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the ECDN has several projects on both national and European lvel. On this page you can learn more about the current and former projects of the ECDN. Some of these projects are on-going and they will be updated when there are new developments to report. The page is currently being worked on as we are looking for all former projects, which the ECDN has been working on since its creation in 2007.

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After Europe started to lock-down in march 2020 the ECDN president, Sandy Madar, realised the massive impact this would have on the world economy and that the ECDN had to act quickly and decisively if we wanted to mitigate some of this impact.

As a response, we created the ECDN’s COVID-19 page, where you can find information on the state of debt advice in your country and how you can get the help you need. The page also serves as an inspiration for people working with debt advice on how they can handle the situation.

Following the setting up of this page the president, in collaboration with the Coordination Office and Management Committee formulated a letter to the Financial Sector of Europe and the Commission. you can read more about this Here.

On the behest of the president the Management Committee of the ECDN has decided to create four internal groups: Firstly, a scientific group composed of the brightest researchers and scientists in the field of finances, debt, and debt advice across all of Europe. The second group will be minded on financial and debt handling education, and its purpose will be to collect, improve, and create new tools of financial education from across Europe to ease the work of debt advisors and to help the over-indebted and those in danger of becoming so. The third group will consist of experts in the field of debt advise, their job will be to lend their expertise to all the organisations, governments, and people in general who wish to improve debt advice in their countries. The last group will be a political one, and its purpose will be to coordinate the political work of the ECDN both within the individual EU member states, but also at an EU level.

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When debt counselling models are being developed or upskilled, many resources are wasted, as some countries do not have access to qualified knowledge and knowhow, regarding qualified debt counselling. This can be avoided if there is an accumulation of knowledge on an international level wherein relevant information regarding debt counselling, education of debt counsellors, codes of conduct, organisational structure etc. are gathered and available for everyone. The ECDN knowledge platform would be able to enlighten various aspects of debt counselling, in order for countries to enhance their debt counselling procedure. The project will now shortly be presented in four easy steps:

Step 1 – Project development

The initiators of this project will be a part of the project group working together with the organisations of EAPN (European Anti-Poverty Network) and The Social Platform. They will have the main responsibility for the project and ensure that the project is on track. They will put together a working group whose primary task will be to develop the actual product, i.e. the website and intranet. The Knowledge Platform is an ECDN project, and thus the working group’s first task will be to contact other European countries through the ECDN. For this project to work, it is necessary to apply for funding for the development of the community’s digital platform. The working group will investigate the opportunity of applying for EU- and national funds, to finance the project.

Step 2 – Creating the product

Based on relevant issues within debt counselling, the working group will produce a letter on what debt counselling is, why it is important, how qualified debt counselling is conducted and by whom. The website will be a collection of the already existing knowledge of debt counselling in Europe. Every participating country will have their own subpage on which they describe their own debt counselling procedure, structure, financing etc.. As a part of the website, there will be a ‘login’ to an intranet, where debt counselling organisations can find inspiration on how they can their own counselling. The intranet will be a place where organisations and countries can share their knowledge and information, solely for the eyes of the members of this project.

Step 3 – Sharing Information

Once all the knowledge is gathered and communicated onto the website and intranet, the website will be available to the public. This will be done via national and international workshops that will present the project and help implement quality standards, ensuring quality debt counselling and protection of the citizens’ rights. After the international and the national workshops, the representatives from the working group will be available to assist the individual countries in the implementation process. This form of consultancy can be done either by phone, mail or a personal meeting.

Step 4 – Identifying best practice

Finally, the working group will make a recommendation for legal minimum requirements for volunteer debt counselling. When developing the website and intranet the working group have discussed and debated what is necessary to run a qualified debt counselling organisation – what tools, methods and aspects they need to consider and use in their daily work. These requirements will end up in a recommendation from the working group. One of the major focus areas is to create a composite code of ethics from which the debt counselling organisations function. Second, debt counselling organisations must create a set of rules that ensures the capabilities of the employees. Thirdly and lastly the laws on the debt area need to be revised both on a national and a European level. Once the working group has made a more specific set of recommendations these will be presented at an international conference.

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If you have old ECDN projects, which you cannot find among the projects above, or do you have an idea for a new project, which the ECDN can work on, then contact us!

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