SOLIDAR works to promote people’s access to affordable, sustainable and high quality social services which are crucial for developing social cohesion, realising social inclusion and safeguarding the fundamental rights of individual service users.
Europe is faced with an increasing inequality gap, demographic challenges, as well as societal changes which will result in an increasing need for social services. There is a real need to create new strategies, concepts, ideas, organisations and policies that meet existing and emerging social needs of all kinds in a more effective and sustainable way.
SOLIDAR advocates for ensuring the high quality of social and health care services. This includes the respect of the fundamental rights of service users, decent working conditions and quality employment for all social and care workers, and social investment to ensure the accessibility, affordability and availability of social and healthcare services all across Europe. SOLIDAR therefore calls for the recognition of the specific characteristics of personal social services of general interest (SSGI) and of their users, and that these specificities are reflected in an adapted legal framework at European and national level.
Moreover, SOLIDAR works together with its members, European partners as well as partners in Western Balkan to improve the capacity of civil society organisations providing social services and to strengthen their role in civil dialogue as well as in the EU decision making process. Together with members of the Social Services Europe network, SOLIDAR takes an active role in advocacy work and provides fact-based input on issues such as quality, genuine partnership, public procurement, tendering, social responsibility, state aid and other SSGI-related mechanisms, initiatives and legislation.
SOLIDAR also has an eye on possible impacts of international trade negotiations on the European social model and especially on the provision of social services. The ongoing negotiations in the framework of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) are in SOLIDAR’s view not only aiming at the removal of trade barriers for the benefit of both sides of the Atlantic but also have the potential to undermine the quality and accessibility of social services and the economic growth potential of the social economy, desperately needed to develop smart and inclusive economic prosperity. We have similar concerns regarding other trade agreements currently under negotiation, such as the Comprehensive Trade and Economic Agreement (CETA) with Canada or the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA).