From 18 till 20 June, on the Esplanade in front of the European Parliament in Brussels, EAPN held the 12th Meeting of People experiencing poverty on “What we can learn from the experiences of poverty today”. Gathering delegations of people experiencing poverty and activists from all the EU countries, this meeting was also an significant event in the calendar of the 2013 European Year of the Citizen. The event was open to the public.
The European Meetings are one of the rare occasions where people experiencing poverty directly ‘take the floor’ and interact with politicians and Institutional actors. With a less formal format this year, this event had more elements of solidarity building and cultural exchange. The meeting was officially opened by Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament on 18 June and was closed with a symbolic action outside the Esplanade on 20 June.
- See programme of the event here
- See PRESS PACK here
- See presentation of the outcome of the 2013 European Meeting of people experiencing poverty by Honoratte Muhanzi Kashale, from EAPN Norway at the EAPN Annual Policy Conference (Sept.2013)
Reports of the 2013 Meeting
3 different reports have been produced out of the Meeting:
which includes the Background and Content of the European Meetings; the Key Messages of the 2013 Meeting, the Summary of the Main Inputs
Each delegation came with slogans, particular messages for this 2013 Meeting. E.g., the French Delegation had the slogan: “La pauvreté n’est pas une fatalité, combattons là ensemble". "Poverty is not a destiny, let’s fight it together.”
- The Preparation Work from National Delegations. On the occasion of the 2013 Meeting, National delegations were asked to make preparatory reports to feed the exchanges of the Meeting. While done with little or no financial support, they represent a goldmine of information and testimonies from those carrying the greatest burden of the austerity measures, with also examples of good practices showing that choices can be made to make a positive difference.These reports were made on the basis of 1) Reference Budgets, 2) The impact of the crisis, 3) Relevant Practices.
Content of the exchanges at the 2013 Meeting
The recent Commission Communication ‘Towards social Investment for Growth and Jobs’ which was released as part of its Social Investment package calls on Members States to fully implement the Recommendation on Active Inclusion (2008) integrating its three pillars, adequate income support, inclusive labour markets and enabling services.
The Communication commits the Commission to develop in 2013 a common methodology for reference budgets as part of the monitoring of adequacy of income supports.
The exchanges at the 2013 meeting contributed to this objective by:
- exchanging on what should be part of an essential basket of goods and services to be used in reference budgets,
- exchanging on what are the current developments for individuals and communities in terms of the three pillars of the Active Inclusion Recommendation and
- exchanging on practices that people experiencing poverty and their organisations are developing to fight poverty and exclusion and what is helping and hindering the implementation of these practices.
You can find the following Speeches:
- Milan Furak's speech, delegate at the 11th meeting - 18 June 2013
- Commissioner Andor's speech, Commissioner for Employment & Social Affairs - 19 June 2013
- Pierre Baussand's speech, Director of the Social Platform - 19 June 2013
- Zoltan Kazatsay's speech, Deputy Director-General, DG Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion - 20 June 2013
Objectives for the 2013 Meeting
- To reinforce the visibility of the fight against poverty and social exclusion in Europe.
- To recognise the courage, commitment and expertise that people experiencing poverty bring to the fight against poverty and to foster commitment to developing the participation of people experiencing poverty and social exclusion.
- To make visible the links between the different levels: local, national and European and the need for coherence between the different levels.
Follow us on Twitter: #PEP2013 and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/EuropeanAntiPovertyNetwork
The meeting is organized, this year, by EAPN, with support from the European Commission, the Irish Presidency of the Council of the EU and the EAPN Fund. It will be held in a temporarily constructed Conference Centre on the Esplanade directly in front of the European Parliament and visible from Place du Luxembourg.