The Round Table took place on 15 and 16 October in Stockholm under the title ‘Social inclusion in times of recession” – New challenges for the Active inclusion strategy’.
EAPN members played an active role in the plenaries and the workshops and Nicole Tonneau made an impressive intervention in the Opening plenary presenting reflections from the 8th European meeting of People experiencing Poverty.
The main conclusions of the Round Table underlined the need to make real progress on the eradication of poverty and social exclusion in 2010 during the EU Year against Poverty and Social Exclusion and for the fight against poverty to be a key part of the EU 2020 strategy. There was strong endorsement for the key role of the Social OMC and the need for its more effective implementation with agreed targets at EU and national levels. There were also clear demands for progress to be made on the content of the OMC through specific progress on the implementation of Active Inclusion, including on the adequacy of minimum income schemes, and through follow up of the thematic years on child poverty and homelessness.
The need to reinforce governance and participation in the Social OMC was also highlighted including the need for the direct involvement of people experiencing poverty, and for them “not seen as part of the problem but as part of the solution”. The National Action Plans were seen as key for engaging local regional and national stakeholders and the need for these Plans to be discussed in national Parliaments. However the weakness of the Round Table persists in having insufficient links to the outcomes of the meetings of people experiencing poverty and no clear mechanisms for pressing its conclusions/ demands in the EU policy making process.