Following the high-level meeting between European Commission Vice Presidents Dubravka Šuica and Věra Jourová, Commissioners Nicolas Schmit, Helena Dalli, Stella Kyriakides and representatives of a number of organisations from the social sector, including Eurodiaconia, the latter have sent a follow-up letter to the former.

The document aims to summarise and reaffirm the points mentioned during the meeting. Much attention is paid to the need to prioritise access to protective equipment, testing and vaccines in social services; to guarantee the continuity of service provision through adequate funding and staffing; and the need for concrete advice -through Roadmaps and Guidance- to national authorities to ensure that the role and needs of social services, their professionals and people who use such services are fully considered in the crisis response, transition, recovery and follow-up measures taken by Public Authorities.

The signatories call for the adoption of a number of short-, medium- and long-term measures to cushion the impact of the crisis on the social service providers and their beneficiaries. Short-term steps include the creation of an Emergency Fund for Social Services to provide rapid access to much needed funding at local level. Medium-term actions include dedicated support through the European Recovery Plan, re-enforcement of  the European Social Fund, and setting up a Helpdesk for social service providers to access and benefit from the CRII in the months to come. Long-term initiatives include the establishment of a European Communication on Social Services to guide the COVID-19 recovery and support the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights.


To read in detail, please consult the full text of the letter.