• Our work

    Eurodiaconia links diaconal actors to examine social needs, develop ideas and influence policies impacting Poverty and Social Exclusion, Social and Health Care Services and the Future of Social Europe.

    Eurodiaconia also provides a platform for transnational networking and best practice sharing.  


  • Our vision

    As the leading network for diaconal work in Europe, we look to develop dialogue and partnership between members and influence and engage with the wider society.  We do this to enable inclusion, care and empowerment of the most vulnerable and excluded and ensure dignity for all.


  • Our goals

    We aim to see a positive social change in Europe through:

    Praxis, enabling membership engagement and partnerships

    Advocacy, creating a network of competence to impact policies at European and national level

    Identity and values, supporting the development of approaches and thinking on Diaconia in Europe today


Calendar Wednesday, May 27, 2015
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Europe 2020 and the European Semester

The “Europe 2020 strategy” is the EU's growth strategy for this decade. Launched in 2010, it aims to achieve “smart, sustainable and inclusive growth" through the achievement of 5 overarching targets:

75% of the 20-64 year-olds to be employed
R&D / innovation:
3% of the EU's GDP (public and private combined) to be invested in R&D/innovation
Climate change / energy:
greenhouse gas emissions 20% (or even 30%, if the conditions are right) lower than 1990
20% of energy from renewables
20% increase in energy efficiency
Reducing school drop-out rates below 10%
at least 40% of 30-34–year-olds completing third level education
Poverty / social exclusion
at least 20 million fewer people in or at risk of poverty and social exclusion

Eurodiaconia is particularly interested by the "inclusive growth" objective as well as the stakeholders involvement in the process. In these times of economic and financial crisis, austerity programs and budget restraints, the challenge to find the balance between financial, economic and social policy has pushed many Member States to forget the social inclusion dimension of Europe, and the requirement to involve stakeholders in policy making.

Eurodiaconia is following the implementation of the Europe 2020 strategy through the European Union's seven "flagship initiatives" ("new engines to boost growth and jobs"), and working for a stronger engagement of diaconal actors in the overall process of the European semester.

The European Semester is a European process for coordination of the national budgetary and economic policies. It is also the framework for Member States to reach the Europe 2020 objectives. It is an annual cycle of political activities which primarily involves the European Commission and EU Member State governments, but it also relies on the participation of other actors: EU institutional bodies such as the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers, international NGO platforms and networks, and local grassroots organisations. It is part of the European Union's economic governance framework. For more information on what is the European Semester, why it is relevant for diaconal organisations and how to be involved, please see Eurodiaconia toolkit here.

To know more about Eurodiaconia's work on Europe 2020, please contact Clotilde at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

European Commission releases its 2015 Country Specific Recommendations

20 May 2015

Last week, the European Commission released its Country Specific Recommendations for 2015. Eurodiaconia, as many of its partners, underlines the lack of social perspective carried by this year's CSR.

What is happening?

Only six countries have been issued recommendations linked to poverty - against 12 last year. The European Commission argues that it wants to focus more its CSRs toward the priroties highlighted in the Annual Growth Survey as well as towards ''improving employment policy and social protection''. The reality of the CSR's package overview is a wide focus given to growth and competitiveness first and foremost. 

In response, Eurodiaconia continues to call for an integrated approach to economic, fiscal, employment and social policy as essential to ensure a lasting recovery. Eurodiaconia encourages ambitious investments in adequate social protection systems, as an inseparable part of social investment that need to be maintained and improved to prevent further deterioration of the social situation and prevent higher costs in the long-term. Eurodiaconia believes this should have been more strongly reflected in the political direction given by the European Semester in general and its Country Specific Recommendations in particular. 

What is the next step?

EU Ministers will discuss the country-specific recommendations in June before EU Heads of State and Government endorse them on 25-26 June. They will be formally adopted in July. It is then up to Member States to implement the recommendations by including them in their national policies and budget plans for 2015-2016. 

Eurodiaconia encourages its members to provide feedback on the European Semester process in general and its Country Specific Recommendations in particular. To share your analysis please contact  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  or  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

For more information

Country Specific Recommendations 2015 (as issued by the European Commission in May 2015)


Eurodiaconia's Press Release

Semester Alliance's Press Release

Eurodiaconia messages to heads of state - an integrated approach to economic and social policy is necessary

17 March 2015

Eurodiaconia has sent messages to heads of state and government in advance of their meeting this week in Brussels, where they will discuss reforms and the econimic situation. The letter argues that an integrated approach to economic, fiscal, employment and social policy is essential to ensure a lasting recovery. You can read it here.

Call to Employment and Social Affairs Ministers to ensure social foundation to EU investment fund

6 March 2015

Before the EPSCO meeting that will take place 9 March 2015, Eurodiaconia is calling on Employment and Social Affairs ministers to ensure a social foundation to the proposal from the European Commission for a 300 Billion euro Fund for Strategic Investments. Read the letter.

This initiative supports the issues raised by Social Platform in its letters to the EPSCO and ECFIN.


AGS 2015 briefing for members is out

20th January 2015

Eurodiaconia published today a briefing for members on the Annual Growth Survey 2015. This briefing aims to inform Eurodiaconia members about what the Annual Growth Survey (AGS) is in general, what is its role in the context of the European Semester, what is the specific content of the AGS 2015, and how can this be used by diaconal organisations advocating at national level.

The Annual Growth Survey is issued every year around November. It takes stock of the economic and social situation in Europe and sets out the policy priorities for the year to come. It provides Member States with policy guidance for the following year. It also kicks off the European Union's annual cycle of economic policy guidance and surveillance: the European Semester. 

The AGS 2015 has started to recognise the importance for civil society and national public authorities to work together for a better ownership of the European Semester process. However, it has failed to reflect the need to achieve both economic and social progress in the European Union and to give social wellbeing as much importance as economic development.

It is therefore essential that Eurodiaconia members take action at national level to influence the 2015 European Semester and in particular the 2015 National Reform Programmes, challenging those Member States who wish to follow structural reform without safeguarding social protection, while at the same time supporting those Member States who believe in a more balanced social and economic approach.

For more information:

European Commission website on the AGS and related document

Eurodiaconia’s tool for involvement in the European Semester:

Report released on Eurodiaconia members experience of the European Semester 2014

Today Eurodiaconia released its report on members experience of the European Semester 2014. This report aims to contribute to the establishment of a renewed European Semester, in the context of the Europe 2020 midterm review.  

This report highlights the need for a renewed European Semester in order to enable a genuine cooperation between civil society and national public authorities for the achievement of targets taken at European level and in particular progress toward better social inclusion and poverty reduction. Eurodiaconia members also believe the European Semester must imperatively change as the main outcome of the current implementation of the European Semester is the reinforcing of EU economic governance and the subsequent subordination of social policies and objectives to economic priorities (e.g. fiscal discipline and social welfare restructuring) 

In a first part, the report summarizes Eurodiaconia members' experience of the European Semester and highlights 7 key recommendations (please see below). In a second part it details members experience an present some examples.

Please see Eurodiaconia evaluation and recommendations of the European Semester 2014 report.

Eurodiaconia recommendations for a renewed European Semester 2015-2020

  1. Inclusive growth, as part of the Europe 2020 strategy and all its related targets, must remain the core roadmap for the European Union and therefore the number one priority objective of the European Semester. The European Semester must change its rhetoric to re-focus on poverty reduction and inclusive growth rather than only growth and competitiveness.

  2. The European Commission must support Member States to actively involve stakeholders and therefore provide guidelines for stakeholders involvement (see annex I: Eurodiaconia’s dashboard reporting tool on stakeholders’ participation in the European semester)

  3. Reinforce the social dimension of the European Semester through a broader and more socially balanced set of priorities in the Annual Growth Survey and Country Specific Recommendations

  4. Strengthen social situation monitoring through the development of indicators and their increasing visibility (including a working poor indicator). Acknowledgement of this move would be to add support trigger mechanisms to the social scoreboard for the tools to move beyond its limited analytical purposes. Divergence of social indicators identified in the MIP should trigger the need for a member state to develop a corrective action plan.

  5. Social investment: take forward the Social Investment Package (SIP) guidelines to EU Member States in using their social budgets more efficiently and effectively by encouraging policies that take on a social investment approach to strengthen people’s skills and capacities and support them to participate fully in employment and social life. However, it is essential to keep in mind that social investment must be based on quality in general and on equal accessibility of services offered in a social investment approach.

  6. Following on from the Social Investment Package, the AGS 2014 must now specifically urge member states to support and invest in social services. The 2014 AGS must emphasise the potential of social and health services for economic growth, job creation and retention as well as the contribution they make to the overall wellbeing of society.

  7. Accompany current policy efforts such as those referred to in the 2013 AGS to reform employment legislation and develop flexible working arrangements by a renewed political commitment to Active Inclusion. This can be done through stepping up policy efforts to ensure accessible quality social services and a guaranteed adequate income and for all (starting with comparative reference budgeting).


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