News and Activities

2017, December. Proclamation of the European Social Pilar – Press release

We need a social agenda that goes beyond employment:  IFSW welcomes the Proclamation of the European Pillar of Social Rights

Ana Rădulescu, the IFSW European Vice-President, highlighted the fact that “employment is not always enough to protect people from experiencing poverty and social exclusion. We need a social agenda that goes beyond employment.”  On the 17th of November, European leaders gathered in Gothenburg to proclaim the European Pillar of Social Rights. The summit entitled Social Summit for Fair Jobs and Growth focused on employment as being the link between economic development and poverty reduction.

Social workers witness in their everyday work that economic vulnerabilities arise when people do not receive proper social care and support. The need to adapt to current and future challenges requires tackling main demands such as better access to welfare and social protection. Taking part into building the social welfare systems in the 21st century Europe, social workers can ensure that the voice of most disadvantaged and excluded members of society is heard and social illnesses are cured. Ana Rădulescu claimed that “Europe needs social services for fostering inclusive growth.” Furthermore, she pointed out that “IFSW is committed to inclusive and sustainable social and economic development. This can only be achieved when a strong social protection system is built up, based on proper resources and tools provided to social workers”.

IFSW advocate for the recognition of a more appropriate balance between investment in social services and protection and economic

development. Europe has to be equipped with a stronger and a more tangible social protection system to secure the wellbeing of all citizens.

To reach this target, IFSW recently launched the following project: Social workers for transformational and sustainable social protection in Europe. The project’s goal is to obtain advanced knowledge and understanding of integrative approach of social protection and also, contribute to an efficient implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights.

IFSW is calling up all its members and social workers to address their Governments and National and European Parliamentarians for a stronger social agenda which balances the economic development and secure the wellbeing of all citizens.

2017, November. Meeting IFSW Europe President- ANAS. Press Release ANAS

Ana I. Lima Fernández (IFSW Europe President) and Manane Petrosyan (Deputy Executive IFSW Europe, invited by Ana and supporter of the president of IFSW Europe by this meeting) has met Joran Le Gall (ANAS president), as well as ANAS´vice-president, Treasurer, three executive members, the Committee of Health/ International/ IT/ and Education, and nine representatives of different regions of France.

The meeting was hosted by ANAS in their central office, in Paris, where we met them the 25 of November 2017, from the morning till lunch. ANAS opened the doors for us, inviting us to a lunch post meeting and being a wonderful host.

A chance to comment the future lines and paths of collaboration and an approach to ANAS, reinforcing bridges with them, meeting their recently elected president, Joran Le Gall, as well as meeting the colleagues that are working and supporting us from the area of International, as Marie-Geneviévè Mounier, Christine Windstrup, and Aline Blanchy (how is also participating in the regional project), in between many other good colleagues and excellent social workers.

Ana Lima has presented the documents, protocols and the working program 2018, as well as the Agenda plan fron 2018, inviting ANAS to participate to the next Delegates meeting in Romania on May, and to assist to the SWSD 2018, in between other compromises.

ANAS raised some questions too, regarding the communication with the IFSW and other doubts that Ana I. Lima Fernández answered as the link person from the executive. Many of the information is accessible for members in the website as key-documents, but from the executive the message it is welcoming to consult them and to share their questions with the executive, in order to prepare the agenda and plan the next Delegates Meeting for 2018.


Photo of the ANAS Executive board and IFSW Europe representative, right after the meeting.

During the meeting, members and representatives of ANAS, including Joran Le Gall, and IFSW Europe representatives, Ana I. Lima Fernández, and Manane Petrosyan.

2017, October. IFSW Europe. International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Press Release 

There is enough for everybody – it’s about sharing! Social worker’s engagement in fighting poverty

Today, 17th of October, International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, the International Federation of Social Workers – Europe (IFSW Europe) would like to thank social workers for their efforts in fighting poverty and reduce the impact of austerity measures on people’s lives.

Regardless of whether these austerity measures were actually justified, the consequences for social work are disastrous:

  • Drastic financial cuts in social services
  • Restrictions and closures of many support measures
  • Violation of the rights of people to appropriate assistance

To read the whole text click here 2017 Press Release  Day Erradication of Poverty

2017, September. IFSW Europe announces that its Regional Conference 2019 will be held in Austria

  From IFSW Executive we are satisfied to inform that it is now comfirmed that the IFSW Europe Conference for 2019 will have place in Viena, and our OBDS colleagues will organise it. This is the official information from the IFSW Europe Executive Board, has been confirmed by the Global Executive too.

We are please to announce it as a successful end of a complicated process, a controversial period, and a huge learning process, that now we are glad to announce as final decision. We want to congratulate OBDS for their attitude and professionalism during this process, reaching and agreement without complications, and taking the huge responsability of be hosting this Conference despite the context. 

As Region we are mainly focused on get stronger, continue and look forward, and this is a reason to praise Israel, Turkey, and the rest of members, as they have raised their voices, participated, and contributed to this process with passion and professionalism. And, without any doubt, that are values that we need to transmite to the social workers that we represent. 

Kind regards,

Ana I. Lima Fernández, IFSW Europe President.

2017, May. IFSW Europe Regional Conference. Iceland

More than 550 participants from 37 countries gathered in Reykjavík at the end May 2017 to participate in the IFSW European Conference. The theme of the Conference was Marginalization in a Changing Society and how we can promote sustainable communities.

The Icelandic Association of Social Workers hosted the conference this year. IASW is the professional association and union for 450 social workers in Iceland and runs an office of 1,6 employees. In preparation of the conference IFSW Europe executive members took an active role. The president and two other members were in the steering committee and one member on the programme committee in addition to the nine Icelandic social workers in the committees.

IFSW Europe members Associations were asked to send out a call for abstracts in April 2016 and prioritize the top five abstracts. This procedure made a difference for the programme committee who overviewed all the abstracts, including those from outside Europe. More than 130 presentations and workshops and six field visits, organized by Icelandic social workers,

Participants were welcomed on Sunday afternoon at the Whale exhibition where they had the change to start networking. The opening ceremony was on Monday morning in Harpa, the conference venue. The ceremony started with a choir singing traditional Icelandic songs, followed by welcome speeches from María Rúnarsdóttir, president of IASW and Ana Lima Fernandez, president of IFSW Europe. The President of Iceland[1] welcomed participants and stressed the importance of social work, human rights and social justice. The Minister of Social Affairs and Equality also welcomed participants to Iceland and talked about the importance of social work, equality and activation strategy in welfare services.

(IFSW Eu President, Ana Lima; IASW President, Maria Rúnarsdóttir; President of Iceland, General Secretary of IFSW, Rory Truell; Minister of Social Affairs and Equality of Iceland)

Two Keynote speakers were at the IFSW European Conference, Helga Thorolfsdottir, an Icelandic social worker who has been working for the International Red Cross for many years. Her Keynote was on humanitarian aid and social work. Here is a short video clip on her keynote speech. Professor Lena Dominelli gave a Keynote speech on precariousness, marginalization and climate changes.  Here is a short video clip on her keynote speech.

(Moment of the presentation of Professor Lena Dominelli )

On Tuesday morning there was a panel discussion facilitated by the director general at the Ministry of Welfare with participants from the Icelandic Association of Social Workers, the British Association, Georgian Association and Dutch Association.

Social workers‘ knowledge and experience is important in social policy making because social workers know where social actions are needed the most. Social workers have great knowledge on vulnerable groups, people, the society, systems in the society and how to build networks. We need to stand together, join hands and stand up for vulnerable groups so that every person has a fair chance and the opportunity to fully realize their potential.

Speakers and participants at the IFSW European conference in 2017 emphasized the importance of social workers being politically active, to contribute to welfare policy in their communities. The conference gave participants a change to discuss how social workers can attribute to achieving the sustainability developmental goals.

The IFSW European Conference 2017 was a great success where social workers from all over Europe and many other countries as well had the opportunity to share their knowledge and discuss how social workers can have impact on welfare policies.

I thank all the social workers who participated in the IFSW European conference for making the conference such a great success!

Reykjavík, 20th of June 2017

María Rúnarsdóttir


2017, May. General Assambley Social Platform. Brussels

Ana Lima has attended in representation of IFSW Europe to the General Assembly of the members of the European Social Platform of NGOs, an European event in which not only it was the meeting of representatives of the different member associations of the Platform, also relevant topics were discussed, and working groups were held to help to shape future working paths. Among other topics, the approval of the four documents accepted yesterday by the European Commission in “Social Pillar”, and current issues such as the sustained increase of Poverty, or strategies and policies of social inclusion and the support to the immigrants .

In a way of conclusion some feedbacks from the groups were transferred to Ann Mettler (Head of the European Centre for Political Strategy (EPSC) and former Executive Director of the “Lisbon Council” from 2003 to 2014). Ann Mettler has opened a possibility for the representatives of the Platform, to contribute with their ideas and to clarify the points of interest treated in the following working groups. The debate has dealt with the challenges that Europe has to face, to which Ann solemnly responds in the line of how difficult it is not only to elaborate, but one day to “maintain” social policies in the Levels Quality, consensus and progress. Comparing Europe with a much deteriorated global public policy framework, not forgetting that “not all states have maintained and elaborated their public policies in the right way” and in favour of an “assured future”. Judgment that proves the social understanding required to face a difficult sustainability, with Ann’s requesting to the Platform “to accept that there are people who have another vision of what is or isn’t really important in sustainability”. The time of all attempts to understand, respect and try to achieve “sustainability” from an open multiplicity of opinions. Ann Mettler was “opening the door to the Social Platform to help the EPSC in matters of more sustainable public policies, and establishing contact routes”. Ann ended up asking for the Social Platform’s assistance in terms of social policies and possibilities for future collaboration.

Ana I. Lima, as President of the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW Europe), and jointly to Ian Johnston as IFSW Europe’s External Representative at the European Social Platform of NGOs, both have voted for the posts of chair, vice-presidency, treasury and three “ordinary members”.

A day of testing in the establishment of new contacts, new lines of work and participate in the current European social reality.

Ian Johnston (IFSW Europe External Representative at Social Platform), Jana Hainsworth (President re-elected of Social Platform and Eurochild President), Ana I. Lima (IFSW Europe President), y Maciej Kucharczyk (Vice-president re-elected at Social Platform)

Kélig Puyet, new Executive Director at Social Platform, was congratulated by Ana Lima at the event to celebrate her new executive role.

IFSW Europe Regional Conference – Denifity program

IFSW Regional Europe Conference on  Marginalization in Social work in a changing society, has presented the final program of workshops and presentations with almost 100 spaces leaded by professionals of 28 countries. Participants will engage in a stimulating professional discussions on how social work is evolving with new groups being marginalized in Europe in the changing society of the 21st Century and how we can promote sustainable communities. . Check the website of the Conference to get all the information

Currently, there are more than 500 participants registered from 37 countries, and there is still time to register!  (click here) The theme of the conference, Marginalization in Social work in a changing society with sustainability and social work as a subtheme relates well to the situtation in Europe now and social workers have a need to discuss and share experiences.

We look forward to seeing you all, there!

IFSW Europe President, Ana Lima, on SWSW Day at the UN – Geneve

Our President, Ana Lima-Fernandez,  together with Rory Truell, General secretary of IFSW celebrated WSW Day 2017 participating in the event on Social Work and Sustainable Development at the UN in Geneva,.

Every year in March people throughout the world celebrate World Social Work Day. The International Association of Schools of Social Work ( and the International Federation of Social Workers ( have introduced the annual celebration, jointly organised by their respective Representations at the UN in New York and Geneva. Objectives of WSWD at the UN are: To strengthen existing or to establish new contacts, cooperation and partnership with UN organisations and with allied international NGOs. To spread knowledge about social work, its values, principles and methods in practice and theory among UN-organisations and allied international NGOs. – To highlight social work actions, policies and achievements in the pursuit of common goals. To disseminate the knowledge about UN activities,  goals, program and campaigns among social workers and social work organisations and schools.

Click here to see  the presentations on Social Work and Sustainable Development (UN channel)

Click here to see her speech where she highlights the achievements of social work to defend social justice, social development and human rights.


WSW Day Message from the IFSW European Regional Executive

WSWD Message by IFSW President Asia-Pacific Region Mariko Kimura


9th November 2016

Helga Thorolfsdottir  and Lena Dominelli, keynote Speakers for IFSW European Conference 2017 “Marginalization and Social Work in a Changing Society”. More information

 helga-thorolfsdottir  lena-photo-s-jpg2_

1st November 2016

IFSW European Conference 2017 “Marginalization and Social Work in a Changing Society” has made available funds to provide support for 6 delegates to attend the Conference. The scholarship covers the Early Bird Registration fee. Priority is given to social work practitioners who are members of IFSW Europe‘s member associations whos abstract has been approved. More information

20th September 2016

Registration for IFSW European Conference is open! We look forward to seeing you in Iceland May 2017. More information

1st April 2016


Dear Colleagues!

The IFSW European Conference 2017 will be held in Iceland on the 28th to the 30th of May 2017 and the theme is:

Marginalization and Social Work in a Changing Society.

The Programme Committee with members from IFSW Europe executive and the Icelandic Association of Social Workers has decided to use a similar approach to the call for abstracts as for the IFSW European Conference in 2015:

We ask member Associations of IFSW Europe to advertise for and nominate the five best abstracts proposals from their countries and submit the abstracts to the programme committee in Iceland, before 1st of June 2016.

It is important that the workshops and presentations have a strong focus on the theme of the conference, i.e. Marginalization in a changing society.

It is possible to submit an abstract for:

· Workshop up to one hour.

· Presentation of 15 minutes and 5 minutes discussion.

· Posters.

Deadline is the 1st of June 2016.
We hope that your participation in selecting the workshops and presentations will ensure we have a quality programme.

We think that you know the social workers doing interesting and innovative work.
Please send all abstracts before 1st of June 2016 to the conference organiser: and we ask you to fill out the form attached. If you have any questions you can also send queries to the same email address.
All participants in the Conference, including presenters, have to registrate for the Conference.

You can find all information on this website

And please like IFSW European Conference 2017 Facebook page.

We are looking forward to meeting you in Iceland in May 2017.

Best wishes

María Rúnarsdóttir,

President of IASW


15th March 2016

Leaflet WSWD 2016 in Brussels


Programme WSWD 2016 in Brussels

Celebrating World Social Work Day in Belgium | 14th March 2016

The International Federation of Social Workers – European Region (IFSW Europe) along with the European Association of Schools of Social Work (EASSW) and Union Professionnelle Francophone des Assistants Sociaux (UFAS), IFSW’s Belgian member, celebrated World Social Work Day 2016 at the European Economic and Social Committee (Comité Économique et Social Européen) in Brussels, Belgium on March 14th.
Please see the programme and leaflet of the event.

Photos from the Brussels’ event on World Social Work Day – 14th March 2016 – are available on this link:

Transcript of the proceedings in English

Transcript of the proceedings in French

22nd December 2015


Seasons Greetings from the Icelandic Association of Social Workers and IFSW European Conference 2017
The Icelandic Association of Social Workers wishes you a merry Christmas and a happy new year 2016 and hope that it will be a successful year for all social workers.

We are very happy to welcome you to the IFSW European Conference in 2017 that will be held in Iceland on the 28th-30th of May 2017.

We have launched a website for the conference where you can find all the important dates, information on how to travel to Iceland and introduction videos on Iceland and Reykjavik City:

We have also opened a Facebook Page for the website that we encourage you to like and follow:
IFSW European Conference 2017

Welcome to Reykjavík to the IFSW European Conference 28 – 30 May 2017
Merry Christmas!
Kær kveðja,
María Rúnarsdóttir
President of the Icelandic Association of Social Workers


14th December 2015

50 years IFSW Europe

50 Years of IFSW Europe (1965-2015)‏

This year – 2015 – IFSW Europe celebrates 50 years!

A Special Session “Socializing in IFSW Europe – IFSW Europe celebrates 50 years supporting social workers” took place at the conclusion of Day 2 of the European Delegates Meeting in September 2015 in Edinburgh.

Delegates enjoyed a nostalgic and stimulating presentation from Herbert Paulischin, former President of IFSW Europe, about the history of IFSW Europe over its 50 years highlighting achievements, prominent individuals and how the Federation has grown and developed over the years.
Ana Radulescu, former Honorary Secretary of IFSW Europe, and members of the ASproAS from Romania supported his presentation with an exhibition.

A toast with Armenian brandy, gently offered by our colleagues from Armenia, Mira Antonyan and Manane Petrosyan, was made to IFSW Europe as celebration and memories were shared by all the delegates.

Please see our the photo from the moment.
Thanks to IFSW Europe’s designer Maria Mónica for the design of the photo.


9th June 2015


IFSW Europe e.V., International Federation of Social Workers European Region, has the pleasure of inviting social workers to participate in the IFSW European Conference & Social Services Expo 2015, which will take place in Edinburgh, Scotland from 6 to 9 September 2015.

The Conference will bring together social workers from the fields of intervention and professional practice, policy making and research, and provide an opportunity for social workers to share their experiences, common problems and strategies at the European level.

The British Association of Social Workers (BASW) is hosting the largest social services event in Europe, held this year within the UK. We will be celebrating the achievements of social work partnerships in Europe and don’t want you to miss out.

The IFSW Europe Executive Committee is excited by the interest expressed towards the Conference across Europe, as well as the high quality of abstracts submitted for the conference workshops.

Looking forward to meet Colleagues in Edinburgh and sharing new experiences across Europe!


20th April 2015


Calling for good practices for the European Observatory

ENSACT has now an online platform to collect data about “good practices”.

It is available at

Please contribute and spread this message through your network, so that more examples of “good practices” can be collected.

The deadline for collecting good practices is the 31st August 2015.

You can find here some documents related to this subject, such as a call for submissions, work plan and dissemination plans.