It is widely acknowledged that, nowadays, social services are facing significant difficulties, such as chronic underfunding, staff shortages and challenges in transitioning to community-based and person-centred forms of services.

The COVID-19 pandemic only heightened these problems, making it harder and more expensive to meet the increased needs in delivering social services. Receiving adequate funds and making sure that these are easily accessible and used to fund quality interventions in the field is critical to overcome these obstacles.

The EU-funded HELPDESK project will make sure to reach these objectives by creating building blocks for a Social Services Helpdesk. The proposed Helpdesk will have two main priorities:

1. to support social services in accessing and using EU funds (ESF+, ERDF and ReactEU in particular);

2. to help Managing Authorities use EU funds (ESF+, ERDF and ReactEU in particular) to finance quality interventions in the field of social services.


The HELPDESK Project will work towards three main objectives:

  • Promoting capacity building and awareness raising about ESF+, ERDF & React EU (and other relevant EU funds) about how such funds can better support effective social services interventions.
  • Facilitating and simplifying the use of and access to EU funds for social services.
  • Facilitating exchange and cooperation between Managing Authorities, social services, and the European Commission (EC) to ensure that funding priorities are based on an assessment of social needs and target effective evidence-based social services interventions.

Main target groups

  • European Commission
  • Managing Authorities
  • Social Services


The Helpdesk Project will implement four main activities:

  1. Evidence Collection: around the use of ESF+, ERDF (and other funds) in social services, promising practices, needs and challenges
  2. Knowledge Sharing: to build up capacity of Managing Authorities and Social Services across the EU, including relationship building between civil servants in these fields.
  3. Toolkit: which will facilitate access to ESF+, ERDF (and other funds) for social services and will support both Managing Authorities and social services.
  4. Guidance: to facilitate partnership between Managing Authorities and social services to help identify effective social services interventions. This will help to implement EU social policy, and assess how ESF+, ERDF (and other funds) can be used to fund such interventions.


May 2022 – April 2024


Final Conference

The Helpdesk – EU Funds for Social Services project is organising its Conference on ‘Unlocking EU Funds for Social Inclusion: Investing in quality services, support and lives’ on the 16th of April 2024, 9:30-17:00, in the European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels. Bringing together a diverse array of social services, managing authorities of EU Funds from different EU countries, EU policymakers, and beneficiaries of EU Funds, the conference will serve as a forum to discuss the enabling environment needed to foster social inclusion with EU funds.


If you are interested in participating in the conference, please fill out REGISTRATION FORM by the 31st of March.


Please find here the draft programme. The draft programme, with the speakers, will be confirmed in February 2024.


If you are interested in participating in the conference, please fill out this form. Please note that the conference is free of charge but can only accommodate a limited number of participants. Therefore, we kindly invite you to apply for participating in the conference and we will confirm your participation afterwards (First confirmation round in early March).


As the meeting will be organised either in the European Economic and Social Committee or in the Committee of the Regions, your ID card/passport details will be requested. Please note that you must have your valid ID card/passport to enter the building the day of the conference.


Participants (people who have registered and received a confirmation) will be able to request the reimbursement of their expenses (travel, accommodation and subsistence cost) according to the Commission Decision C(2021)35. Please consult the guidance for reimbursement to see the reimbursement that you could claim. Please note, that the reimbursement claims have to be sent by 26 April 2024 and accompanied by the following documents: Fight/train invoices, Boarding passes/train tickets, confirmation of the hotel with the price.


For more information please contact Freddy Jussien (EASPD) at or Daniele Bregoli (SSE) at



Kewan Mildred, Policy and Membership Development Officer, and Giorgia Signoretto, Projects and EU Funding Officer,

Press releases

Press release on the launch of the official website