Event Details

9 November 2016
EESC, Room VMA 3
Rue Belliard 99, Brussels

Event Description

The Third Sector: A renewable resource for addressing Europe’s challenges – An action agenda

During the final conference of the Third Sector Impact (TSI) project we will share results and policy recommendations following three years of research and intensive stakeholder engagement. An amazing diversity of stakeholders from 9 countries with whom TSI cooperated throughout the past two and a half years will join us, as well as policy makers from EU and national levels. We will focus on the scope of the third sector, elaborate what can be said about its impact on social, economic and political life, focus on resilience strategies adopted by TSOs to deal with old and new barriers and look at policies that can support the sector to continue to be a strong force in society.

9.00     Registration opens

9.30     Welcome
Ksenija Fonovic, SPES, Chair for the day
TSI Film
Introduction to TSI
Bernard Enjolras, TSI Project Coordinator

Third Sector – its contributions to Europe’s future
Gerry Salole, Chief Executive European Foundation Center,

10.00   First panel debate
Putting the third sector on the statistical map of Europe
Lester M. Salamon, Head of TSI Measurement Group
Luc Tayart de Borms, King Baudouin Foundation, Belgium
Christina Ramos, National Accounts Department Portugal
Jean-Christophe Burkel, Director of SSE Union Luxemburg
Risto Raivio, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion

Ewa Les, TSI Poland

11.15   Coffee Break

11.30   Second panel debate
Assessing the impact of the third sector in Europe: Concepts and evidence
Karl Henrik Sivesind, Head of TSI Impact Group
Ariane Rodert, Vice-President EESC Group III
Margaret Carroll, Policy Specialist at UN Volunteers

Ruth Simsa, TSI Austria

12.30   TSI in dialogue with EU policy
Jens Nilsson, MEP, Rafael Chaves, TSI Spain, Jeremy Kendall, TSI UK

13.00   Lunch

14.00   Welcome back
Ksenija Fonovic, SPES
TSI film

14.15   Third panel debate
Times are changing: Hurdles of TSOs effected by environmental changes
Annette Zimmer and Benedikt Pahl, TSI Barriers Group
Carlos Susias, EAPN-ES, Third Sector Platform, Spain
Franz Neunteufl, Interest Group of Public Benefit Organisations, Austria
Sir Stuart Etherington, National Council for Voluntary Organisations, UK

Gojko Bezovan, TSI Croatia

15.00   Fish bowl
Strategies of resilience
Annette Zimmer and Benedikt Pahl, TSI Barriers Group
Jany Hansal, DESA Dubrovnik, Croatia
And others

Francesca Petrella, TSI France

15.45     Coffee Break

16.10   Fourth panel debate
Policy Recommendations: How to enhance TSO impact?
Ruth Simsa, TSI Impact Group
Hugues Sibille, President Credit Cooperatif Foundation and SSE Lab, France
Matthijs Terpstra, Netherlands Center for Social Development – Movisie
Wojciech Kaczmarczyk, Director of the Department of Civil Society, Poland

Ulla Pape, TSI Netherlands

17.00 Final Comment
The road ahead: toward a renewal strategy for the third sector in Europe
Bernard Enjolras, TSI Project Coordinator

17:15   Conference closes

This event is organized by the EMES Network, TSI Dissemination partner.



What is the third sector? Definitions, both in research and policy, differ from country to country, making it difficult to really compare third sector activity. TSI researchers from nine EU countries collaborated on a definition that goes beyond existing frameworks. It encompasses welfare, voluntary associations and aspects of social economy, thus taking a holistic view.

What does the third sector contribute? An important question not only funders are interested in but also the people working within the sector who try to make a contribution towards positive change. TSI defined clear measurement guidelines for statistical agencies to implement to capture the scope of volunteering, the number of people employed, to contribution to GDP etc.

What are the specific impacts of the third sector? The third sector plays a major role in maintaining healthy communities, fostering well-being, advocacy and citizen participation. TSI has made significant progress towards developing impact indicators that capture such aspects of social life that are a unique quality of the sector. Pressure to put a market value to everything does not capture all the sector can do.

What barriers is the sector facing? The third sector in Europe is confronted with a number of new challenges that range from lack of funding and inadequate frameworks, from lack of public trust to changes how people decide to devote their time. However, if we want the third sector to play a role in addressing future challenges we need policy makers to acknowledge not only the value of the sector, but also the necessity of structural support.

We are expecting national and EU policy makers and third sector stakeholders working at both levels. We will look at the future challenges Europe will face, the role third sector organisations can play in addressing or alleviating the impacts of such challenges, and the policy support they need.

Participation in this event is by invitation only.