Heather Roy spoke of the weak state of stakeholder engagement in the current semester, and the need for social partners and civil society to work together.
Marije Cornelissen, highlighted the growing support from the EP for a more democratic process, and their key role in opening up the agenda, with the development of the Parliament’s Annual Growth Survey and the joint work with civil society (coordinated by EAPN, EWL and Green Budget Europe) to present alternative proposals on CSRs.
Pervenche Beres, Chair of the Employment Committee underlined the importance of civil as well as social dialogue, in this crucial process combined with greater Parliament role, and the new opportunities arising with the elections and new Commission.
From the Commission side, Jean-Paul Tricart, Head of Social Dialogue, stressed the key role for the social partners, now more consolidated in the Semester, and the different legal bases, whilst confirming the obstacles for getting genuine dialogue in the current context.
Sian Jones, EAPN Coordinator, highlighted the importance of the Semester for national policy, with the Commissions’ CSRs and budget surveillance and threat of sanctions increasingly impacting, and the need for stakeholders to press to be engaged. She underlined that effective stakeholder engagement wasn’t an add on but an essential pre-requisite for the success of the Semester, particularly in the current context of increasing disaffection with the EU. She stressed that political commitment and good methodology was vital. She presented the key work of EAPN in this area, with national proposals on CSRs and attempted engagement in the NRPs, the new EAPN handbook and common principles to support engagement, with people experiencing poverty involved, being developed by an EAPN task force, as well as the launch of the new Alliance for a social and sustainable Semester – which specifically aims to increase social actors role in the process ( civil society – green and social NGOs and social partners), newly funded by the Commission.
Contact Sian Jones, Policy coordinator for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org