• 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 Thursday, April 24, 2014
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Healthy ageing and elderly care

Eurodiaconia runs a network on Healthy Ageing and Elderly Care for members to engage in policy discussions related to ageing and care for older people, feeding into Eurodiaconia's advocacy work, and to share experiences and best practice in care for older people.

In the context of demographic change Eurodiaconia has focussed on services for older people. With Members Eurodiaconia drew up a policy paper outlining the challenges members see in the field and proposing recommendations.

In 2012 a publication entitled "Ageing Well: Together" was launched which features reflections from Eurodiaconia and Heinz K. Becker MEP, recommendations and projects and services from members focusing on ensuring social inclusion for older people.

The European Commission published a working paper on long-term care in 2013, a briefing can be found below:

Other relevant Eurodiaconia documents:

Eurodiaconia has been involved in the Coalition for the European Year of Active Ageing and Solidarity between generations 2012 (EY2012) working for a stronger recognition of the role of social and health services in ensuring active ageing, independent living. Eurodiaconia contributed to the coalition's brochure which makes recommendations for different types of stakeholders on how to promote active ageing and intergenerational solidarity. The Roadmap provides an overview of of activities that the Coalition commit to undertaking in 2012 to ensure that all  relevant stakeholders will be actively involved in the  implementation of the  EY2012 and the European Union will do its outmost to complement and support Member States’ actions aiming at creating an Age-Friendly European Union  by 2020.

To learn more about healthy ageing and elderly care work in Eurodiaconia, please contact Laura Jones on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

European Commission publishes action plan for health services

14 May 2012

After painting a bleak picture of current and future staff shortages in the health sector the European Commission proposes actions to attract more people to work in it. The “Action Plan for the EU Health Workforce” states that a “modern and innovative healthcare sector is a driver for economic growth as keeping people healthy benefits productivity and competitiveness”, then goes on to list the main challenges for the workforce.

Increasing numbers of medical staff are reaching retirement age while too few people are entering the profession. Reasons such as long working hours, low pay, stress and difficult work life balance are stated as reasons. It addresses many issues raised in the Social Services Europe paper on employment in the social sector. The crisis is further expected to negatively impact the numbers of healthcare staff in almost half of EU countries.

Three areas of action are proposed in relation to health professionals: Forecasting workforce needs and improving workforce planning methodologies; Anticipating future skills needs; Sharing. good practice on effective recruitment and retention strategies

Specific actions cover topics such as forecasting health workforce needs, making best use of training capacities, developing care delivery models from care in hospitals to the primary care closer to home, ensuring training and education equips staff for new technological skills, informing young people about the opportunities in the health sector and ensuring good work conditions through social dialogue.

The full text can be found here.

How to promote employment in personal services? European Commission initiates public consultation

8 May 2012

The European Commission launched a consultation to gather feedback on how to promote the quality and number of jobs in “personal and household services”.  It is part of a number of measures known as the “employment package”, designed to promote job creation in the EU.

The Commission document states that the “personal and household services” covers a broad range of activities such as childcare, long term care for older people or people with disabilities and cleaning.

It states that as such care is generally lower skilled than health services, they may be good for people to enter the labour market, then up-skilling should be promoted later. It highlights the importance of promoting and measuring quality in social services and reducing the level of undeclared work in the sector.

The main aim of the consultation is to gather feedback on

  • How to improve measurement and monitoring of employment levels in these services
  • Whether it is useful to develop sharing of experiences, especially concerning the tools used or planned to support those services
  • How to ensure quality services and jobs (skill needs, working conditions), including possibly through development of quality standards.
  • How to ensure greater professionalization of those jobs.

The consultation is open until July 15, 2012. Eurodiaconia will respond based on input from members at the last Healthy Ageing and Elderly Care Network meeting, its policy paper on demographic change and the Social Services Europe briefing on employment in the sector. Further input from members is also welcomed. Please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Eurodiaconia members gather in Vienna to discuss challenges for older people
30 April 2012

Eurodiaconia’s Healthy Ageing and Elderly Care network met in Vienna on the 23rd and 24th of April to discuss challenges in care for and to the social inclusion of older people, hosted by Diakonie Austria. brainstorming session

In the context of ensuring quality of life and dignity of older people, members presented their campaigns in the field of tackling discrimination and isolation of older people, reforming long term care and ensuring an integrated service approach. A discussion on what the challenges for older people's dignity was followed, and the role of diaconal organisations in tackling these challenges was explored.

The following day discussions moved towards identifying actions that national governments and the EU could take. These recommendations will feed into the EU’s forthcoming working paper on long term care, the consultation on personal services and the principles for active ageing.

Visit_residential_home_web The group visited a diaconal residential home for people mainly with dementia and discussed the feature of its intergenerational project of school children participating in activities in the home as well as how they sought to create a homely environment. Following a brainstorming of barriers to creating projects between generations participants shared examples of how such challenges have been or could be overcome.

A meeting report will follow. For more information please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and see Eurodiaconia’s website.

Reports on how local and regional actors can promote active ageing online

30 March 2012

Reports and presentations of best practice from a Committee of the Regions conference examining how local and regional actors can improve the conditions for active ageing are now online. Please see here for more information

The Eurodiaconia Award 2012 - Active Ageing through Social Inclusion

30 March 2012

In honour of the 2012 European Year of Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations, the next Eurodiaconia Award will focus on projects and services that contribute to promoting active ageing, in residential care and in the community. The Award aims to raise awareness of diaconal work, facilitate mutual learning among members of Eurodiaconia and highlight an issue in Eurodiaconia's area of work.

The European Year 2012 seeks to promote active ageing in three areas: employment, participation in society and independent living. As Eurodiaconia’s members’ work focuses on the last two areas the Award aims to profile work in relation to the participation in society and independent living of older people. The ultimate aim should be to promote their social inclusion, essentially to improve their quality of life.

Fostering solidarity between older and younger people contributes to the social inclusion of older people as well as social cohesion in general. As promoting solidarity between generations is designed to be mainstreamed in all the actions of the Year, projects/services that have an intergenerational element are especially welcomed.

More information on the Award, including how entries are evaluated, can be found in the Award Description and Entry Procedure here. The application form can be found here and entries are accepted until the 15th of July.

In 2007 Eurodiaconia began an annual award programme to recognise best practice in diaconal social work. Its purpose is to raise awareness of diaconia and communicate the unique identity of diaconia to European decision makers, build connections between diaconal organisations throughout Europe and encourage diaconal best practice sharing across borders.

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