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EAPN writes to EPSCO Council on the AGS and Employment Report

08/12/2014 – EAPN has sent a letter with 6 key messages to Ministers for Employment and Social Affairs ahead of their EPSCO meeting on the 11th December, where they will discuss progress on the Europe 2020 Strategy and the Mid-Term Review, including their first response to the new Annual Growth Survey 2015. With its letter, EAPN shares its assessment of the 2015 AGS “Fresh start or broken promises?”.

Giving a Voice to Civil Society Proposals for Europe 2020: Semester Alliance hearing in the EP gets wide support

On the 3rd December, the EU Semester Alliance held a well-attended hearing in the European Parliament, hosted by Hon. Jean Lambert MEP (Greens / EFA) and Hon. Marian Harkin MEP (ALDE). It is the second such hearing organized by the Alliance in 2014, presenting to decision-makers and stakeholders the Alliance’s assessment of and proposals for a democratic, social and sustainable way forward for the Europe 2020 Strategy and the European Semester in 2015.

Semester Alliance: Give a voice to civil society in Europe 2020!

Brussels, 03/12/2014 – Today, the EU Alliance for a democratic, social and sustainable European Semester, a broad coalition bringing together environmental, social and equality NGOs and trade unions, is holding a hearing in the European Parliament hosted by Jean Lambert MEP (Greens/EFA) and Marian Harkin (ALDE). The hearing aims to highlight the missing voice of civil society in the debate on the revision of the Europe 2020 Strategy, and the urgent need to include them as key partners in the EU governance process known as the European Semester, at national and EU level. It will also debate with Parliament and stakeholders, initial reactions to the new AGS 2015 package adopted by the European Commission on Friday the 28th November.

Annual Growth Survey 2015: A Fatal Blow to the 124 million living in poverty!

Brussels, 01/12/2014 – On the 28 November the European Commission endorsed the 2015 Annual Growth Survey package. This new AGS sets out the new Commission’s 3 priorities for the coming cycle: A coordinated boost to investment, a renewed commitment to structural reforms and pursuing fiscal responsibility. This new agenda is an attempt to temper the austerity drive with a boost for growth – but it gives no clear signs of how this will be made inclusive or deliver on poverty. EAPN will be considering the package and its impact on poverty over the next days with its members.

EP Resolution on Employment and Social Aspects of Europe 2020 adopted in Strasbourg

25/11/2014 – Theresolution promoted by Marita Ulvskog acting chair of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee, was adopted in plenary by a good majority. It includes some important commitments promoted by EAPN and the Semester Alliance: including the need for benefits to be spread throughout society, on access for the most vulnerable to social security and the labour market, on civil society involvement, on the job potential of the green economy & on IMF, demand for quality jobs and ILO warnings on the risks of growing inequalities.

Barbara Helfferich, EAPN Director talks to Euronews on Poverty in Europe

14/11/2014 – The extent of poverty in Europe comes under scrutiny in this edition of Utalk. The question is from Kristalina in Sofia, Bulgaria: “One EU citizen in four is said to be at risk of poverty or social exclusion. But what’s behind this figure?”. Barbara Helfferich, Director of the European Anti-Poverty Network responds: “There are 124 million people in the European Union at risk of poverty.That’s a hell of a lot of people and it’s an unexpected number for many people I think.

EU Alliance celebrates 25 years of UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

20/112014 – 20 November marks the 25th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Child, which rapidly became the most widely ratified international human rights treaty in history. When around 28% of children live at risk of poverty or social exclusion in the EU, according to the EU Alliance for Investing in Children it is also a day to remind decision makers “to undertake all appropriate legislative, administrative, and other measures” for the implementation of children’s “economic, social and cultural rights to the maximum extent of their available resources”, as the UN Convention says.