On 8 March 2016, the European Commission launched a public consultation until the end of 2016 on their proposals for a European Pillar of Social Rights. This paper sets out EAPN’s main concerns and key priorities for action, to complement our consultation response. EAPN welcomes the European Pillar of Social Rights as the major social, rights-based initiative coming out of President Juncker’s Commission so far. However, there is still a risk that the initiative is not sufficient to ensure a real EU Social Agenda, capable of making a decisive impact on poverty or reversing the strong threat of disintegration that faces the EU today.
This paper sets out the current state of thinking of EAPN, following the initial debates during the 14 th European Meeting of People Experiencing Poverty in November 2015, and the EAPN Policy Conference in June 2016 on the Social Pillar, based on inputs from EAPN members across the 31 National Networks and 18 European Organizations.
In this position paper EAPN spells out 4 concrete steps to ensure real impact for the Social Pillar.
- A new paradigm: A transformative EU strategy that invests in social rights, and reduces poverty and inequality
- Invest in concrete measures to guarantee social standards, starting with a Minimum Income Directive and a Golden Rule on social protection spending
- Use EU funds to deliver on social rights – a new EU poverty and inequality programme, underpinned by an anti-poverty strategy
- Champion real democracy and participation at all levels