Eurodiaconia works on many areas related to the provision of social services. Social Services of General interest (SSGI) is the term used to describe social services that are seen to be of importance to the general population. The European Commission has described them as including services provided directly to the person that play a preventive and socially cohesive role, such as social assistance services, employment and training services, social housing, child care or long-term care services.

Eurodiaconia focuses on working to ensure that not-for-profit social and health care providers operate in a supportive environment, where their importance is recognised.

Eurodiaconia monitors the impacts of EU legislation and how it is implemented on the provision of social services in Europe, in particular the impact of EU State Aid and Public Procurement rules, which regulate how contracting authorities can finance social services.

Eurodiaconia members strive to provide quality services and Eurodiaconia has been actively engaged in the EU debate on the quality of social services since 2005. Eurodiaconia has contributed to EU initiatives on quality and has developed its own document on quality.

Eurodiaconia and its members decided to develop one particular elementof these principles, namely service user participation and empowerment. Members felt it was important to facilitate mutual learning and to promote these ideas and drew up a toolkit to this effect.

  • Eurodiaconia toolkit for user participation and empowerment in social services, available in English, French and German (2010).