2015 has been a year of tremendous engagement by members in a whole range of activities which have brought them together to share knowledge and inspire each other to improve the lives of their citizens and communities. Some might think that working at an international level is far removed from everyday realities but for those sharing their expertise with colleagues, there is nothing more relevant and thought provoking.
I saw this in the working groups on older people looking at community initiatives in Seville, on mainstream employment of disabled people in Vilnius as well as in the peer review on investing in children in Budapest. The work on research and evidence with its emerging toolkit for public services and the review of national government plans within the EU
Semester framework were milestones in new developments for the network as was the research commissioned by ESN to open the Manchester seminar on integrated services.
As governments are challenged by high youth unemployment and exclusion, ESN initiated the first of a series of workshops bringing together a wide range of experts to find local solutions with young people themselves. ESN’s commitment to working with citizens was evident in the participation of service users at the Lisbon conference as part of a joint initiative with the European Commission.
Throughout the year we have invested in improving our communication with more videos, podcasts, brighter and more targeted newsletters and if you want to check out practices from across Europe, we now have a new library of analysed practices on our website!
Looking forward to seeing you at our 24th European Social Services Conference in The Hague.