effective solutions. These included facilitating flexible working hours, promoting pride in the organisation, training and development and helping staff appreciate their motivation for working in the organisation and sector. Two examples of EU funded (ESF) staff training projects were presented by Sleszka Diakonie, focussing on training for managerial skills. Some of the impacts of the projects were presented such as better understanding of managers about their role in leading the organization, better understanding of strategic planning and of a shared vision of the organization. The group also discussed qualifications in social and health care and implications for pan-European staff mobility.

During the employment in diaconia meeting, participants heard about specific challenges and activities in the field of human resources for Bräcke Diakoni. Opportunities included an ongoing forum for sharing on cultural values with programme ”Andrum” looking a corporate values and spiritual guidance as well as ”Speranza” an in-house competence development programme.

Finally, there was a presentation on a values based training project from Siftung Diakoniewerk Neumunster called ‘give me five’ with the aim of improving social competences and behaviour of employees.

A full meeting report will be available in the next few weeks.

Commission-expert group joint report on adequate social protection for long-term care needs now out

7 July 2014

On the 19th  June Employment and Social Affairs ministers endorsed the "Joint Report on adequate social protection for long-term care needs in an ageing society" prepared by the Commission and the Social Protection Committee (an expert group of representatives of Member States' public administrations dealing with social protection).

The aim of this report is:

•  to reiterate the case for social protection against the risk of long-term care (LTC) needs;

•  to identify existing evidence about possible ways to  contain and address present and future demands;

•  to identify where there is lack of knowledge and need for further evidence;

•  to give examples of good practices around the EU that could be considered also in other Member States;

•  to suggest to the SPC where policy action could be taken to increase EU support to the efforts of Member States.

The report gives an overview of LTC provision across Member States and who the carers are, before examining whether there is adequate social protection for LTC. It examines how Member States can organise adequate provision for long-term care needs in a sustainable way, despite the ageing of the population. The report outlines the need for Member States to move to a "proactive" policy approach in order to prevent the loss of autonomy for individuals, which would in turn reduce care demand. It also seeks to boost efficient, cost-effective care at home and in residential institutions. The Commission stated “Economically, it makes sense for Member States to decrease the risk of dependency on long term care and to ensure adequate access to affordable quality care, as well as support to informal carers”.

The document starts with key messages which include the following points that are addressed in more detail in the report. There is an ever-widening gap between need and supply of LTC and social protection for LTC is needed for equity and efficiency. Social care is under resourced which means that the burden shifts to the individual and their relatives, which has negative consequences for them and for the labour market. The importance of supporting informal carers and "reinforcing" the LTC work force are key messages. In terms of innovation and proactive approaches, more focus needs to be put on healthy lifestyles, prevention, rehabilitation and re-enablement and early detection. There is much more scope for mutual learning and cooperation on research and development to better understand what works, including regarding technological solutions. The importance of the integration of social and health care (a key concern for Eurodiaconia members) is also stressed.

Annex 1 suggests areas for further work: better data gathering and sharing; a methodology for estimating costs of LTC and measures to prevent dependency, a network to develop and spread expertise in assessing the cost-effectiveness of various ways of tackling long-term care needs, promotion of more age-friendly environments, including by adapting the WHO guide to age-friendly cities to the European context, encouraging a systematic and integrated approach to implementing strategies for the secondary and tertiary prevention of frailty and finally cooperation with the  European Group of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) to promote greater respect for the human rights of people in long-term care.

Annex 2 contains country profiles for each Member State; 4-8 pages summarising: demographic background, current long-term care provision, carers, policy and recent developments and background statistics. The Eurodiaconia secretariat is interested to know if these descriptions are accurate – members are encouraged to read their country profile and give feedback to the secretariat. The report will be discussed at the upcoming Healthy Ageing and Long-term Care Network in September (see here for more details about the meeting).

The report can be downloaded here and the key messages here.


CALL FOR PAPERS for the International Seminar "Building an evidence base for active ageing policies: Active Ageing Index and its potential"

7 July 2014

The European Commission has announced the launch of the call for papers for the International Seminar "Building an evidence base for active ageing policies: Active Ageing Index and its potential". The Seminar is organised jointly by the UNECE Population Unit and the European Commission’s Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion within the second phase of the Active Ageing Index project and will take place on 16-17 April 2015 in Brussels.

The Seminar will be dedicated to the studies focusing on how to achieve better outcomes — measured, for instance, by AAI — through appropriate policies including those that address life course determinants of active and healthy ageing. The Seminar aims to bring together researchers, civil society representatives, policymakers and other stakeholders. It will provide a multidisciplinary forum for those interested in the use of AAI and other research to enhance the knowledge about ageing and older people and lead to the development of better policies.

For more information please consult a wiki page devoted to the seminar and the call for papers.

Human rights for older persons in Europe: Who cares? Conference in Brussels, 23 June

 3 June 2014

Human rights for older persons in Europe: Who cares?

Joint Council of Europe/DG Employment/AGE Platform Europe seminar

Brussels, Monday 23rd June

Following on from World Awareness Day on Elder Abuse (15 June), the 47-nation Council of Europe, the European Commission’s Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion and AGE Platform Europe are jointly organising a stakeholder seminar focusing on human rights for older persons, particularly looking at issues related to long-term care.

The aim of the event is to raise awareness and understanding among policy-makers, civil society and other relevant stakeholders of the changing political and legal framework in this area, and to discuss how best to protect older persons from abuse through a rights-based approach to long-term care.

The seminar will include presentations of the Council of Europe’s recent recommendation on human rights for older persons – linked to relevant case law under the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Social Charter – and the new report on long-term care from the European Union’s Social Protection Committee.

The seminar will take place at the Council of Europe office in Brussels (Avenue des Nerviens, 85) from 10am to 12.30pm on Monday 23 June 2014.


Please note that due to the limited number of seats, registration is obligatory and organisers reserve the right not to confirm your registration in case of overbooking. Participants will be informed in advance.

Eurodiaconia launches new policy paper on Ageing and Long-term Care

27 May 2014

Eurodiaconia is pleased to announce a new policy paper entitled “Demographic Change: Ageing and Long-term care” which can be downloaded here. It outlines the main challenges for ensuring older people have access to quality long-term care and can live a dignified life from the perspective of diaconal organisations and then makes recommendations to meet those challenges.

The topics it covers are: Preventive care, Tackling isolation and poverty, Independent living, Assistive Technologies and Ambient Assisted Living, Comprehensive, accessible, integrated care systems, Understanding the needs of older people and personalised care, Informal and family carers and jobs in the care sector and Intergenerational understanding and solidarity.

The paper draws from discussions and conclusions from the Healthy Aging and Long Term Care Network meetings for members, the conference Active Ageing through Social Inclusion in 2012 and last year’s public discussion “Active Ageing for the oldest in society: How can services and new technology contribute?” The draft paper was sent to members for consultation and the final version was approved by the Eurodiaconia board.

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