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Stronger recognition, urgent action and more investment

On 25 June 2020, EASPD together with partners representing the entire social services sector joined at European level to call the European Union to strengthen recognition, urgency and resilience in social services during the COVID-19 pandemic and the recovery. The Online Summit “Social Services & COVID 19: what role for EU?” was viewed by over 2,000 people across different platforms.
The Online Summit was also the opportunity for the sector to engage with high level European policy and thought leaders such as the Vice President of the European Parliament Dimitrios Papadimoulis, Member of European Parliament Dragoş Pîslaru and University Professor Frank Vandenbroucke. For the first time ever, we welcomed a Vice President of the European Commission, Dubravka Šuica, to an EASPD event. All high-level speakers acknowledged that the sector was under particular strain, with MEP Pîslaru stating that “social services are the real heroes in the fight against COVID19 “.
The social services sector employs over 11 million professionals, primarily in not-for-profit or public services, who provide care and support to millions of people with disabilities, older persons, children, people at risk of poverty and exclusion and many more. It was crucial to have grassroots representatives speaking at this event, the people on the ground, doing the work and living the situation every day.
Maya Doneva, CEO of EASPD member Karin Dom spoke on behalf of a support provider for children with disabilities in Bulgaria. She voiced that she wanted to see the European institutions to show more guarantees and commitment that social services are essential to the EU.
This event and all our work during the height of this pandemic have all conveyed the same clear message, we need the European Union to strengthen the recognition, take urgent action and invest in resilience in social services. EASPD and partners released a joint position paper by the entire sector which illustrates these needs. The EU must demonstrate real commitment and ensure its policies actually reach social service providers across the continent.
Read the joint position paper here
Watch the recording of the social summit here