In this report, EAPN presents its analysis of the first NRTps, developed through a survey of its national and European members. All policies (macroeconomic, employment, social inclusion, education and training) as well as structural funds and governance mechanisms, were assessed according to a scoreboard mechanism.
For the first time a European Target has been set to reduce poverty by at least 20 million by 2020m which together with the other social targets on employment, education and training are meant to ensure a balanced economic and social approach. The strategy is delivered though the European Semester and the national level with the National Reform Programmes (NRPs). However, these developments have taken place in the context of a deepening crisis, as European Governments struggle to save the Euro and enforce fast deficit reductions through social cuts, as part of the new economic governance package. What chance has such an approach to deliver on the poverty reduction commitments and promote social cohesion?
EAPN’s Report highlights the failure to set adequate poverty targets and narrow range of policy responses, whilst macroeconomic policies continue to generate increased poverty and social exclusion. The limited engagement of civil society, including people experiencing poverty and their NGOs is undermining the credibility and ownership of the process.
The Report presents its Key Messages and Recommendations to ensure that Europe 2020 delivers on Inclusive Growth.
- Executive Summary: Key Messages and Recommendations
- Inclusive growth and macro-economic policy
- Progress towards meeting the poverty target
- Progress towards Inclusive Labour Markets
- Inclusive Education and Training Policy
- Mainstreaming Gender and Discrimination
- Using Structural Funds for Social Inclusion
- Embedding meaningful stakeholder participation
- Annex 1: EAPN checklist/scoreboard
- Annex 2: Table of EAPN scoreboard results
- The macro-economic approach, driven by EU economic governance and focusing on stability and competitiveness, is not promoting inclusive growth, threatens human rights, and is likely to generate increased poverty, exclusion and inequality in the EU.
- The failure to reach the EU poverty target and the evidence of cherry-picking and gaming by some Member States reflects a lack of seriousness about poverty reduction and is unacceptable.
- The policies proposed to combat poverty, are skimpy, inadequately detailed and overly focused on employment, instead of investing in comprehensive, multidimensional rights’-based approaches, backed by strong social protection systems.
- Whilst the Employment target is seen as sufficiently ambitious, severe doubts are voiced about its implementation, the lack of synergies with the poverty target and the failure to prioritise inclusive labour markets.
- Education is not being treated as an investment! The education target on school drop out highlights large disparities, with few concessions to countries’ starting points.
- Gender Equality and the fight against discrimination is largely absent, despite explicit commitments made in Europe 2020 – i.e. to migrants and Roma Inclusion.
- Structural Funds are falling far short of their potential to deliver on social inclusion, with a greater focus on growth-enhancing infrastructure, and an unequal balance between employment, training and poverty targets.
- A step backward for national stakeholder engagement from the Social OMC,1but limited progress on the old Lisbon NRP process!