As the internal EU debates about new priorities for Europe 2020 in the Annual Growth Survey 2013 commence, EAPN has published its Analysis of the 2012 National Reform Programmes (NRPs) and National Social Reports (NSRs): An EU worth defending: beyond austerity to social investment and inclusive growth.
The report assesses the contribution of all areas in the NRPs and NSRs to effective policies for poverty reduction: macroeconomic, employment and social inclusion policies, Structural Funds and participation of stakeholders.
The report highlights EAPN members’ concerns regarding the failure to make progress on the poverty target, or to fully implement Priority 4 of the AGS in mitigating the social consequences of the crisis, when Austerity measure are visibly generating increasing poverty and inequality, even in countries without serious deficit problems. The lack of integrated strategies, in most countries, to prevent as well as alleviate poverty is also a serious concern, beyond employment – at a time when few job opportunities exist, and less quality jobs accessible to people who are furthest from the labour market.
There are also few signs that Structural Funds are being used for poverty reduction. Whilst the step backwards on stakeholder engagement, is a strong disappointment, together with the weak response to the NSRs, with only very few positive steps taken.
The report is based on a questionnaire and scoreboard assessment completed by 18 EAPN national networks (AT, BE, CZ, DK, EE, FI, FR, DE, IE, IT, LU, NL, PL,SI, ES, SE, UK and Iceland) and 3 European Organisations (Feantsa, AGE-Platform, Eurochild), with 10 national members for the NSRs , some on the basis of draft reports.
Key Recommendations include :
- Back Social Europe and restore balance to economic and social objectives in Europe 2020 and economic governance
- Re-focus on the poverty target and prevent austerity increasing poverty
- Launch a Social Investment package to support Inclusive Growth
- Make Structural Funds a key instrument to deliver on poverty reduction
- Re-launch Europe 2020 as a democratic, participative, social as well as economic process
- Seize the opportunity of the NSRs to re-launch a dynamic integrated strategy and process to fight poverty, to underpin the NRP.
The details of the report will be discussed in detail at our EAPN conference on the 28th September “is the Europe 2020 delivering on poverty?’’, where representatives of the Commission and Council will be present to discuss the findings.
See also EAPN shadow country-specific Recommendations and EAPN’s 16/07 press release Europe 2020’s poverty target will not be met with current approach! EAPN’s analysis highlights serious failure of Europe 2020’s Strategy to promote coherent anti-poverty strategies, undermined by economic governance
For more information contact – Sian Jones, Policy Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org