Representatives of the Social Platform, including Fintan Farrell, the EAPN Director, met with President Barroso in Brussels on 12 June shortly ahead of the unveiling of the Commission’s renewed social agenda for Europe, expected on 2 June.
At the meeting Fintan Farrell stressed that the social agenda must not only be about opportunities and access to education, training and jobs but must also re commit to the fight against poverty, by established meaningful targets to reduce poverty. The importance of ensuring strengthened social infrastructure such as support for adequate minimum income, strong social protection schemes, targeted measures for vulnerable groups and access to affordable quality services of general interest was also stressed.
On the question of services Fintan Farrell stressed the need for an independent assessment of the impact of the liberalization of the services market with regards to their access and affordability.
At the meeting, the Social Platform repeated its call for enhanced legislation to protect all grounds of discrimination.
The European Immigration Pact, proposed by France, was also discussed, as well as the role played by the third sector in the provision of social services.