Yesterday marked the start of the conference “Building Social Europe” that brought together EU decision-makers, civil society and other stakeholders for an EU that works for people. The flagship event is co-organised by SocialPlatform -the platform for European NGOs Eurodiaconia is a member of- takes place in Helsinki in cooperation with the Finnish Ministry of social affairs and health. 

The three-day conference includes a public action in central Helsinki, thematic workshops, an exhibition, and study visits to local projects that promote social inclusion. Roundtables and the participation of experts on the topics of participatory democracy and civil society’s role in the decision-making process will address the question of how to promote social justice through an economy that works for people.

Piotr Sadowski, President of Social Platform shared his take on the importance of the flagship conference:

“Social civil society has long called for the EU to better balance its economic and social objectives, and the appointment of an Executive Vice-President to put people at the heart of the economic policy is certainly a step in the right direction. Our Flagship Conference focuses heavily on this topic, and the outcomes of our various exchanges will feed into our input to the Finnish Government’s high-level conference on the economy of wellbeing later this week.”

Kelig Puyet, Director of Social Platform added that this year’s event “takes place at a crucial time, with a new European Parliament preparing to vote in a ‘geopolitical’ European Commission to lead the EU through the next five years. Following widespread protests fuelled by years of political inertia towards inequalities and an increase in the number of people having their say on Europe at the ballot box, our conference brings together key actors to discuss how the EU can recapture the spirit of social justice and champion democracy and trust in the EU.”

Eurodiaconia’s Policy Officer Stefan Kitzmann is in Helsinki to attend the conference and make our voice heard at this important occasion where so many stakeholders will be present. For years Eurodiaconia has worked for a social Europe with quality social and healthcare services benefiting the most disadvantaged. Therefore, we look forward to the outcome of the conference and what it will mean for EU policy and for the work of our members.

To know more about the conference, make sure to have at Social Platform’s webpage.

To know more about our work on social and healthcare services, please visit our website.