European Centre for Delivering Social Change
The European Centre for Delivering Social Change is a partnership between the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister, Queen’s University, Belfast and the University of Ulster.
Who we are
The European Centre is managed by a Joint Board including representatives from the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister, Queen’s University, Belfast and the University of Ulster.
The Centre is part of the Delivering Social Change Framework established by the Northern Ireland Executive to tackle poverty and social exclusion. It reports to the Executive’s Ministerial Sub-Committees on Poverty and Social Inclusion and Children and Young People which are leading the Delivering Social Change framework.
The virtual organisation was established in June 2013 to:
- Identify from existing research what works in tackling multi-generational poverty, both here and across Europe;
- Share our experience with other regions;
- Attract additional EU resources in order to assist the process of social change.
The work of the European Centre
A key role of the Centre will be to produce policy position papers on key aspects of social change recommending a way forward. These papers will offer Ministers a more evidenced-informed model on which to base decision about areas of works which are cross-cutting and on social issues.
These policy papers will be used to share our experience with other regions in terms of what works in tackling multi-generational poverty.
Social Investment Package
The Social Investment Package launched by the European Union on 20 February 2013 focuses the role of social policy in addressing the problems with which Europe is struggling.
The Social Investment Package places great emphasis on the early intervention and other measures to break inter-generational cycles of disadvantage. The Delivering Social Change Framework established by the Northern Ireland Executive to tackle poverty and social exclusion also places a great emphasis on early interventions both to tackle issues before they develop into problems and to give children a good start in life. We believe that we can become a test case for the implementation of the Social Investment Package.
Further information on the Social Investment Package can be viewed on the European Commission website by clicking on the link below:
The keys points of the Social Investment Package are that societal change at a regional, member state and EU-wide level will require us to work together to:
- Involve all relevant sectors including citizens, communities, voluntary and community sector organisations, universities and employees;
- Innovate by promoting and applying new ways of thinking to tackle multi-generational poverty and improve long-term outcomes;
- Implement reform through targeted investment.
Why Northern Ireland?
We believe that our experience in addressing problems associated with multi-generational poverty and social exclusion can be used more effectively at home and can be useful to others across Europe.
In addition Europe is facing huge challenges many of which are similar to the challenges facing Northern Ireland. The economic crisis has meant that unemployment, poverty and social exclusion levels have reached record highs. At the same time Europe’s population is ageing.