EASPD is a very young organisation, founded in 1996. The Institut für Sozialdienste, Austria, was one of the founding members. Today EASPD represents more than 5.500 non profit service providers for persons with disabilities from 19 countries and across disability. The sector altogether employs in the EU more than 4 million professionals and has a turnover of 44 billion EURO per year.
In Europe we will face especially three challenging developments as service providers:
1.) On the level of individuals:
Client steering (shopping and hopping) means that clients will choose what ever they want, where and from whom. Professionalisation means that solutions will be necessary at the level of the individual and with sustainable benefits. Clients should be informed or should at least be able to find information about what are the rights and possibilities, independent of who delivers the services. An obvious signal of the change is the professionals name from „educator“ or „guard“ versus „coach“ or „assistant“.
2.) On the level of the organisation:
Service providers of today do not live on an island anymore, this is valid also for Vorarlberg. The service providers of today need to test their services by the services of others in own countries and abroad. This is necessary to come to identification of best practices. The single service providers will loose the right to answer all the questions necessary. Co-operations with customers, authorities, training centres, social living agencies and regular enterprises can not be an exception but should be the rule. Partnership with authorities and other stakeholders need to be restructured in creative teamwork. We face also the risk that authorities are going to impose very stringent resolute agreement regulations. This is a development we should carefully keep an eye on.
3.) On the level of governance:
The White Paper of European Governance declares five important principles in future co-operation with the civil society: openness, participation, accountability, effectiveness and coherence. We should take the invitation and act actively. The new balance of power will be designed within the next years. The ngo´s are responsible to find an appropriate positions by participating in this process.
It’s a mandate of every organisation to face these developments on all organisational levels: staff, middle management, management and the board. Either you create Europe or you will have to accept the results.
P.S.: Die englische Sprache wurde bewusst als „Perspektivenwechsel“ gewählt.