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The Price of Quality

If the next EU budget is to deliver on the issues that matter most to Europeans it must focus on high-quality in support and social care services 


High quality support and social care services are the engine of the European social model, providing support to those who need it; improving the quality of life of those living in Europe; promoting the full participation of all in the community, and enabling the EU to meet its basic objectives.[1] For the EU to ensure that support services can continue to play such a vital role, the next EU-budget must invest in innovation and high quality in support services.
On Wednesday 17th October the European Association of Service providers for People with Disabilities (EASPD) hosted its annual Policy Seminar to highlight how the EU Budget can maximize the potential of support services and help the EU deliver on its priorities post 2020.
Joined by Mr Stefan Iszkowski from the European Commission’s unit on Employment and Social aspects of the European Semester, Mrs Marie-Anne Paraskevas, Senior Policy Officer from the ESF and FEAD: Policy and Legislation Unit of DG EMPL, MEP Mr Brando Benifei and other civil society organisations, the event discussed how the European Semester and the next Multiannual Financial Framework, otherwise known as the long-term EU Budget, can best promote high quality support services for people with disabilities.
Speaking from the event, on the importance of the European Semester for supporting the EU’s increasing social dimension, EASPD Policy Manager, Sabrina Ferraina said: “as an instrument used to better coordinate national economic and social policies across Europe, the European Semester has the opportunity to promote investment into quality social services as a priority. By investing into the provision of high-quality support services, the European Semester can help the EU to deliver on the commitment that it made in 2017 and effectively implement the European Pillar of Social Rights.”

Looking to the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), which will regulate the various EU funding programmes for the period 2021-2027, EASPD Board Member, Mr Evert-Jan Hoogerwerf, asserted the need for disability to be mainstreamed in all policy and funding programmes supported by the EU.
“It is crucial that the EU recognises the specific barriers that persons with disabilities and those supporting them might meet while gaining access to the benefits EU funding programmes wish to create,” Mr Hoogerwerf added. Continuing that, all EU funding programmes must guarantee that they can help social services to develop and innovate, while the European Social Fund Plus, Erasmus and InvestEU programmes have all made provisions to target social inclusion, there is still room for improvement in the proposals for Horizon Europe and Digital Europe.”
Supported by its position on the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027, EASPD will continue to work closely with key stakeholders, policy makers and its members to make sure that the next long-term EU budget invests into quality support services for people with disabilities.  
Tomorrow EASPD and its partners will welcome over 130 participants to its event, “Social Infrastructure Investment, from local innovative ideas to InvestEU project funding," to further explore the role of the European Union in unlocking the much needed investment into local innovative social infrastructure projects. To follow the discussion join us on Twitter here and use the hashtags #InvestEU, #EUBudget or #SocialInfastructure.

Supporting Documents
- Taking care of the EU's social dimension: Three keystones for the next EU budget
-EASPD Recommendations on the Mulitannual Financial Framework 2021-2027
-EASPD Report on the European Semester and the European Pillar of Social Rights: Support services as key players in the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights
- The Price of Quality- EASPD Policy Seminar: Public statement by Evert-Jan Hoogerwerf
-Social Services Europe’s Initial Remarks to the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027
-EEG’s first reactions to the proposed regulations for the European Social Fund+, the European Regional Development Fund and the Common Provisions Regulation for the next EU Multiannual Financial Framework

-Press Release in PDF
Note to editors:
The European Association of Service providers for Persons with Disabilities is a non-profit European umbrella organization, established in 1996, and currently representing over 15,000 social and support services for persons with disabilities. EASPD advocates effective and high-quality disability-related services in the field of education, employment and individualised support, in line with the UN CRPD principles, which could bring benefits not only to persons with disabilities, but to society as a whole.

[1] European Commission, Social Services of General Interest: