In its letter, EAPN expressed three key concerns and puts forward proposals to address them, to ensure a strong social dimension and balanced vision for the EU, backing social investment in social protection and promoting social rights:
- Far from reaching the European target of reducing the numbers living in poverty and social exclusion by 20 million by 2020, latest official figures show a rise of about 4 million people. There is enough evidence that this is directly related to the austerity policies. The resulting unemployment, poverty and inequality are feeding social unrest, xenophobia and racism that are undermining stability and social cohesion within, and between, EU Member States.
- EAPN welcomes the increasingly strong stance taken by Social Ministers in the EPSCO to promote “a balanced vision of social progress and social cohesion is crucial to restoring the confidence of citizens… this should emphasize fairness and equity in burden sharing and be reflected in the policies”2 but the policies pursued lack the necessary coherence to achieve such a vision.
- The EU, through its intervention on economic governance and the fiscal compact, has indirectly impacted on Member States’ social spending and isincreasingly intervening in their social policy. This raises key issues of legal legitimacy as well as democratic accountability and undermines trust in the EU project. This is in stark contrast to demands for positive cooperation to ensure high-level social standards in the EU, which is often blocked on the grounds of ‘subsidiarity’.
- Letter to Ministers for Social Affairs
- EAPN 2013 Assessment of Country Specific Recommendations and proposals for alternative CSRs from National and EO Members and Detailed Country Fiches
- EAPN Response to the Social Investment Package: Will the SIP deliver on poverty? (June 2013)
For further information, contact Fintan Farrell (Director) firstname.lastname@example.org (Tel. +32 2 226 58 50 – fax. +32 2 226 58 69 – or Nellie Epinat (Communications officer) Nellie.email@example.com (+32 498 44 13 66)
1. Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO)
2. Letter from the Irish Presidency on social dimension of the EMU (15 May)