Friday 1 July 2011

Big Society and Europe

I'm in a conference talking about above! And where else would you talk about Europe but in a Stately Home? You will enjoy my photos of Wilton Park in the glorious countryside of rural Sussex. As befits a Knight I'm in a rather grand room with a 4 Poster bed!

The highlight will be Saturday morning where Nick Herbert MP, the Police Minister, and I will talk about public service reform.

There is a clear agenda for Europe in reforms of state services and the role of civil society and third sector organisations. I think our bigger, stronger society is an idea that has resonance across the EU. Measures, such as widening commissioning to drive up third sector delivery, social investment and social innovation need to be placed much higher on the EU agenda.

That's why I so enjoy my role leading Euclid, our European third sector organisation. Across Europe there are interesting models of delivery of public services that we can learn from.

In the recent review of health that I led on competition I was aware of different EU health models- for example in Germany a third of the country's hospitals are still run by the third sector. I would have liked to develop this theme more in my report but I judged politically this would not be wise as we can be rather xenophobic about lessons from foreigners!

But now I must finish my Blog as the great Blond has arrived (that's Philip Blond of Respublica by the way!) and is about to speak...

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