11/10/2016 – EAPN publishes its Assessment of the National Reform Programmes (NRPs) 2016, answering the question What progress on Social Europe? It is based on EAPN members’ assessment of the NRPs, reflecting on the
- effectiveness of policies and their implementation in relation to the social targets (poverty, but also employment and education targets),
- the use of EU funds in support of the targets, and
- the extent and quality of civil society engagement.
17 EAPN National Networks responded to a questionnaire (BE, HR, CY, CZ, DE, EE, FI, IE, LV, LT, MT, NL, PL, PT, SK, ES, SE) with input from EAPN Iceland and Macedonia as a bench-marking exercise. It also incorporates the results of workshop exchanges from 31 national networks in the EAPN EU Inclusion Strategies group meeting of June 2016.
The report was drafted by the EAPN policy team: Sian Jones and Amana Ferro, with support from Viola Shahini as policy intern.
Key Messages and Recommendations to the AGS 2017
Alongside an executive summary of members’ assessment, key recommendations have been formulated (below):
The EU is in crisis: business as usual will not be sufficient. The State of the Union address and Bratislava Declaration and Road Map all highlight this concern. However, the current proposals seem unlikely to make a significant difference. They are not sufficient to ensure economic policies deliver on social goals, nor do they set out a road map for how they will implement Europe 2020 goals and targets, or the new European Pillar of Social Rights. Most importantly, they do not show how progress on Social Europe will be made, and growing rates of poverty, exclusion and inequality in the EU effectively tackled to ensure a real impact on people’s lives.
- Propose a transformative, social and economic agenda
- Demonstrate a clear social dimension: social rights, social investment and social standards, with an EU Anti-poverty strategy
- Democracy now! Establish clear mechanisms to ensure effective NGO participation and impact
Structure of the Report
The report includes an overview:
- scope of the report;
- executive summary and
- key messages and recommendations to the AGS 2017
and a detailed assessment, including:
- members’ overall positive/negative assessment per country
- macroeconomic assessment
- poverty and social exclusion
- education and lifelong learning
- European structurel and investment funds
- governance and participation of stakeholders in the NRPs
EAPN’s NRP assessment is referenced in a letter to European Commission President Juncker, sent on 11 October, regarding the preparation of the Annual Growth Survey 2017. EAPN also published a statement: “Better Europe” needs a transformative, social and economic agenda.