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A strong and well-resourced social services sector is fundamental to ensure the success of social inclusion policies. European funds, such as the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+), are a significant source of support for national and local social services programmes managed by public authorities.

As well as offering practical advice and support, the European Social Network also advocates for measures to improve accessibility to EU funding, the social aspects of National Recovery and Resilience Plans (NRRPs), and the implementation of programmes such as the European Fund for the Most Deprived (FEAD). For instance, in 2021 we produced a report discussing NRRPs investments in social services whilst in 2023 we organised a discussion on the use of FEAD to innovate in social inclusion programmes.  Since 2021, ESN has been a member of the  European Community of Practice on Partnership (ECoPP) to foster better partnership practice on EU funding, and a partner of the EU Social Services HelpDesk project to improve public social services’ ability to access EU funds.