The event brought together over 400 participants – mainly from national, regional and local governement, NGOs and experts/academic institutions, as well as EU decision-makers. The event replaces the Annual Round Table on Poverty and Social Exclusion which had been the key event of the Social OMC since 2000.
The first day involve 3 plenary sessions, with inputs from key note speeches, followed by a panel with the Ministers for Social Affairs present and the chair of the Social Protection Committee and finally a panel with inputs from different Commission Departments. This was followed by 6 workshops organized with stakeholder involvement which presented key conclusions to the final plenary of the day. These workshops covered the themes of: Breaking the cycle of poverty, young people not in education or training, social innovation for active inclusion, fighting poverty and social exclusion of older people and social economy. EAPN was responsible for coordinating Workshop 5: Building dynamic national, regional and local engagement in the fight against poverty), together with EESC, CoR and Eurocities. The second day, participants were engaged in 10 study visits in Krakow. The Convention was closed by Commissioner Andor, Mr Daerden (MEP and Rapporteur on EP Report on the European Platform against Poverty) and Ms Fedak, Minister of Labour and Social Policy of the Republic of Poland.
- See here the programme of the event
- Read also speech by Sonja Leemkuil: Message from the EU Meeting of People Experiencing Poverty
- EAPN’s press release (14/10): First Annual Convention must breathe life into the EU Poverty Reduction Target – Key messages to the 1st Annual Convention
- Closing Speech by Commissioner Andor
“The crisis has put huge pressure on our social welfare systems. Poverty and homelessness are on the rise and the situation is grim for vulnerable groups in many Member States. Some governments are walking a tightrope in their efforts to reduce spending without sacrificing growth and people’s well-being. Of course, we need to balance our budgets and reduce debt. But we also need to preserve growth and safeguard people’s welfare. (…)
The key messages that have come out of the workshops and the ministers’ round table show that efforts to create financial stability in the short term need to mesh and work in with our long-term objectives to create smart, sustainable and especially inclusive growth…..But social protection is not there just as a remedy when things are going badly. It is a social investment — an investment in our future prosperity and well-being. Our Europe 2020 Strategy is based on the fundamental conviction that economic and social objectives can be mutually supportive. There can be no trade-off between economic efficiency and social equity. A strong economy relies on a cohesive society”.
The key messages from the workshops will soon be available here.