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Save-the-date: Launch of the Federation of European Social Employers

The partners of the PESSIS III project invite you to the Launch of the Federation of European Social Employers

WHEN: 20th October 2017

WHERE: European Economic and Social Committee

LANGUAGES: English, French, German, Czech and Spanish

Join us on the 20th October for the launch of the Federation of European Social Employers, which brings together the major Employer organisations in the field of social services in Europe.
The Federation of European Social Employers will strive to provide Social Services’ Employers with an effective voice at European level, to find common solutions to the sector’s challenges with both representatives of workers and the European institutions and to lead the European Union towards more social and inclusive policies.
The Social Services sector directly employs over 10 million staff in Europe, with over 1.7 million new jobs created since 2008 making it one of the biggest job creating sectors in Europe. Together with health services, social services represent 7% of the total economic output in the EU-28. With changing demographics and family patterns, the social services sector is expected to grow significantly over the next few decades.
Yet the sector’s Employers are still not effectively represented in European Social Dialogue, at both sectoral and cross-sectoral level. The Federation of European Social Employers will aim at changing this and ensure that the sector’s employers have a strong voice at European level.
The Launch will provide the opportunity for FESE to present the sector’s objectives and interests and exchange views with a broad range of stakeholders coming from the European institutions, European social partners, other Social Services employers’ not yet members and civil society as a whole.
The Conference will also be the opportunity to present a Study presenting the state of play of social dialogue in the social services sector in Europe, covering 22 EU Member States, with specific input on the structures in the UK, Hungary, Romania, Portugal and Slovakia.


Registration is compulsory. Register here.



09:00 – 09 :30 Coffee and Registration
9 :30 – 10 :15 Opening Remarks


  • Ms Marianne Thyssen, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Mobility (tbc)
  • President of the Federation of European Social Employers
  • Mr Luk Zelderloo, Secretary General, European Association of Service providers for Persons with Disabilities


10:15 – 11:30 Panel Discussion with founding members from Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany and Spain

Moderated by Thomas Bignal, Policy Advisor, European Association of Service providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD)

11:30-12 :00 Coffee Break


12 :00 – 13 :00 Social Dialogue in Social Services in Europe

Moderated by Laura Jones, Secretary General, European Platform for Rehabilitation

  • Presentation of the European report by Jane Lethbridge, Director, Public Services International Research Unit, University of Greenwich
  •  Social Dialogue in Social Services in
    • Hungary, by Dr Szilvia Borbély
    • Portugal: Dr. Carla Valadas
    • Slovakia: Dr. Elena Kopcová
    • United Kingdom: Janis Blackburn
    • Romania: Elena Tudose

Questions and answers with participants

13:00-14 :00


14 :00-15 :15 Panel Discussion with stakeholders:

Moderated by Conny Reuter, General Secretary, Solidar

  • Ms Sylvie Guillaume, Vice President of the European Parliament (tbc)
  • Mr David Dion, Head of Unit Social Dialogue, European Commission (tbc)
  • Ms. Heather Wakefield, Head of Local Government, Police and Justice Section, UNISON, UK & Vice-President EPSU Standing Committee “Local and Regional Government”
  • Ms Kélig Puyet, Director of the Social Platform (tbc)
  • Ms Valeria Ronzitti, General Secretary, CEEP (tbc)


Questions and answers with participants

15 :15 – 15 :30 Conclusions and Next Steps
15:30-17:00 Cocktail Drinks

Draft Programme in PDF

For more information, contact Thomas Bignal, Project Coordinator.