Europe Day is the name of two annual observance days, 5 May by the Council of Europe and 9 May by the European Union.
Europe Day is about wishes, but it’s also about engagements. As social workers, we wish to have social protection systems that meet the real needs of all people, and we engage in developing people’s ability to use social rights for a better life.
Building a sustainable and transformative social protection in Europe is the core of the IFSW project: Social workers for transformational and sustainable social protection in Europe.
On Europe Day we want to renew our message that social workers have the necessary skills and knowledge to support people to overcome the obstacles and find solutions to problems that they may encounter in their life path.
We are witnessing a rapid growth in almost all areas. The level of complexity in our social, economic, and technological systems is increasing to a point that make difficult for people to predict and prepare for the new challenges. New forms of social deprivation and exclusion arose and proliferated. According to Eurostat, the total population at risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2017 were 22,4% of total population in EU countries. Children were the age group at the highest risk of poverty or social exclusion in the EU in 2017.
No one should be left behind.
A social protection system which tackles social exclusion through access to social work community – based services requests strong political leadership and commitment.
We need political will to build national protection systems that secure and mobilize funds for social services and, at the same time, we need local self-commitment of decision makers to invest and ensure qualitative social services as a foundation for sustainable economic and social development.
For setting up a sustainable and integrated protection system, it is important to fully understand the crucial role and responsibility of social workers throughout the entire process of social inclusion. Some people’s ability to use social rights and the new created facilities for a better life is affected by factors such as their age, disability, income or geographical location. Social workers help people to find effective solutions and cope with problems in their everyday lives, provide support for people to access resources and use them in the best way to reduce vulnerabilities and create strategies to help increase resilience in order to cope with problems more effectively in an unpredictable life.
Politicians and decision-makers all over Europe should be aware that public investment in creating an innovative, sustainable and integrated social protection system is a precondition for creating a truly inclusive and sustainable Social Europe to the benefit of all citizens.
President of IFSW Europe