Event report release: The EU Investment Plan - Investing in social care and support
Following our joint conference with the European Policy Centre (EPC), on the EU Investment Plan and investing in social care and support, the EPC has published its event report, detailing the discussions and the conclusions of the day.
The event brought together key social, investment and institutional decision-makers to explore how the European Union and its investment programme can help to unlock funds that can finance quality social care for all and support the EU’s increasing social dimension.
During the event Luk Zelderloo, Secretary General of the EASPD, presented EASPD’s recommendations to increase private investment in the social sector. These recommendations include the call for the creation of a European Strategy for Quality Social Infrastructure which would:
Set up a European Fund for Social Infrastructure Development (EFSID) which would use €5 billion of EU/EIB to help unlock €25 billion investment into social infrastructure.
Set up a High Level Taskforce for Quality Social Infrastructure to build European minimum standards and recommend policy frameworks; support and advise the development of quality projects and coordinate the Social Investment Councils.
Create national/regional Social Investment Councils in each member state to build pipeline of bankable quality projects.
Support a European Social Investment Data Collection body
Key speakers at the event included Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Policy Centre and President Emeritus of the European Council; Jose Manuel Fernandes, Member of the European Parliament and Zoltan Kazatsay, Deputy Director-General, DG Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, European Commission. To find out more about what they said, on what can be done to unlock investment in social infrastructure and read the full report please click here.
The Multiannual Financial Framework and the social agenda
Oliver Dreute, Advisor on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for the European Commission’s European Political Strategy Centre, speaks out on how the next Multiannual Financial Framework can provide a more social Europe for all.
In an article written for the European Political Strategy Centre Dreute identifies the three key areas the future EU budget should target in order to have a meaningful impact on jobs, fairness and social inclusion:
Dreute argues that a major focus of EU spending should be on securing growth and employment by fostering innovation and the dissemination of innovative knowledge. Dreute continues that the best social policy is one that fosters optimum education and training, as well as securing and creating stable jobs with decent working conditions.
Although social support is primarily the responsibility of Member States, Dreute believes that the EU budget could complement their work through supporting social innovation and social projects, supporting skills development, labour market integration projects and the fight against poverty.
In his final key area of action Dreute asserts that, rather than tackling acute problems with tools created on an ad hoc basis, future EU funding of emergency measures should target macroeconomic stabilisation and be based on a sufficient budgetary reserve. In addition to this Dreute suggests consideration for the development of a European Unemployment Insurance Scheme.
To read the full article of Dreute’s recommendations please click here.
PRESS RELEASE: Europe needs a Social Infrastructure Agenda, say social services AND investors.
The European Association of Service providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD) launched earlier this week its latest report “Investing in Social Care and Support, a European Imperative” in a Conference organised with the European Policy Centre. The message was clear: the European Union must develop a European Strategy for Quality Social Infrastructure. The Strategy would include a fund dedicated to the needs of the social sectors, strengthen the capacity of social service providers and investors to build a pipeline of quality projects and support the exchange of quality social infrastructure investment standards.
On Monday, 27th November, EASPD and EPC organised a High Level Conference on “the EU Investment Plan: investing in social care and support”, bringing together investors, social services, public authorities and policy-makers. The Conference aimed to address the current underinvestment into social care and support infrastructure throughout the European Union.
Opening the Conference, Herman Van Rompuy, President Emeritus of the European Council and President of EPC, stated that “Europe is poorly prepared to face the investment gap in social care and support” and called for “collective solutions to be developed”.
In response, Jim Crowe, President of EASPD, called for the “creation of a European Strategy for Quality Social Infrastructure”, arguing that “quality and smart social services are both crucial to implementing at least 10 of the 20 principles in the European Pillar of Social Rights and to the creation of millions of new jobs in the coming decades”. Luk Zelderloo, Secretary General EASPD, presented the new report “Investing in Social Care and Support, a European Imperative” and suggested four priority actions to be included in the European Strategy:
a Fund suited to the needs and specificities of the social sector;
the development of local social investment platforms to develop a pipeline of viable investment projects; by helping to bundle smaller projects and blend ressources, including structural funds;
A permanent European High Level Taskforce for Quality Social Infrastructure; to provide guidance, support and technical advice to the local platforms and to the European institutions;
a European social investment data collection body; to better track and assess the trends and needs in terms of human capital development, the provision of quality care and support services and the funding of the sector.
Leaders of the social services sector from six EU member states (Finland, Ireland, France, Austria, Belgium, Spain) highlighted the negative impact of austerity on their activities and the crucial need for additional public investment into the sector in order to better prepare for the disruptive transformations to Europe: demographic challenges, growing inequalities, high unemployment and the digital revolution. They also highlighted the challenges they face in accessing private investment; yet also agreed on the positive impact improved access to decent loans could have in achieving their objectives; for instance, in better rolling out digital platforms, supporting the de-institutionalisation process or the improved training of staff.
The Conference also included the opportunity to present the work of the High-Level Taskforce on Social Infrastructure, chaired by Romano Prodi, and its report on “Boosting investments in social infrastructure in Europe”, authored by Lieve Fransen, Gino Bel Bufalo and Edoardo Reviglio. Helmut von Glasenapp, Secretary General of the European Long-Term Investors association, presented the report, called for the launch of a “European Social Infrastructure Agenda to help fill the current investment gap estimated at 100-150 billion per year in the European Union.
As an active member of the High-level Taskforce, EASPD welcomes the recommendations made in the report. EASPD will continue to actively promote a European Strategy for Quality Social Infrastructure at European level with interested partners, as well as at local level with national events in at least 10 EU Member States. The European Policy Centre will soon publish a Conference report. For more information, please continue to monitor www.socialinvestment.eu.
EASPD Report: “Investing in Social Care and Support, a European Imperative” (November 2017)
EASPD Press Release in PDF
Event Presentation: Luk Zelderloo "EASPD’s recommendations for investing in social care and support"
Event Presentation: Brian Murphy “EU INVESTMENT PLAN AND SOCIAL INVESTMENT”
Event Presentation: Jussi Nykänen “Social Impact Bond for Employment of Refugees and Immigrants”
Event Presentation: Günter Benischek “Social Banking at Erste Bank”
Event Presentation: Sabina Lobato “The investment needs of Social Services in Spain”
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 health services for persons with disabilities. EASPD advocates for 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.