05/06/03/2014 – EAPN participated in this important and well-attended conference, held in the European Parliament on the 5-6 March, organized by the Progressive Economy Forum and the Social and Democrats Alliance (S&D). The conference analysed the causes and the consequences of the crisis before looking at key priorities for action. Key speakers included Professor Joseph Stigliz, James K Galbraith, Martin Schulz, Jean-Paul Fitoussi, and Kate Pickett (co-author of the Spirit level), followed by detailed workshop discussions on recent academic papers and evening round table debates. Stigliz called inequality “the key problem of our time, which is growing across the globe, conditioned by a wrong economic model. But it´s not just about economics – policies count……how we responded to the crisis has made things worse. Economic inequality leads to political inequality, which leads to new rules of the game that produce more inequality…. The rules of the game in the end are about distribution and redistribution”.
10/03/2014 – There are 26,5 million children across the European Union at risk of poverty or social exclusion – half a million more than a year ago – and the economic, financial and social crisis is only putting even more children at risk. On the occasion of the EPSCO Council Meeting on 10 March, the EU Alliance for Investing in Children emphasises that tackling and preventing child poverty and social exclusion are key to achieving the Europe 2020 headline targets.
19/03/2014 – The European Commission (EC) published a Communication today that gives its official response to the first successful European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) which called on the EC “to implement the human right to water and sanitation in European law.” In the Communication, the European Commission does recall the importance of the human right to water and sanitation and states the importance of water as a public good and fundamental value and that “water is not a commercial product.” However, that’s as far as it goes.
EAPN was saddened to hear recently of the untimely death of our friend and colleague Patricia Stepman on 12 March 2014. For more than 20 years Patricia has fought with heart and soul against poverty and exclusion, convinced that every human being has a right to a dignified existence. She was a supporter and co-founder of the Fourth World group People for People (Mensen voor Mensen), an association where the ‘poor’ take the floor in Aalst, Belgium. Patricia was a very recognizable contributor to the European Meetings of people experiencing poverty and was an active participant in a number of General Assemblies and other EAPN meetings.
This Tuesday 18/03 at the European Parliament, MEP Claude Moraes, together with AGE Platform Europe, EDF, EWL, COFACE, ILGA Europe, ENAR and EAPN, is hosting an event on “European Elections 2014: Mobilising EU citizens”. #EP2014 #electingchampions
This Tuesday 04/03, EAPN and its members are launching their campaign Electing Champions for a social Europe in a press breakfast briefing with several confirmed MEPs and candidates, as well as representatives and other civil-society organisations. EAPN will present its 2014 Elections manifesto, campaign objectives and activities as well as the pledge MEPs will be asked to make in fighting poverty, social exclusion and inequalities. This launch will also be a key opportunity for civil-society organisations to exchange with MEPs on their views and commitments.EAPN’s campaign manifesto on the 2014 European Elections calls on candidates to show their commitment and sign up to the following pledge:
20/02/2014 – EAPN participated to the EYCA 2013 alliance plenary meeting organized at the EESC in Brussels. EAPN has taken an active role in the EYCA (European Year for Citizens Alliance) from its inception in June 2012. The main aim of the EYC is to give European citizenship its full meaning and scope to ensure a meaningful citizens’ participation in the democratic like of the European Union. The alliance is an informal coordination of 62 EU NGO platforms and civil society actors as well as 22 national coalitions. It policy recommendations were finalized and publically presented during the Closing Conference of the Alliance in Vilnius last December 2013. EAPN heavily contributed to them to ensure that people experiencing poverty and social exclusion can really play their role as citizens by being fully integrated in society.
19/02/2014 – EAPN participated to the EU-level consultation meeting on URBACT III (2014-2020) organized in Brussels and aimed at finalizing the Operational Programme. The URBACT programme is the EU programme co-funded by ERDF and Member States to help cities to build their capacities on sustainable urban development and develop and implement strategies and local action plans around this issue.
19/02/2014 – On the occasion of the 2013 European Meeting of People Experiencing Poverty, National delegations were asked to make preparatory reports to feed the exchanges of the Meeting. While done with little or no financial support, they represent a goldmine of information and testimonies from those carrying the greatest burden of the austerity measures, with also examples of good practices showing that choices can be made to make a positive difference.These reports were made on the basis of 1) Reference Budgets, 2) The impact of the crisis, 3) Relevant Practices.
Four key issues emerged from the discussions at the seminar as crucial in developing effective minimum income schemes. These are: defining adequacy and regular uprating of payments, ensuring coverage, addressing non-take-up and integrating minimum income into an active inclusion approach. Building consensus to make progress on these four areas is crucial to the work of the EMIN project.