Delegates recognised some recent positive change in rhetoric in terms of a more social response to the crisis but it was clear that a change in words will not be enough but needs to be backed up by an EU Social Investment Pact.
EAPN believes that the following elements should be part of such an EU Social Investment Pact:
- Investment in quality job-creation, accessible services and high level social protection systems, including adequate minimum income schemes.
- Backing the role of the State to provide common goods and ensuring inclusion and social cohesion.
- The pursuit of tax justice – prioritising progressive income tax, wealth tax, financial transactions tax and tackling tax evasion and avoidance by closing down tax havens.
- Saving the Euro and reinforcing European economic stability.
- Measuring social progress not just economic performance.
The delegates to the General Assembly also expressed their solidarity with the people of Greece who they feel have been abandoned by EU leaders who enforced policies with no consideration for their immediate and long term social consequences. “This approach has had disastrous consequences which many, including EAPN, predicted” said Sergio Aires, the new President of EAPN. “Until addressing poverty and inequality and defending the European Social Model becomes a real priority in European politics we will continue on this road to disintegration”, he added.
The General Assembly was the occasion to elect a New EAPN President and Bureau
New President: Sergio Aires: EAPN Portugal. Sergio is by profession a sociologist, has been an activist in EAPN since 1994 and currently he is also a Director of the Lisbon Observatory on Poverty and Social Exclusion.
Letizia Cesarini Sforza: EAPN Italy, Peter Kelly: EAPN UK, Olivier Marguery: EAPN France and Kart Mere: EAPN Estonia.
For further information see:
- Final Declaration of the EAPN General Assembly 2012 – also available in French, Italian, Spanish, Hungarian, Slovak, Dutch, Greek
- Video presentation of the final declaration (http://www.youtube.com/user/EAPNEurope)
- Photo EAPN New President Sergio Aires, EAPN Portugal
- French version of the Press release will be available at www.eapn.eu
Note: The 23rd General Assembly of EAPN took place in Norway from 7-9 June 2012. Delegations from 29 countries and 9 European Organisations took part in the debates and activities.