• 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, August 27, 2014
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Europe 2020

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

Employment:
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
Education
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.

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



Please share your experience of the European Semester!

July 2014

Eurodiaconia members are invited to share their experience of the European Semester 2014 with Eurodiaconia secretariat. In the document European Semester please share your feedback,you will find questions distributed at the AGM and drafted in order to guide you in providing some feedbacks. Your input is be very precious for us.

Whether you have tried to be involved in thepreparartion of the National Reform Program, have comments on your Country National Social Report or Country Specific Recommendations, we would love to hear from you. You do not need to fill-in the whole document,if you prefer we would also love to hear from you even in a more informal input. Please do contact  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  to share your experience and expectation, in particular in the context of the mid-term review.

More information

European Semester please share your feedback

Country Sepcific Recommendations 2014: Eurodiaconia initial assessment

Eurodiaconia September seminar on the Europe 2020 midterm review (25-26 September)

Your Country Specific Recommendations for this year please are available here

 

 
A new “strategic agenda for the Union in times of change”

Last week on 26th and 27th June, the European council adopted several key decisions such as the very mediatised nomination of Jean-Claude Junker (to be finalised by a European parliament vote on 16th July), the adoption of the Country Specific recommendations 2014, the closing of this European Semester cycle and of the Greek presidency of the European Union - followed by the Italian Presidency).

Another significant decision that will impact strongly the future of the European Union is the adoption of the “strategic agenda for the Union in times of change”. This document is setting the direction for the European Union’s legislative work for the next five years. It emphasizes the European Union’s priorities for action through five objectives:

  1. A Union of jobs, growth and competitiveness
  2. A Union that empowers and protects all citizens
  3. Towards an Energy Union with a forward-looking climate policy
  4. A Union of freedom, security and justice
  5. The Union as a strong global actor.

The document clearly state that these priorities are to guide the planning of the EU institutions in the years ahead, and it is important that all institutions organise their work accordingly.

Eurodiaconia issued a press release (available here) to comment on these new strategic priorities and question the future role of Europe 2020 quantified target, and particularly the poverty reduction objective. Eurodiaconia welcomes the text's recognition of rising inequalities, its direct reference to the empowerment and protection of citizens (objective 2) and in particular its commitment to “help ensure all our societies have their safety nets (…) to accompany change and reverse inequalities. But such a declaration should go hand in hand with a direct renewed commitment to prioritise poverty reduction as a European Union objective, and that European policies will support Member States in their efforts to adress inequalities and rising levels of poverty. 

 
Country Specific Recommendations 2014: initial assessment

3rd June 2014

On Monday 2nd June 2014 the European Commission proposed its Country Specific Recommendations 2014 which are now available online here. These will be approved in their final version when the heads of States and Governments will endorse them at the next Council meeting by the end of June/early July.

The Country Specific Recommendations proposed by the European Commission follow the Commission's assessment of member states’ national reform program.

What is new this year?

This year, the European Commission has shifted its focus from addressing the challenges caused by the crisis to "strengthening the conditions for sustainable growth and employment in a post-crisis economy". The overall message is that growth has return and public finances continue to improve. European Commission President Barosso declared that ""This is about helping Member States firmly out of the crisis and back to growth, with the country-specific recommendations acting as a compass showing the direction. The efforts and sacrifices made across Europe have started to pay off. Growth is picking up and - while still too modest - we will see a rise in employment from this year onwards. " The main challenges identified for the future are unemployment (especially of young people), public debt and competitiveness.

For Eurodiaconia, this is a problematic situation as the European Commission assumption does not prioritise the tackling of the social situation outside from an umployment perspective, despite its recognition that high unemployment levels and the difficult social situation will only improve slowly and the large investment gap will take time to be filled. Eurodiaocnia insist that investment, in particular social investemnet, and the tackling of poverty, should be a first priority.

To be noticed and for Diaconal organisation to be particularly aware of are the reference to long-term care services (see for instance CSR 3 to Austria, CSR 3 Belgium, CSR 1 to Germany) and the several recommendations to improve Roma inclusion either in the labour market or in education (see for instance CSR 5 to the Czech Republic, CSR 6 to Hungary

What about the achievement of the Europe 2020 poverty target?

There are 12 recommendations on Poverty and social inclusion (Bulgaria, Estonia, Croatia, Hungary,Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania and UK) but the "Social inclusion" target seems to have been reduced, more than ever, to employment and access to the labour market. On the positive side, there is a focus on long-term unemployment and quality jobs with related CSRs to Bulgaria, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain, Portugal, Slovakia, Finland, Sweden and the UK.

So, is "inclusive growth" at hand?

Europe 2020, the overall strategy and its targets are the anchor of the European Semester. Europe 2020 aims toward "inclusive growth" while this year's recommendation clearly distinghish "growth"on one side and "social inclusion" on the other.

The overall initial assessment is therefore a (at best!) mixed feeling. This year, for the first time under the European Semester, the Commission was supposed to use the "employment and social scoreboard" to ensure that country-specific recommendations are based on sound analysis and address employment and social concerns more precisely. The fruits of this effort have produced "social inclusion" CSRs emphasizing in priority policy direction of "activation" (several CSRs, including CSR 3 to Latvia, CSR 4 to Lithuania) and "adequate benefit with work incentives" (CSR 4 to the UK), "strict conditionality"(CSR 5 to Italy). Bridging the gap to reinforce access to the labour market is essential for social inclusion, but this is not enough. A policy direction orientated uniquely toward this path ignore the the most excluded and marginalised and endangers them.  Adequate minimum income and better access to quality social services, should be the basis axis for a "social recovery".

For more information

Country Specific Recommendations and related documents by country

European Commission Press Release: Building growth: Country-specific recommendations 2014

 
Midterm review Europe 2020: public consultation, opportunities for involvement

6 May 2014

The Europe 2020 midterm review is taking place now. The European Commission has launched the process in March (European Commission Communication "Taking stock of the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth") and is continuing with a public consultation on the Europe 2020 strategy. Eurodiaconia members can get involved to share their experience and understanding of the Europe 2020 strategy and its achievements so far, as well as to propose ideas for its future.

The Commission will draw on the contributions it receives during the public consultation when it presents proposals for the mid-term review of the Europe 2020 strategy early in 2015. This will be followed by a discussion at next year's spring European Council.

How can you get involved?

Further information and links

European Commission press release 
Details of the consultation: Your Voice in Europe or Europe 2020 dedicated website (http://ec.europa.eu/europe2020/public-consultation/index_en.htm)

March 2014 European Commission Communication "Taking stock of the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth
Eurodiaconia initial response to the March 2014 communication

 
Registration opened! Europe 2020 Mid Term review: what track record, what opportunities?

Registration are now opened for the Europe 2020 Mid Term review: what track record, what opportunities? 

Eurodiaconia members are invited to participate to a training seminar on Europe 2020 and the European semester, to take place in Brussels from the 25-26 September 2014. 

In the context of this year Europe 2020 midterm review’s, this meeting will bring together Eurodiaconia members with expertise of the European Semester process at national level, as well as external contributions from institutional actors (European Commission and European Parliament). Together participants will work to develop their understanding of the Europe 2020 strategy and European Semester process in order to increase their capacity for engagement and ownership of the process.

Participants will also work on an assessment of the (forthcoming) June 2014 Country Specific Recommendations and a mid-term assessment of the Europe 2020 strategy; as well as looking forward in developing the basis for a model of stakeholders involvement.

Further information

Registration

Agenda and letter of invitation

For any questions please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  

Useful documents:

Eurodiaconia briefing on the Annual growth Survey 2014
Eurodiaconia assessment of the European Semester 2013 
Eurodiaconia toolkit: Engaging in Europe 2020 and the European Semester:the time to act 

 
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