The engagement of civil-society and trade union stakeholders is paramount as
1) they have been increasingly sidelined from decision-making and policy-shaping arenas,
2) the European Semester has been primarily driven by economic governance goals,
3) better national instruments must be developed to monitor the social situation and provide quality input and recommendations to decision makers regarding Europe 2020 and the European Semester.
Objectives of the pilot projects
1) Raise public awareness about Europe 2020, e.g., through a media campaign; new communication tools; organizing a seminar or conference; forum theatre event; creating a partnership with Commission representations; etc.
2) Organize capacity building events for members to engage in Europe 2020, e.g., a training workshop; peer review or member exchange; involving people with direct experience of poverty; etc.
3) Developing instruments to effectively monitor the social situation: a new social situation, poverty watch or shadow report, which highlights developments on poverty and social exclusion in your country, proposing concrete recommendations to national governments and country-specific recommendations backed by evidence and examples.
The 5 national pilots (2015)
EAPN Portugal, in cooperation with EAPN Bulgaria
This project will ensure the contribution of the non-governmental sector and its cooperation with governmental actors in the Europe 2020/European Semester process.
It will be led by a large group / partnership of national organisations called Non Governmental Forum for Social Inclusion (Fórum Não Governamental para a Inclusão Social – FNGIS), including EAPN-member Caritas Portugal.
Main activities of the pilot:
- Communication strategy on Europe 2020 and the European Semester, in particular within the monitoring of CSR specially made by and for civil society organizations and people experiencing poverty.
- Transnational Seminar monitoring Europe 2020 Strategy.
- Audiovisual product on the importance of the participation of civil society in the Europe 2020 Strategy, reporting the activities of this project and its outputs.
Sérgio Aires, EAPN Portugal – email@example.com
Maria Jeliazkova, EAPN Bulgaria – firstname.lastname@example.org
EAPN Macedonia, in cooperation with EAPN Serbia
The project aims to increase the visibility of Europe 2020 and the European Semester and Serbia’s government commitments to its targets to the various stakeholders and broader audience, produce and disseminate a shadow report on the implementation and achievements of the Europe 2020 strategy at national level and achievement in reaching targets.
Main activities of the pilot:
- Adopting of new reporting mechanism based on indicators.
- Developing the shadow report of social situation under Inclusive growth pillar from Europe 2020.
Mila Carovska, Member of the Executive board of MAPP |EAPN Macedonia – email@example.com
Jasmina Krunic, Coordinator of EAPN Serbia – firstname.lastname@example.org
EAPN Spain, in cooperation with EAPN Italy
This Pilot Action is twofold, aiming at explaining the impact on women of the EU economic governance, and reflecting reflect women’s situation with regard to the social headline targets of the Europe 2020 Strategy.
Main activities of the pilot:
- Desk research: a) Analysis of EU and national comparable data, highlighting the lack of statistics relating to the gender dimension of poverty and social exclusion in order to follow the EU2020 headline targets. B) Analysis of Italian and Spanish NRPs and CSRs in relation to the gender dimension of poverty and social exclusion.
- Field research (qualitative): 20 in-depths interviews in Spain and 20 in Italy to women who suffered directly from the crisis and the austerity policies, and are currently in AROPE (women who live in households in relative poverty, under material deprivation or in low-work intensity households). A third of these interviews will be made to immigrant women, in order to capture the special difficulties they might face, linked to a discrimination increase in accessing social services or facilities.
- A Report available in English, Spanish and Italian providing a general framework for both countries and comparing with available EU data. The report will also include an analysis of testimonies of women and a roadmap for future actions.
- Two Seminars on “EU2020 headline targets and the impact of austerity on Mediterranean women”, in Spain and in Italy providingan intermediate assessment of EU2020 Strategy, in relation to gender and presenting the reports’ findings and proposals. They will also include a roundtable of representatives of political parties, of women’s organisations, social NGOs, public authorities, practitioners and experts as well as direct testimonies of women in poverty and social exclusion.
- Advocacy activities, to start a dialogue with political parties and/or members of the respective Congress around the main Report’s findings and proposals in both countries, with the purpose of getting a commitment of policy change towards current issues in women inequality, and the need to include gender-biased achievements in the EU2020 headline targets.
Graciela Malgesini, EAPN Spain email@example.com
Letizia Cesarini Sforza, EAPN Italy firstname.lastname@example.org
EAPN Hungary, in cooperation with Croatia
The pilot project aims to spread information and raise awareness on the European Semester and Europe 2020 by a media campaign and through different events in view of raising media attention, as well as strengthening the relations between EAPN Hungary and EAPN Croatia through close cooperation and capacity-building activities.
Main activities of the pilot:
- Bilateral interactive practice-sharing training on Europe 2020
- Forum-theatre event relaying key messages on Europe 2020 involving people experiencing poverty, aiming also to raise media attention in both countries.
- Wide public discussion on the meaning of Europe 2020 for Croatia, initiated by NGOs and other partners and including people experiencing poverty, social sector, governmental and business actors, aiming also to raise media attention in both countries.
- Media campaign to raise public awareness, through traditional and social media.
- Evaluation methodology and report of the project.
Johanna László, International coordinator of EAPN Hungary Laszlo.email@example.com
Aleksandra Selak Živković, EAPN Croatia and President of the Centre for Social Policy Initiatives firstname.lastname@example.org
The pilot project aims to increase awareness among politicians, media and civil society of the commitments in Europe 2020 and the Platform against Poverty, at EU and Irish levels, as they relate to poverty in Ireland, the current issues for people in poverty and the measures needed to impact on them.
This will be achieve through raising awareness though briefings on the Poverty Target at EU and Irish levels among politicians and civil society, discussing with political parties, andbriefing Irish anti-poverty NGOs about the National Reform Programmes, Country-Specific Recommendations and Mid-Term review of Europe 2020 and the Semester more generally.
- Briefing on Europe 2020 poverty target and its roll-out in Ireland, disseminated to members of Parliament, key advisors, local councilors and civil society.
- Meetings with all parties about their election manifestos.
- Short-page briefing for EAPN Ireland members and other civil-society groups on understanding and engaging with Europe 2020 and the Semester more broadly.
Robin Hanan, Director of EAPN Ireland email@example.com
EUROPE 2020 and the European Semester
In 2010, the EU’s Strategy called ‘Europe 2020 Strategy’, broke new ground by establishing five concrete targets for delivering on smart, social and sustainable growth by 2020, which include:
- reducing poverty by at least 20 million
- achieving a 75% employment rate for women and men
- reducing early school leaving to 10%
- a 20% reduction on greenhouse gas emissions and increase in energy efficiency to 20%.
This Strategy is currently the subject of a Mid-Term Review, due to be completed in 2016
The ‘European Semester’ is the annual coordination cycle with Member States and the main instrument to deliver these targets in the context of economic governance.
EAPN – Key actor in Europe 2020 and European Semester
EAPN has been a key actor attempting to engage as a civil-society stakeholder in Europe 2020 and the Semester at national and EU level.
EAPN notably coordinated the EU Alliance for a democratic, social and sustainable European Semester or (‘Semester Alliance’) is a broad coalition bringing together major European civil-society organisations and trade unions, representing thousands of member organisations on the ground at European, national and local levels in the European Union. The ‘Semester Alliance’ aims to support progress towards a more democratic, social and sustainable Europe 2020 Strategy, through strengthening civil dialogue engagement in the European Semester at national and EU levels.
For more information on EAPN’s engagement with Europe 2020 and the Semester see Key Documents here on EAPN’s website.