Helsinki Conference calls for Social Inclusion Strategy:
An important conference that prepared the road for the Lisbon Strategy (2000) to declare a strong focus on Social Inclusion.
Introduction of a “Voluntary in-cash contribution” from the members:
Following the non consideration from the EC of the in kind contributions, EAPN had to reinforce its co-funding capacity and approved a resolution during the 1999 General Assembly “that a voluntary contribution would be introduced for the budgetary period 2000-2001. The level of contribution payable should be in proportion to the number of delegates the national network or European Organisation is entitled to send to the General Assembly. The initial contribution was agreed at a rate of 150 Euros per delegate”.
10th GA – Helsinki (Finland):
“Sharing the wealth: fighting the root causes of poverty and social exclusion.”
Charter of Fundamental Rights:
The Treaty establishing the European Economic Community (Treaty of Rome) did not include any reference to fundamental or human rights. In 1999 the European Council proposed that a “body composed of representatives of the Heads of State and Government and of the President of the Commission as well as of members of the European Parliament and national parliaments” should be formed to draft a fundamental rights charter. On being constituted in December of that year, the “body” entitled itself the European Convention. The Convention adopted the draft on 2 October 2000 and it was solemnly proclaimed by the European Parliament, the Council of Ministers and the European Commission on 7 December 2000. It was at the same time, however, decided to defer making a decision on the Charter’s legal status. On the coming into force of the Lisbon Treaty on 1 December 2009, Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding proposed that Commissioners should swear to uphold all EU treaties and the Charter. On 3 May 2010, the European Commission swore a solemn declaration at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, pledging to respect the EU Treaties and to be completely independent in carrying out their duties during their mandate. For the first time, the Commissioners also explicitly pledged to respect the new Charter of Fundamental Rights. However, several states insisted upon an opt-out from national application of the charter. The Charter contains some 54 articles divided into seven titles. The first six titles deal with substantive rights under the headings: dignity, freedoms, equality, solidarity, citizens’ rights and justice, while the last title deals with the interpretation and application of the Charter.