EP Budget 2016: Parliament adds extra funds for migration and competitiveness

29/10/2015 – Parliament added extra funds for handling the unprecedented flow of refugees inside and outside the EU in Wednesday’s vote on the EU budget for 2016. It also topped up resources to fund help create jobs for young people, enhance the EU’s competitiveness and settle its unpaid bills. Parliament reversed all the cuts, including those on migration lines, made by EU ministers.

EP |Micro-loans: helping people out of unemployment and poverty

10/11/2015 – Microloans help people in difficult social circumstances to find their way out of unemployment and poverty. Although generally associated with South Asia and Latin America, where the first initiatives were launched four decades ago, they are also increasingly used in Europe. In 2010, the EU launched the European Progress Microfinance Facility to improve conditions for borrowers to obtain small loans. On Tuesday the EP’s employment committee votes on a report concerning its implementation.

EP | Schulz: The refugee crisis can only be tackled if all EU countries commit to dealing with it

12/11/2015 – Martin Schulz called on member states to step up their efforts to relocate refugees from EU countries faced with a heavy influx. “European solidarity can work if we all commit to it, but not if we let a small number of countries do all the heavy lifting,” the EP President said at an informal meeting of leaders of EU countries in Malta on 12 November. The meeting took place following the Valletta summit on migration to discuss collaboration with other countries.

EESC presents its recommendations to the Commission

20/10/2015 – The newly elected President of the EESC, Georges Dassis, today met with the First Vice-President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans. Mr Dassis presented to him the EESC’s recommendations for the Commission’s 2016 annual Work Programme. Among others, these included accelerated economic integration and convergence, strengthening democracy in the EU, reinforcing the European social model, and establishing a new migration policy.

EESC | EU and African civil society is ready to cooperate in tackling the refugee crisis

28/10/2015 – 2nd meeting of the EU-Africa Socio-Economic Actors Network adopts joint resolution – An approach based on full cooperation with African countries and respect for human rights in tackling the refugee flows into the EU has the full support of civil society from both continents. However, it is necessary to act now: “An action plan is not enough, it is important to equip it with the necessary funding and improve coordination and cooperation”. These were the main messages of the 2nd meeting of the EU-Africa Socio-Economic Actors Network in Brussels, organised by the European Economic and Social Committee on 27-28 October.

EASPD | New report: How can the European Semester help to implement the UN CRPD

12/11/2015 – EASPD releases its latest report recommending the EU to use the European Semester as a tool to support the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The EASPD report proposes recommendations on how the EU and its Member States can further develop disability friendly legislation and practices through the European Semester; especially in areas such as inclusive labour markets, inclusive education settings and living in the community. The report ends with several national messages from EASPD’s member organisationson the Country-Specific Recommendations, Country Reports and National Reform Programmes for their own respective Member States.

EAPN participates in the EP intergroup event for World Eradication of Poverty day

23/10/2015 – The Intergroup organized a special meeting to celebrate the world day, linked to the Global Day to eradicate poverty, to which EAPN participated. The key speaker was Mario Monti, followed by a panel debate, including the intergroup chair, Caritas Secretary General and ATD activists with direct experience of poverty. The session closed with the traditional Ceremony at the stone in the Parliament forecourt.

ETUI |Towards a desirable and feasible European unemployment benefit scheme

03/11/2015 – During the last ETUI Monthly Forum, Ilaria Maselli, Research Fellow at CEPS, and Frank Vandenbroucke, of the Catholic University of Leuven, discussed the added value of a European unemployment benefit scheme. They presented a preliminary assessment of a research project funded by the European Commission which studies the feasibility and desirability of establishing a European unemployment benefit scheme (EUBS).