Tag Archives: Social Europe

During the Social Mermaid Presidency : social services under pressure

8 Aug

European Ministers for Employment and Social Affairs discussed the situation of the social services in Europe during an informal meeting in Denmark. The 24th and 25th of April, the Danish Presidency of the Council of the European Union organised an informal meeting for the Ministers for Employment and Social Affairs. Hot topics were discussed on the first day of the meeting: crisis and the demographic challenge of the coming decades.

An exchange of view between Member States on ensuring a future supply of high quality social services for all citizens…

Several aspects of the situation of the social services were highlighted. Their crucial role  in times of economic recessions was particularly underlined, “as they continue to provide protection and services not only to the most vulnerable but to the whole population and they are regarded useful economic stabilisers helping to maintain supply capacity”.

If many speakers expressed the need of reforms and the willingness to make better use of existing solutions, the strategies presented were rather different depending on the Member States: develop stricter rules, fight against the fraud, invest for a better quality of services, increase of the use of European funds, improve the accessibility, use of welfare technologies …

In relative “practical” terms, some propositions emerged from the discussion to improve the collaboration at the European level on the social services: strengthen the use of the Voluntary European Quality Framework for Social Services, create an European system/agency to collect and diffuse the good practices and innovation projects, develop a better common understanding of tools to measure social returns on investment and social value or design an European legal framework that respect the characteristics and the objectives of the social services.

Oh Mermaid, your song is so beautiful…but is it understandable ?

What’s up Webdoc : la prochaine fois qu’on se voit, à quoi tu veux que je ressemble?

11 Jun

pictures from Phil http://pictures-in-oblivion.blogspot.be/2008_05_01_archive.html

C’est sous ce titre intriguant que Julien a tweeté et pitché notre projet de webdocumentaire au dernier XO DOX à Gand.

Crises sociales, règles du marché, concurrence, le principe de non-lucratif qui s’étiole, … à quoi ressembleront les services sociaux en Europe dans les prochaines années ? Quel pouvoir de solidarité restera-t-il encore aux citoyens d’aujourd’hui et de demain ?

Pour illustrer cela, nous vous emmenons à la découverte de tranches de vies, d’une plongée dans le réel de Suzette, Markus, Ivan, Giorgio…ils ont chacun quelque chose à nous dire.  Ces portraits seront couplés à des thématiques de services sociaux : le remboursement des soins de santé, l’économie sociale, le logement, la pension, l’aide à la formation, etc. Dire que tous ces services, piliers de notre modèle social sont aujourd’hui sous pression est un euphémisme. Est-ce la concurrence qui en devient le principe de fonctionnement ? Quelle place reste-t-il pour la solidarité ? Continue reading

At first, I was afraid…

9 May

Debating Europe has asked this very topical question today, 9th of May Europe’s day :

Can the “European Social Model” survive? link

Some interesting reactions.  We will just post this “funny” answer this evening : maybe this model will survive. What could be Europe without ?

For the rest listen to Gloria’s lyrics or to the Cake’s version.

Hot topic : studying social services at EU level

30 Apr

Social services have been screened by a multidisciplinary team of researchers on the request and on behalf of the European Commission.

“STUDY ON SOCIAL SERVICES OF GENERAL INTEREST”

The title of the study took into account the notion of “Social services of general interest”, which is a euro-terminology to designate social security schemes and social services directly provided to the persons.

The aim of this study on social services of general interest is to describe the status quo of four types of social services (long-term care, childcare, social housing and employment services) as regards three main aspects: the applicable regulatory framework for service provision and financing, the types of service providers, and the main quality tools and frameworks. It also looks how these four types of social services have been affected by the current global economic downturn.” Continue reading

Hot topic : resocialising Europe… in London

20 Apr

A nice event will occur in the middle of May : a high level Conference on Social Europe in London.  At first sight I thought it was in Louvain-la-Neuve in Belgium because the University there is also called UCL.

The level and the ambitious are quite impressive and I hope this will feed our discussions, and why not be the opportunity to have some interviews from some of these experts.

Terms such as ‘Social Europe’, the ‘European Social Dimension’, ‘European Social Model’, and, more recently, ‘European Social Pact’, have long resided in the political and regulatory lexicon of European integration. But arguably, after reaching a climax in 2000 with the inclusion of a ‘Solidarity’ chapter in the Charter of Fundamental Rights, the social profile of the EU has entered a deep period of crisis, one may say a phase of ‘social eurosclerosis’, recently exacerbated by the political responses to the economic downturn and its severe consequences on social and labour standards across the EU. Continue reading

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