There are a number of important social challenges in Europe today, including high levels of unemployment, increasing poverty and social exclusion, as well as the challenges posed by demographic ageing. These challenges affect the adequacy and sustainability of social policies. The European Social Network (ESN) is working specifically on some of these issues through a number of knowledge exchange forums, applied research projects, and the European Social Services Conference. As ever, our aim is to approach these challenges from the perspective of directors of local public social services across Europe. We aim to facilitate an exchange of learning among ESN members and to draw on this learning in order to help shape policy responses at European and national level.