EAPN Representatives also asked how the poverty target in Europe 2020, to reduce poverty by 20 million people, can be met when the EU presses Member States to cut benefits and basic services and fails to take decisive steps to ensuring an adequate income.
Speaking at the Round Table, EAPN President Ludo Horemans, congratulated the Commission and the Council on the Progress that has been made to reinsert the social dimension in the Europe 2020 strategy (Poverty Target, Social Guideline 10 and Partnership approach, recital 16) however he reminded that to take full advantage of this possibility requires a strong a distinct social process built on active stakeholder engagement at National level to build the base for a solid social contribution to the Europe 2020 strategy. He also stressed the need to follow up on thematic priorities already established in the Social OMC including on homelessness, child poverty and Active Inclusion in particular the question of the adequacy of minimum income schemes.
A strong message from the 9th European meeting of People Experiencing Poverty was delivered at the Round Table by Michael Schutte from Austria who reminded the audience that Recommendations on paper may be important but that “you can’t eat paper”. He also stressed and demonstrated with his input that “while people may be poor they are not stupid”.
The conclusions form the Round Table should be available soon.