Civil society organisations, decision-makers and other stakeholders are gathering in Helsinki, Finland today [16 September] to participate in Social Platform’s second annual ‘Building Social Europe’ Flagship Conference.
The Flagship Conference, organised in cooperation with the Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, focuses on two central themes: participatory democracy and civil society’s role in the decision-making process; and how to achieve social justice through an economy that works for people. As well as a high-level round table and expert panels, the three-day conference includes a public action in central Helsinki, thematic workshops, an exhibition, and study visits to local projects that promote social inclusion.
The gathering of key influencers – including the current and upcoming presidencies of the Council of the European Union – is more timely than ever following the announcement last week that the European Commission will now include an Executive Vice-President for An Economy that Works for People.
Piotr Sadowski, President of Social Platform said: “Social civil society has long called for the EU to better balance its economic and social objectives, and the appointment of an Executive Vice-President to put people at the heart of economic policy is certainly a step in the right direction. Our Flagship Conference focuses heavily on this topic, and the outcomes of our various exchanges will feed into our input to the Finnish Government’s high-level conference on the economy of wellbeing later this week.”
Kelig Puyet, Director of Social Platform said:“This year’s Flagship Conference takes place at a crucial time, with a new European Parliament preparing to vote in a ‘geopolitical’ European Commission to lead the EU through the next five years. Following widespread protests fuelled by years of political inertia towards inequalities and an increase in the number of people having their say on Europe at the ballot box, our conference brings together key actors to discuss how the EU can recapture the spirit of social justice and champion democracy and trust in the EU.”
Consisting of 49 pan-European networks of NGOs Social Platform campaigns to ensure that EU policies are developed in partnership with the people they affect, respecting fundamental rights, promoting solidarity and improving lives.
Social Platform’s Flagship Conference takes place from 16-18 September in Helsinki and is an official side event of Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union.On 18-19 September, a delegation of Social Platform members will attend the Finnish Presidency’s high-level conference on an economy of wellbeing, at which Social Platform President Piotr Sadowski will speak.