Eurodiaconia has published a new report, “Funding gaps for social services- the perspective of Eurodiaconia members”. In this report we look into the current funding models our members work with, the challenges they face as well as possible ideal models of financing.

Due to demographic shift, changing societal needs, and recently the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, social service providers are reporting a growing demand for social services amidst financing challenges. As the crisis has worsened social inequalities in our communities, putting economies in a worse position than after the 2008 financial crisis, it is noticeable that people experiencing poverty and persons in already vulnerable circumstances are bearing the brunt  of the pandemic. Our members are reporting an increased in the demand for all types of services, therefore sustainable financing is crucial now more than ever to guarantee the long term provision of social services.

Some of our recommendations to the European Commission:

  • The European Commission should improve the accessibility of EU funds by simplifying the application process and reporting procedures and making sure that the Member States set clear and proportionate administrative requirements to avoid burdensome and time-consuming application processes.
  • The EU should undertake a review of the effectiveness of the use of Public Procurement in funding social care services and relevant updates should be  introduced where needed especially in the social clauses. Furthermore, any revision to State Aid law at the EU level should positively support the commissioning of social services by reviewing the existing provisions and how effective they are in supporting social services. Moreso, the European Commission should also promote the use of other models of financing social services that are compatible with EU rules, like the use of personal budgets and service vouchers which empowers the service users to decide how they should be supported.

You can read full report here.