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EU Social Economy Gateway
non-governmental organisation

Social Services Europe

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Social Services Europe (SSE) is a network of 8 European umbrella organisations – currently comprising Caritas Europa, CEDAG, E.A.N., EASPD, EPR, Eurodiaconia, FEANTSA and the Red Cross EU Office – representing over 200,000 not-for-profit social and health care organisations, in a sector employing in 2018 over 11 million people and which has seen an increase of the workforce of more than 10% between 2013 and 2018. With all members of the network taken together, Social Services Europe is represented in all EU member states; some members also have membership all across Europe beyond the EU.


Their national members support millions of people in various stages in life, such as children, the elderly, persons with disabilities, people at risk or experiencing poverty and social exclusion, homeless people, migrants and asylum seekers and other vulnerable groups. They offer care, support, guidance, education and training services, also with the aim to empower the people needing them.


Social Services Europe’s working areas are (social and health) services of general interest – i.e. more concretely a sustainable and supportive legal/regulatory, financial and quality EU-level framework for social services –, the role of social service providers, staff and human resource issues, the quality of social services, social innovation, social economy, EU Structural Funds and the European Semester.

Social Services Europe aims to strengthen the profile and position of social services, and to promote the role of not-for-profit social service providers throughout Europe. Furthermore, the network wants to ensure that the specificity of not-for-profit social and health care service providers is recognised and that supportive and adequate economic, social and legal conditions exist for quality social and health care services, both at EU-level and within the EU member states. SSE also supports a culture of effective social dialogue and industrial relations.

SSE members want to use the EU-level non-legislative and legislative initiatives as “hook” and leverage to influence policies, regulation and the EU funding instruments. They seek exchange, cooperation and partnership in the design, implementation, monitoring and evalution of EU policies, legislation and funds.

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