European Union policy recommendations for the development of public services

The development possibilities of public services related to health and well-being were discussed at the joint professional-scholarly-scientific conference of the University of Debrecen and the European Economic and Social Committee. The experts of the European Union’s advisory organization have set themselves the goal of developing recommendations in support of the EU’s professional policy by using the experiences gained concerning the pandemic with the involvement of civil society and non-governmental organizations.

“It is inspiring for the University of Debrecen that the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) recognizes and listens to the institution’s specialists as experts in relation to the development of health-related services. The pandemic has shed light on the fact that the developments related to health and well-being during the course of the search for solutions require a cooperation between more and more professional fields. Our institution has considerable experience in this regard,” said Piroska Ailer, the Vice Rector for Technical Innovation and Training Development of the University of Debrecen, at the press conference held on the conference.

Piroska Ailer highlighted the following: the faculties and research groups of the University of Debrecen can rightly boast of results in the field of health and social care, health preservation, sports and the development of healthy foods that can contribute to the formulation of proposals at the European level.

“For years and years, UD faculties have been conducting research that examines how people think about their own health and their role in preserving health. In connection with the pandemic, a number of changes can be observed in several areas. The research findings of the past two years show that more and more people increasingly feel that they have a responsibility to preserve their own health. Citizens require access to more and more information about diseases and are increasingly looking for solutions to treat diseases on their own, based on content posted on the Internet without verification. These processes draw our attention to the fact that the development of services must be carried out with the involvement of the stakeholders and by taking their needs into account,” said Mariann Móré, Dean of the Faculty of Health.

After an introductory presentation of the European Economic and Social Committee, Baiba Miltovica, president of the organization’s Section for Transport, Energy, Infrastructure and Information Society, emphasized the importance of the development of healthcare.

“The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the pressing questions facing the health sector. However, thinking together and creating solutions together can reveal a number of improvement opportunities for the development of public services and it can also provide guidelines for our organization,” said Baiba Miltovica.

At the conference, experts from the University of Debrecen are to present the development opportunities and directions that the organization can use to formulate policy recommendations for the development and improvement of public services over the next two years.

“The EESC will request that the European Commission should develop legislation in this area and offer support to NGOs to a greater extent than before. In the interest of this objective, our organization also cooperates and collaborates with the University of Debrecen as well as with the relevant municipalities and civil society organizations,” added Krzysztof Balon, President of the Committee’s Permanent Group of Services of General Interest.

According to András Edelényi, a member of the European Economic and Social Committee, social coordination is extremely important in all crisis situations.

“Changes and events in our environment highlight the importance of strengthening social resilience. This requires active cooperation and coordination between the administrative, civil society, and individual spheres and their resources. Public services are right in the middle of these spheres, so their development and improvement is of common interest. The University of Debrecen provides effective assistance to the work of our advisory board by offering its scholarly-scientific, research-based knowledge supported by education,” said András Edelényi.

Gusztáv Báger, President of the National Economic and Social Council, pointed out that health is now becoming an increasingly important component of national wealth, both from the aspect of individual and social well-being. The thing is that, for health-related reasons, as many as 110,000 people, which is 2.5 percent of all the employees, are absent from work every day in Hungary. This fact also indicates that the field of health is not only a social but also an economic issue.

At the professional-scholarly-scientific conference, in addition to the research findings of UD, staff members of the Department of Sociology and Social Policy of the Faculty of Humanities also presented their public service development model designed in the framework of the tender HORIZON 2020, in relation to which so-called household economy programs were established in as many as 10 Hungarian settlements. The model from UD was presented at the EESC seminar held in Brussels as one of the three most successful development projects.


Press Centre