16th October, 2017 | FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE         




On the occasion of the International day for the Eradication of Poverty, Eurodiaconia calls on the European Institutions and Member States to proclaim the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR), and to ensure the effective participation of civil society in its implementation.   

 According to Eurostat, in 2015, 23.7% of the population in the EU-28 were at risk of poverty or social exclusion. Building on this reality, Eurodiaconia has strongly welcomed the proposed European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR) as a potential renewal of the European Union’s commitment to work towards a ‘triple A’ social Europe. Eurodiaconia members have particularly welcomed the emphasis on social protection and inclusion in the fight against poverty and exclusion in the European Union.


In the context of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, Eurodiaconia calls on the European institutions and Member States to ensure the formal endorsement and adoption of the European Pillar of Social Rights at the forthcoming Social Summit in Gothenburg (17 November). Such public and political support for the Pillar should ensure a reinforced convergence between Member States towards better working and living conditions in Europe. However, Eurodiaconia is disappointed that the current proposal does not take into account the crucial role that civil society organisations such as faith-based groups and not-for-profit service providers must play in ensuring the effective implementation of the Pillar. We therefore call on Member States, the European Parliament and the European Council to stress the essential role of civil society in their final declaration. Effective implementation of the Pillar can only be achieved in partnership with civil society and on an equal footing with social partners.


Heather Roy, Eurodiaconia Secretary General commented that ‘’The forthcoming proclamation of the European Pillar of Social Rights at the Gothenburg Social Summit must stress the specific role of civil society in the design and implementation of social policies. The implementation of the EPSR cannot be separated from the unique experience and expertise of civil society actors in addressing poverty.’’


Eurodiaconia is a dynamic, Europe-wide community of social and health care organisations founded in the Christian faith and working in the tradition of Diaconia. It represents more than 40 members working in over 30 countries, including churches, not-for-profit welfare organisations and NGOs. Together, our members provide services to hundreds of thousands of persons in need across Europe.