In 2010, the Europe 2020 Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth set a target to reduce poverty by at least 20 million by 2020, delivered through the coordination cycle of the European Semester. The strategy and process have strikingly failed to deliver so far, with 1 in 4 people now in poverty and social exclusion, an increase of 5 million since 2008.
Although the Semester was expected to engage stakeholders in the process at national and EU level, the experience of participation has been generally low quality, undermining support for the EU amongst civil society, as well as the development of sustainable solutions.
The conference aimed to review the performance of the European Semester on the poverty target of Europe 2020 and assessed its progress in promoting effective participation with civil society. It came at a timely moment when revisions to the European Semester are being considered, in the light of the 5 President’s report and worries about whether Europe 2020 will be side-lined, putting the poverty and social targets at risk, following the delays to the Mid-Term Review.
The recent orientation debates held by the College of Commissioners led by Commissioner Thyssen and Vice-President Dombrovskis have raised expectations of a new priority to put economic and social goals on a par, strengthening the social dimension and commitment to engage more effectively with civil society.
Useful documents and Presentations
- Programme of the conference
- EAPN Assessment of the National Reform Programmes 2015 – Can the Semester Deliver on Poverty and Participation?
- Raising awareness of the Semester to increase participation and its legitimacy – presentation of activity in Hungary & Croatia by Johanna Laszlo, EAPN Hungary
- Video message addressed by Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament
- Closing speech by Commissioner Thyssen, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Mobility
- EAPN Press Release relating to the conference
For more information on the conference and on EAPN’s Assessment of National Reform Programmes, please contact Sian Jones, EAPN Policy Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org.