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DialogueS Project 1st European Thematic Meeting: Socially responsible Public Procurement for Social Services

October 17, 2019

DialogueS Project 1st European Thematic Meeting: Socially responsible Public Procurement for Social Services

The Social Employers and ESPU will host their first European Thematic Meeting in the framework of the DialogueS Project: “Socially responsible Public Procurement for Social Services”, taking place the 17th October in Brussels.

The social services sector is one of Europe’s biggest job creators, employing over 10 million staff, with around 1.7 million new jobs created in a decade.

In all European countries, national, regional and local authorities have responsibility for the provision of social services, including for older persons, persons with disabilities and children. In most, if not all EU countries, public authorities prefer to contract out the service provision to not-for-profit and for-profit providers. As such, public procurement is becoming an increasingly important way to fund such services for the citizens.

In 2014, the European Union agreed on a new set of EU Public Procurement rules, which regulate how public authorities can contract out services they cannot, or do not wish to provide themselves. Whilst there are some promising practices, there have been cases where managing authorities use procurement practices to cut costs, rather than to improve the quality of the social services provided. At the same time, public authorities have the power to use procurement to create better working conditions and protect the rights of workers and communities.

This European Meeting, co-organised by the Social Employers and EPSU in the framework of DialogueS Project, will aim to identify what can be done at European level to promote socially responsible public procurement in the field of social services, meaning how to make sure quality criteria and social clauses are considered in the process, instead of cost criteria alone.

Speakers and participants will include representatives of Employers and Trade Unions, as well as from European Institutions.

The draft agenda of the event is available here.

For more information about the event, please contact

We look forward to welcoming you in Brussels!

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