Together with the release of our newest Country Reports’ Assessment, we wrote to European Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis and Commissioner Schmit to call for a strong message in the 2020 Country Specific Recommendations (CSRs) to support Member States emergency support measures, ensuring that they benefit the poor and most vulnerable and do not increase poverty and inequality across the EU, putting social rights and poverty reduction at the heart of the CSRs 2020.
The Covid-19 pandemic has immediate social and economic impacts and is hurting the poor and vulnerable most. The Country Reports were drafted too early to capture this impact, but urgent revisions will need to ensure that the 2020 CSRs refocus on short-term needs to defend people’s rights. They need to prioritise protection for the poor and most vulnerable, whilst backing social and sustainable long-term exit/recovery packages. Those packages should support major long-term public investment in decent jobs, adequate incomes, and access to key services, including health, housing,social services and education.
We call on the European Commission to:
- Back MS bailout and support plans, allowing flexibility under the escape clause of the Stability and Growth Pact and avoid negative macroeconomic CSRs
- Embed poverty/social impact assessment and protect the vulnerable.
- Defend and reinforce quality public health and social care services
- Prioritize adequate minimum income and social protection, continuing increases
- Protect employment/ prevent precarious work/ revalue front-line work
- Ensure that the poor don’t pay with austerity