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EAPN’s Assessment of the National Reform Programmes 2014

8/10/2014 – This year marks the last round of National Reform Programmes (NRPs) before the Mid-Term Review of the Europe 2020 strategy in 2015. Whilst some signs of recovery have been seen in some countries, Europe’s social crisis continues to worsen, as a result of rising unemployment and continuing austerity policies.

In this context, EAPN members have continued to try to engage in the Semester and Europe 2020 process at national and EU level, with the hope that increased engagement could help to bring real progress on effective policies to meet the poverty target. EAPN’s report From Austerity to Inclusive Growth – what progress? builds on the 2013 NRP Assessment: Widening the Gap and EAPN member’s assessment and proposals for Country-specific Recommendations for 2014.

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Giving a Voice to Citizens – New EAPN Handbook is out!

01/10/2014 – Today, EAPN releases its handbook Giving a Voice to Citizens, addressed to EU- and national-level policy makers to help them build stakeholder engagement dialogue; ie effective decision making, that take into account all the different parties or groups impacted by the policies concerned. The handbook provides common principles, concrete tools and tips and draws on concrete practice at EU national and local levels for authorities to apply and get more effective decision-making processes.

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NEW! Updated EXPLAINER on Poverty and Inequality in the EU

16/09/2014 – EAPN issues its new and long-awaited Explainer on Poverty and Inequality in the EU, an update of the Explainer of the same name issued in 2009 and one of EAPN’s most popular publications. This explainer sets out to provide a simple introduction to the poverty debate. It focuses primarily on current perspectives on the nature and extent of poverty, its causes and its links to inequality. It explains how poverty is understood and measured currently in the EU, and highlights some of the shortcomings of these approaches.

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EAPN releases its 10 arguments in support of Active Inclusion

18/06/2014 – Active Inclusion is a strategy developed by the European Commission in 2008 and is designed to support people of working age who are experiencing social exclusion to live a life in dignity and help them move towards a decent job or to get more confidence and skills to participate more actively in their communities. However, little progress has been made in providing an integrated comprehensive strategy for active inclusion which combines adequate minimum support, inclusive labour market with access to quality services. In this short leaflet, EAPN gives 10 indisputable arguments for an integrated active-inclusion strategy, to reduce poverty, exclusion and inequalities and to enable everyone to live a decent life and participate in society.

Semester Alliance presents its initial assessment of the Semester for Smart, Sustainable and Inclusive EU

11/04/2014 – The EU Alliance for a democratic, social and sustainable European Semester (Semester Alliance) presented its initial assessment of the Semester: Proposals for 2014 Country-Specific Recommendations (CSRs): Progressing on a Smart, Sustainable and Inclusive EU, proposing country-specific recommendations in country fiches, at its launch at the EESC on 07 April 2014. This draws on the work of Alliance partners’ national members, who are attempting to engage in the Semester, particularly through the National Reform Programmes (NRPs) and Country-Specific Recommendations (CSRs) at national level, and represents initial attempts to assess macroeconomic, social, environmental and equality policies being delivered through the Semester and to present combined proposals for CSRs that could help achieve progress towards the social, equality and environmental goals and targets of Europe 2020.

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EAPN launches its proposals for Country-Specific Recommendations (CSRs) for 2014

10/03/2014 – EAPN presents its proposals for CSRs for 2014, based on its national and European-organization members’ assessment. This comes in the week following the European Commission’s launch of the Communication in preparation for the Mid-Term Review of the Europe 2020 Strategy (2010-2020). EAPN’s synthesis report provides an overview of members’ findings on the social impact of the 2013 CSRs, i.e. recommendations of the European Commission to member States and their implementation, and proposes positive recommendations for the different States. The Report highlights the urgent need for the European Semester to deliver results on the Europe 2020 targets if it is to maintain any credibility, within the context of spiraling poverty levels across Europe, recognized by the Commission’s Communication.

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EAPN Response to the Annual Growth Survey Package 2014: ‘Business as usual fails the fight against poverty’ – 10 key recommendations

26/02/2014 – On 13 November 2013, the European Commission adopted and launched the 2014 Annual Growth Survey (AGS) package and EAPN responded to it the next day through a press release, welcoming the proposals in the AGS to strengthen stakeholder involvement, but highlighting its concerns about the ‘business as usual’ approach, with few signs of a move away from counter-productive austerity priorities which are impacting negatively on poverty, exclusion and inequality. EAPN also highlighted the need to re-focus on Europe 2020 and the targets, and to back meaningful stakeholder dialogue to ensure effective policies and reinforced democratic legitimacy. In this paper, EAPN sets out these key messages in more details.

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EAPN’s Explainer on Quality of Work and Employment

03/02/2014 – Quality of work and employment are the cornerstone of dignified lives, free of poverty, and of cohesive, inclusive societies! Employment is a concept that holds a double value in our societies. On the one hand, it is an economic resource, providing the economy with a capable and sustainable workforce and, on the other hand, it is a vehicle for inclusion and integration, for breaking isolation and fulfilling people’s need to contribute and be relevant in the world. EAPN’s new Explainer on Quality of Work and Employment in the EU focuses mainly on this second dimension, and how employment can best respond to this human and social right to dignified lives, free of poverty and exclusion.