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Funding of Services





Finances play an important role in the way social service providers organise their work and on the quality of services they provide.

There are many different traditions in funding throughout Europe. Services can be provided and organised directly by public authorities or they can be contracted to private (profit or not-for-profit) services providers. Services can also be funded directly by public authorities, or by the users receiving a budget or vouchers so that they may chose which service they want to receive.

The recent economic and financial crisis has hit particularly hard the social services sector who often partly depend on public funding to successfully achieve their public services mission. As such, the cuts imposed upon public budgets throughout Europe have placed significant pressure on social services to provide high quality services. This in turn has an impact on the quality of life of many people in Europe, including the most disadvantaged.

There are three main areas in which EU policy directly impacts the financing and funding of social service providers

The EU also impacts the funding and financing of Social Services through its economic policy, especially the European Semester. For information regarding different types of funding of services, please read here.

General Studies on the Funding of Social Services

The following papers were published on the topic of how the financial crisis has impacted the work of our members in terms of quality of services, planning, training of staff and sustainability.


Thomas Bignal, Policy Officer

+32 2 282 46 19