Election of the 5th President:
Ludo Horemans (Belgium) and he will stay for three years (one mandate) as President (2000-2003). The mandates of the Bureau were enlarged from two to three years from 2000 on.
11th GA – Barcelona (Spain):
“Participation: an essential part of fighting social exclusion.” This was an historical GA for EAPN. Although organised with big ambitions, due to several internal conflicts between the Spanish Network members’, the EAPN Secretariat and Bureau mainly drove the GA. As a consequence EAPN Spain would be closed and from 2001 on a new national network was raised from the ashes.
The Lisbon Strategy, also known as the Lisbon Agenda or Lisbon Process, was an action and development plan devised in 2000, for the economy of the EU between 2000 and 2010. The Portuguese economist Maria João Rodrigues played a pivotal role in its formulation. Its aim was to make the EU “the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion”, by 2010. Concerning the fight against poverty and social exclusion, the Lisbon Strategy, by recognising that a better equilibrium between economy and societies (known as “Lisbon triangle”), looked like an opportunity for the return of a European anti-poverty strategy. Although too focused on Employment, the launching of Open Method of Coordination and the fact that every member-state had to produce a National Action Plan for Inclusion, built on a large consensus and participation with civil societies, with a peer review system and a strong monitoring from the EC, was able to offer some important opportunities. For EAPN, this Strategy offered an important role in terms of dialog and, in a certain way putted EAPN back on the track in terms of special consultation with the EC. At the national level the Lisbon strategy offered the opportunity for several members to engage in political processes totally closed for them before, namely attending official meetings, participating in the discussions between the Member-States and the EC when monitoring the national plans, playing strong roles in the peer review systems. It is important to remember the very hard but useful work done by the Secretariat, namely its Director, Marie-Françoise Wilkinson, the President, Fintan Farrel, and EAPN Portugal in order to influence the final details on social inclusion areas of the Lisbon Strategy.
Starting of the EQUAL initiative:
This would be the last Community Initiative with a broad impact on social inclusion. It will last until 2009 and afterwards the EC decided that EU initiatives would no longer exist with the same framework. The EQUAL Community Initiative:
- has as relatives the HORIZON, NOW and YOUTHSTART EU initiatives (1994-1999) and was financed by the European Social Fund (ESF) and co-funded by the EU Member States within the 2000-2006 programming period.
- focused on supporting innovative, transnational projects aimed at tackling discrimination and disadvantage in the labour market. These projects were created to generate and test new ideas with the aim of finding new ways of fighting all forms of discrimination and inequality within and beyond the labour market. EQUAL was organised around five main pillars:
- Increasing employability
- Encouraging inclusive entrepreneurship
- Facilitating adaptability
- Promoting gender equality
- Integrating asylum seekers
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs):
Millennium Development Goals were the eight international development goals for the year 2015 that had been established following the Millennium Summit of the United Nations in 2000, following the adoption of the United Nations Millennium Declaration. All 191 United Nations member states at that time, and at least 22 international organizations, committed to help achieve the following Millennium Development Goals by 2015:
- To eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
- To achieve universal primary education
- To promote gender equalityand empower women
- To reduce child mortality
- To improve maternal health
- To combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
- To ensure environmental sustainability
- To develop a global partnership for development