On 10-11 September FEBA organized a workshop on European Social Strategy in our premises in Brussels, the first meeting of the FEBA EU Working Group which was launched by the Board of Directors at the last Annual Convention in Budapest.
We spent two days with 17 participants from 13 different countries. In addition to FEBA team, we had participants Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia, and Spain.
The workshop, which was funded thanks to the Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI) program of the European Commission, had the following objectives:
1. to promote operational cohesion among FEBA members;
2. to strengthen the knowledge of participants on the role of the different European institutions, the decision-making process and the European social policies;
3. to update the members of the EU Working Group on ongoing work concerning the European Social Fund Plus (ESF +).
The workshop started with high expectations and several questions about the topic and the different perspectives presented by the speakers: the Secretariat of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs of the European Parliament, the DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion for the European Commission, and also a speech from Eurodiaconia about the SDGs and the European Pillar of Social Rights.
All of these activities were combined with funny games and exercises in order to create a positive environment and team-building among the members.
The last intervention of the workshop was made by a Political Advisor from the European Parliament explaining how it is possible to collaborate with MEPs in order to contribute to legislative process.
The atmosphere among the participants was full of enthusiasm: there is a lot of work that we can do together on these issues but this was a good beginning to collaborate with the European institutions.