EAPN President, Sergio Aires, made a presentation to a Conference workshop on ‘involvement’, underlining the need to take concrete steps to not only engage NGOs and people experiencing poverty as equal partners and stakeholders in the Europe 2020 process, but to strengthen the democratic legitimacy of EU, particularly related to economic governance and Europe 2020. He further underlined that Social Investment should be seen as one element of a comprehensive, multidimensional strategy to fight poverty and social exclusion, at EU and national level, but not replacing the strategy itself. Social investment and social protection need to be seen together as a coherent whole, underpinning such an EU strategy to fight poverty which ensures access to rights, resources and services for all groups.
The event took place under the auspices of the Irish Presidency of the Council of the EU in the Leuven Institute for Ireland in Europe, Brussels, on 2-3 May and brought together about 240 participants from EU countries. EAPN and several of its national and EU members also participated.
The Conference was addressed by László Andor, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, who declared: “Challenges must be turned into opportunities. We can restore and maintain prosperity in Europe if we invest in our human capital, from cradle to old age. This is what social investment is about. It is our responsibility to act on this knowledge, and to step up social investment in the months and years ahead.”
Joan Burton, Irish Minister for Social Protection, said “It’s not enough to simply navigate our way out of the economic storm if we leave millions of people behind fending for themselves. That is why the Social Investment Package is so crucial. We need to act swiftly and decisively on its implementation. It would go hand in hand with an economic approach based on jobs, investment and growth.”
See Press Release here: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-13-405_en.htm
Further information: Speech by László Andor, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion at the Conference on the Social Investment Package: Investing in people is the best investment we can make
Social Investment Package:
DG EMPL Social Investment page:
Publication: Investing in Social Europe