This week, the European Commission released the so-called Winter Package, providing an analysis of the overall socio-economic developments in each EU country through 28 Country Reports.

I am glad to be joining Eurodiaconia’s team as Policy Assistant at this very special time of the year, for the second step of the annual European Semester cycle. This is an exciting and crucial time for our members to assess if the most urgent social challenges in their home country have been sufficiently covered, and which policy recommendations they would like the European Commission to address to their government for the coming year. This will have a direct influence on the National Reform Programmes (NRPs), a set of national social and economic reforms which are to be presented by each Member State in April. It is also essential for the European Commission to get feedback from diaconal and social services providers’ experience to go beyond the mere focus on social expenditure, and place humans at the very heart of political change. The overarching aim is to better reflect the national social challenges and invest in a more social Europe.

Over my 10 years’ volunteering work in NGOs supporting the social inclusion of children, young people, and persons with disability, I have experienced how much can be achieved through solidarity. This is what Eurodiaconia is proud to be witnessing in its members and partners’ daily work at the local, national and European level; engagement to tackle poverty, injustice, social exclusion, and inequalities. And this is where Eurodiaconia draws strength to act every day at the EU-level in order to “promote social justice together.”

I would like to conclude with these few words from the Reverend John Wesley, famous evangelist of the 18th century, offering a bit of inspiration to give the best of us;

“Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.”

John Wesley

Have a good weekend,