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The use of Semantic Web Services (SWS) increases the agility and adaptability of process execution in many settings. On the basis of available semantic descriptions, SWS allow the automatic selection,composition and mediation of the most adequate Web services to accomplish a specific process activity. However, we claim the need of a comprehensive semantic layer to cope with process, activity and domain-concept descriptions, beyond the scope of current SWS technologies. Therefore, we propose a semantic model that provides a starting point for the design and implementation of SWS-based processes across different settings and applications. The proposed Situations & Goals (S&G) Semantic Model bases on a user-centric view of processes. Particularly, the following main elements have been identified: situations define the possible states of the world; situation descriptions capture, from a user perspective, the context in a particular situation; goals link between a situation and the following and are defined in terms of initial and target situation descriptions. The S&G semantic model is the epistemological core of a Situation Driven Processes (SDP) Ontology, which defines a general pattern for representing processes and can be derived for concrete settings and applications. As a result, Web applications can exploit the knowledge captured by the model to opportunely invoke SWS and thus address adaptive and flexible process executions.