Regularly attracting over 400 delegates from more than 30 countries, the annual European Social Services Conference is our flagship event intended for all those concerned with planning and delivering European social care and health. Through top-quality plenary presentations and a highly topical workshop programme, the conference offers strategic and practical learning and networking opportunities to all those responsible for planning and implementing services in different European regions: planners, politicians, managers and professionals.

Read what previous delegates have said about the conference and about ESN:


About the ESN conference


“I am delighted to have had this amazing opportunity to exchange ideas and experiences with prominent personalities from all over Europe, responsible for planning and delivery of social services. I also appreciated the possibility to present my views and describe how people with disabilities can be (progressively) integrated into society. I am convinced that this conference helped us to make an important step towards desired and awaited systemic changes."
Piotr Pawłowski, President of the Friends of Integration Association in Poland, speaker at the European Social Services Conference, Warsaw 2011


“As a new member of ESN, participating at the European Social Services Conference was a most valuable experience! I met so many committed and competent professionals from all over Europe.  I really appreciate the opportunity to share knowledge and learn from other countries, to see which problems are similar and which problems that are unique for us in Sweden. As a care provider I could learn about new practical methods to work with children as well as different ways of organizing the care system in the European countries."
Marianne Forslund, CEO of Gryning Vård, Sweden


"This event sends a signal that the social dimension of European unity is an important issue which must be given a high profile."
Vladimir Špidla, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities 2004 - 2009


"It’s the best conference on social work and welfare that I go to.."
"An excellent conference! The content is always to such a high standard - providing great opportunities for information, dialogue and networking. Meeting delegates from different countries was very useful, very interesting, and very social. That’s what it’s all about really - exchange of ideas, practices and policy."
Terry Madden, Chief Welfare Officer, Dublin City Council, Ireland


"Taking pleasure in working together and discussing together.. the opportunity also to doubt and to share our experiences."
Martial Milaret, Director of Social Services, L’Orne, France


"ESN annual conference is a great opportunity for 'learning from your neighbours'. "
Neelam Bhardwaja, Corporate Director, Cardiff Council, Wales, United Kingdom


"It is a very big inspiration for thinking about innovation in social services."
Radka Soukupova, Chairperson of the Social Committee, Czech Union of Towns and Municipalities, Czech Republic


"We share knowledge and discuss - we are dealing with the same problems everywhere."
Stella Vidisdottir, Director of Social Services, Reyjkavic, Iceland


"I found this conference very interesting especially the panel discussions. The workshops are authentic – and it is also interesting to get an impression of social systems and solutions in other countries."
Ernst Schedler, Director of Social Services, Swiss Cities and Towns Social Policy Group, Switzerland


"It was a very good learning experience and networking event. We learned a lot from the presentations and workshops of other delegates and made a lot of contacts for future cooperation."
Alketa Zalemi, Social Policy Advisor, Municipality of Korça, Albania


"It was the first time I attended the ESN event. Such a professional and efficient organisation of a very interesting event - very impressive."
Anna Ludwinek, Research Officer, European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, (Eurofound)


"The group discussions were very interesting and gave us valuable ideas for us for future work and development."
Hans-Jörgen Wahlhed, Director, City of Halmstad, Sweden


"This was a highly organised, easy to access, informative and extremely delegate friendly conference."
Paul Smith, Contracting and Procurement Manager, Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council, UK


"Listening to different presentations from various countries I think we all have a common objective of improving social services in Europe."
Esther Rovira Campos, Deputy Director, ICASS, Catalonia, Spain


"A very important forum for the progress of public social services."
Ana Buñuel, Deputy Director, City of Madrid, Spain


About ESN


“ESN, with its established culture of collaboration and effective involvement of its members has been able to celebrate the differences but also recognise the similarity of issues that are impacting on the people of Europe. In highlighting evidence-based outcomes, collating and sharing research, demonstrating sustainable practices among member organisations, ESN has already begun to build a consensus within Europe of good practice...To continue the journey that ESN has inspired will benefit us all as we consider valued systems of care; this collective mind and effort will in turn constitute a further step to meeting the needs of the people and countries of Europe."
Catherine Holland, Skills for Care and Development, United Kingdom


"It is our responsibility to promote social innovation to develop services that empower people and allow them to play as active a role in society as possible." (European Social Services Conference, Barcelona 2010)
László Andor, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion


"The OECD and the European Social Network have long-standing excellent relations and we have always valued the Network’s contributions to our work." (European Social Services Conference, Barcelona 2010)
Aart de Geus, Deputy Secretary-General, OECD


"ESN for us is a meeting point, a place for sharing knowledge that continues throughout the year in working groups on specific issues."
Michele Maglio, Director of Social Services, Veneto Region, Italy


"ESN is an excellent organisation at the forefront of developments in social care in Europe."
Neelam Bhardwaja, Corporate Director, Cardiff Council, Wales, United Kingdom


"ESN has created a network for directors of Social Services around Europe which functions very well and has become indispensible."
Dr. Hermann Kues, Parliamentary Secretary of State, German Ministry for Family, Youth, Women and Older People


"You have a big resource there of people policy-makers should be listening to."
Hugh Frazer, European policy expert