EAPN’s key concerns

The refusal of the EU to establish a strong horizontal framework on all Services of General Interest as a balance to the liberalization of the market through the Services Directive and other sectoral initiatives. The unwillingness to affirm the overarching priority of a social Europe = guaranteeing the implementation of universal services obligations (accessible, affordable,…

EAPN action against the Services Directive: In defense of quality universal services

EAPN actively campaigned against the Services Directive since its inception, (known as the Bolkestein Directive) on three key areas: To get Services of General Interest excluded from the Directive. To get the specificity of social and health services recognized and excluded. To get the “country of origin” principle abolished, which could have led to social…

Structural Funds: a general overview

The Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund are intended to narrow the gaps in economic and social development among the regions and Member States of the European Union. Representing more than one third of EU’s budget, the Funds constitute substantial financial assistance that shapes the long-term development of the recipient countries and regions. What can…

Building upon the EQUAL programme

One of the success stories of the last round of the structural funds was the EQUAL Programme, which operated on the basis of social inclusion, innovation, transnationality, empowerment and the bottom-up approach, with over 2,000 projects, mainly for NGOs. There will be no CIPs in the new round, but these principles should be integrated in…

Building upon the strengthened partnership principle

For the first time, Article 11 of the Structural Funds regulation explicitly recognizes the principle of partnership with civil society organisations, which “shall cover the preparation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of operational programmes”. Implementing partnership across the whole Structural Funds process is an obligation upon Member States, but the quality partnership takes various faces across…

Stronger spending on social inclusion measures

In line with the renewed Lisbon Agenda, the emphasis on jobs, competitiveness and growth might hinder a rather holistic approach to socio-economic development. EAPN believes structural funds should be instrumental in meeting the EU’s social inclusion objectives, which implies strengthened focus on the following measures: measures efficiently tackling in work poverty “positive” activation measures measures…