Social services in Europe are developing in the context of the increasing importance of community legal standards in the European Union. European Union regulations on competition, subsidies, procurement and the internal market have a direct influence on the national organisational, regulatory, financing and provision models of social services and their development in individual member states. At the same time, social services in Europe are facing the challenge of having to respond to an ever-growing variety of social needs and economic fluctuations in the member states.
The Observatory analyses socio-political trends concerning the provision, organisation and financing models of social services in EU member states in regard of national unique characteristics. A wide European perspective about the differences between European models and the upcoming social challenges is thus provided for institutions and academic circles.