24th May 2018 | FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE         




Eurodiaconia has launched a High-Level Expert Group to address the most pressing emerging challenges on social services. The High-Level Group was presented on the occasion of a special dialogue event organized in Brussels on the 23rd – 24th of May.

Europe is witnessing how inequalities are rising, generating new groups of people facing vulnerability and social exclusion, adding to the already unacceptably high numbers of people experiencing poverty. Together with structural trends such as population ageing, this is creating a challenging context for the provision of accessible, affordable and high quality social and healthcare services, which are essential to upholding human dignity. As providers of a wide range of social services, Eurodiaconia seeks to address such challenges whilst taking into account the profound changes -such as digitalization, new forms of work, etc.- that will likely have an impact on how services are delivered.

The High-Level Expert Group on Social Services is composed of member organizations and key stakeholders to reflect and build a vision on how services can address such challenges in a more effective manner and provide recommendations on the necessary actions required at European, national and local levels to this aim. During this special dialogue event, the participants[1] discussed key issues and challenges with the aim of delivering a blueprint for social services of the future, in early 2019.

Heather Roy, Secretary General of Eurodiaconia stated: “Social policies across the EU must be prepared to face the present and future challenges. The European Pillar of Social Rights is a good step towards more Social Europe, and if well implemented it will put people back at the heart of EU policy. As nonprofit providers of social services we call for an implementation underpinned by quality social services.”

Eurodiaconia is a network of 46 organizations in 32 European countries providing social and healthcare services and working for social justice. Founded in the Christian tradition we work to ensure that our societies provide opportunities for all people to live in dignity and realize their full potential.


[1]Participants included Eurodiaconia members: Yann Grimaldi (Salvation Army France), Hanns-Stephan Haas (Diakonie Alsterdorf Hamburg), Olli Holmstrom (Helsinki Deaconess Institute), Anna Johansson (Stockholm City Mission), Idar Magne Holme (Diakonhjemmet), and Jan Sobeslavsky (Diaconia Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren). Participants included Eurodiaconia’s partners: Guillaume Afellat (CEEP), Klaus Heeger (CESI), Anna Ludwinek (Eurofound). With contribution from the European Commission, EASPD and Social Economy Europe.