What is E.N.S.A?

ENSA is a network of cities and European Regions that has the aim of promoting international cooperation in the social field.


ENSA was established by the Veneto Region in 1999. Since then the network has developed and supported solid partnerships between a wide range of European Regions and has carried out seminars, conferences, study visit programmes and exchanges of operators.

The co-operation between partners has brought about the opportunity to carry out several projects financed by the European Commission. ENSA represents an excellent opportunity for local and Regional Authorities to participate actively in European policy making and programmes.

Collaborating with ENSA is a way to increase the dialogue with the European institutions and to become part of an international platform to implement shared projects.


  • to encourage international co-operation, mutual learning, exchange of know-how, of cultural   models and of experience in the social sector;
  • to deepen the dialogue concerning social policies with the European Institutions;
  • to participate in innovative European projects;
  • to facilitate the involvement of new network members, particularly from EU new member countries.

Organisation. The thematic networks

The network organises its work in five subject areas of intervention. Each has its own “thematic network”: elderly, youth, child issues, disability and social inclusion which is transversal to all groups. The thematic networks work in an independent way according to the wishes and needs of members and in order to carry out activities in line with EU policies.
It is in the thematic networks that ENSA’s practical work is done. Members will plan and undertake study visits, exchange programmes, joint and shared projects and special events.

ENSA has a legal status and is eligible for EU calls.

ENSA has no legal status but is underpinned by a democratic and flexible Heads of Agreements document which outlines the objectives of the network and the members competencies.
Members have to participate actively in at least one thematic network and their membership has to be ratified by the General Assembly that is held on an annual basis.

The General Assembly has the following roles:

  • to appoint the General Coordinator and the thematic network coordinators;
  • to work out a yearly programme defining its priorities;
  • to ratify new memberships;
  • to approve the establishment of new thematic networks.

The General Coordination of ENSA is presently carried out by the Veneto Region.
The network’s working language is English.

The general coordination

The General coordinator is the Veneto Region

  • Manuela Lanzarin: Regional Ministry for Social Services ENSA coordination - ELISAN
  • Board Marco Paolo Mantile: Legal representative of ENSA network and Director of Veneto Region Brussels Office

The Veneto Region has 4,936 million inhabitants and 7 provinces. The region provides health and social services through 21 Local Social and Health Units. The Local Social and Health Units are responsible for managing contacts with GPs and directly managing polyclinics, hospitals and other health care and social services providers.

The local social and health units and the hospital trusts are managed by a General Director appointed by the Regional Government. There are 563 municipalities who are participating in the integrated health and Social system of the Veneto Region. They are organising the activities connected to the promotion of homecare (daily centres, ....) they are also responsible for providing regional social benefits to dependent people who are cared by their families. Furthermore, the region is in charge of promoting and financially supporting the integration of care and assistance services (Local Social and Health Units, volunteer associations, families, family carers, private authorities with social objectives).

The integration is made on two levels: services planning, including the municipalities related to local social and health units, which approve their own care plan - defined together with an evaluation authority made of the GP, the nurse, the social worker and the family member.

The Region also works to have a better control of the demand and on the provision of healthcare to individual patients from primary care upwards. The Region has competences and experience in training the social and health staff: it is responsible for delivering professional courses and updating the qualification of staff already employed in the public and private bodies.

The Veneto Region Brussels Office collaborates to support the activities of the network.