EAPN campaign EU Money for Poverty Reduction NOW!
From June 2012 till November 2013, EAPN with 19 other social NGOs ran the CampaignEU Money for Poverty Reduction NOW! to back the European Commission’s proposal, welcomed by all social NGOs and also supported by the European Parliament, to allocate:
- 25% of the Cohesion Policy budget to the European Social Fund and
- 20% of the ESF to social inclusion and poverty reduction
In the framework of this campaign, EAPN launched a petition on Avaaz.org that collected around 11.810 signatures.
First edition of the Row4Rights fundraising action:
A pioneer Edition of a fundraising strategy for EAPN: 1 week, 19 Boats with 80.000 € return (50% EAPN). Row4Rights started on Sunday 21 August, and for seven days, rowers and volunteers lived this experience that took them from Austria through Slovakia to the Hungarian capital, Budapest.
Project “Drivers for Health Equality”:
Drivers was a three-year research project funded by the 7th Framework Programme which aimed to understand and promote health equity through policy and practice in early childhood development, employment & working conditions, and income & social protection. EAPN was amongst the 7 partners to the Project let by EuroHealthNet.
Approval of the 20% ring-fencing for poverty fight within the European Social Fund (ESF):
This seemed to be quite an important success for EAPN lobby. The new programming period of ESF gets at least 23.1% of the national Structural Funds (SF) allocation, and gives a higher profile to social inclusion and poverty reduction with 20% of ESF earmarked for social inclusion and strengthened partnership approach through a European code of conduct on partnership. For the first time the ESF national budgets are secured, with the mandatory minimum of 23.1% of the total SF national allocation. The Fund for European Aid for the most deprived (FEAD), which will be approved in 2013 also extended its scope of intervention for broader social inclusion activities but is not meant to overlap with ESF.
Election of the 8th President:
Sérgio Aires (Portugal) and he will stay for six years (two mandates as President (2012-2018)
11th European Meeting of People Experiencing Poverty:
“Homelessness and Housing rights in the context of the crisis” The meeting brought together over 150 people with personal experience of poverty and homelessness from 30 European countries.
EAPN Red Card Campaign:
During the People Experiencing Poverty European meeting, EAPN took the initiative to renew a previous campaign from the 90’s, called “Red Card Campaign”. Under the arguments that “Cooperation to protect our welfare States should be a key priority for EU leadership we are to avoid a complete disintegration of social cohesion” and that “it is time for Ministers to show commitment to the welfare State by agreeing a target to defend adequate spending levels on social protection systems and to pursue fairer tax systems to ensure the funding is available to reach the target”, a symbolic manifestation took place with quite an important impact.
24th GA – Oslo (Norway):
“Austerity in not working – time for a social investment pact.”
EU receives the Nobel Prize:
The 2012 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the European Union (EU) “for over six decades contributing to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe” by a unanimous decision of the Norwegian Nobel Prize Committee. EAPN reacted very firmly on a letter addressed to all the EU institutions (“Safeguard Democracy and back Social as well as Economic Union”) congratulating the EU for this important achievement but recalling its failure addressing the needs of a quite relevant part of its population facing poverty and social exclusion.
Social Investment Package:
With high expectations from EAPN, the European Commission’s social investment package was a series of measures designed to help address the growing risk of poverty and social exclusion resulting from the on-going economic crisis in Europe. The package was issued on 20 February 2013 in the form of a Communication entitled “Social Investment Package: towards Social Investment for Growth and Cohesion”. In this document, the Commission urges EU Member States to place more emphasis on what it terms ‘social investment’ by enhancing a person’s skills and supporting their participation in society and in the labour market. The Commission believes that this will raise each person’s standard of living, as well as boosting the economy and helping the EU to emerge successfully from the crisis. The initiative comes as a reaction to the rise – evident since the start of the crisis in 2008 – in the number of people in the EU who are at risk of poverty and social exclusion. These problems are closely linked to high levels of unemployment. The social investment package focuses on a number of central issues, including making sure that social protection systems respond to people’s needs at critical moments throughout their lives. It calls for the provision of simpler and better-targeted social policies to provide adequate and sustainable social protection systems. It points to the urgent necessity of upgrading active inclusion strategies in the Member States: such as affordable quality childcare and education, prevention of early school-leaving, and training and job-search assistance. Housing support and accessible health care are all policy areas with a strong social investment dimension.A range of documents accompanied the Communication, including:
- a Commission Recommendation “Investing in Children: breaking the cycle of disadvantage”;
- a staff working document on demographic and social trends,
- a staff working document on the 2008 Commission Recommendation on active inclusion for people excluded from the labour market;
- a staff working document on how the European Social Fund could contribute to implementing the social investment package.