There has long been a clear vision that the social services employers should have a stronger say at European level. The European Treaties give a special status to recognised social partners (employer and employee representatives) at EU level. Such a status allows social partners to participate in "exclusive consultations on policy initiatives in the area of employment and social affairs" (Art. 154 TFEU). It also gives them the opportunity to co-legislate EU law, if they wish to (Art. 155 TFEU).
Despite creating up to 2 million new jobs in 10 years, the social services employers from the not-for-profit and private sector were not recognised as social partners at EU level, therefore limiting the impact of the sector on crucial EU policies. The sector's employers could also not benefit from the advantages of having dedicated European Social Dialogue structures for the sector.
Something needed to change … social services employers needed to organise themselves better!
In the early 2010s, initiated by a few European social services NGOs (EASPD, EPR, Solidar, in particular), a broad partnership of organisations from national and European level came together to find a solution. This was the beginning of a seven year process which – through 3 European projects – led to the launch of the Federation of European Social Employers in October 2017.
And now a new story begins …