“The talk of a ‘growth pact for Europe’ in advance of this week’s Council meeting is a step in the right direction”. said Sergio Aires, President of EAPN. “However, once again it appears that EU leaders fail to recognise the need for cooperation and investment for a broader social approach that recognises the economic stabilising impact of social protection systems and the need for investment to tackle social exclusion and growing levels of inequality” he added.
“Adoption of measures to ensure tax justice is essential to finance this social approach and once again a financial transaction tax would be a welcome step, but it is only one of the steps needed to pay for the investment that is required” said Fintan Farrell, Director of EAPN.
In light of this, EAPN calls on EU leaders to go further than a ‘growth pact’ and adopt a ‘social investment pact’ that would include the following elements:
- Investment in quality jobs: create quality jobs responding to social and environmental needs including through investment in social economy.
- Investment in active inclusion: ensure access to income, pathways to decent work and access to quality services for all disadvantaged groups.
- Investment in social protection: ensure universal coverage, promote an EU Framework Directive to ensure adequate minimum income above the poverty threshold and guidelines to increase take-up and counter stigmatization.
- Investment in inclusive services: promote universal access to all key public services with particular attention to achieve proximity and reliable services, including support for NGO community based services. These services should include: affordable energy-efficient housing with explicit support for public housing, public health reducing inequalities, public transport, quality care and health services, personalised job-support, indebtedness advice and integrated social services.
- Investment in inclusive education and lifelong learning: comprehensive schools for all; quality early-learning services and a focused attention on school drop-out; integrated and joined-up support with families, schools, communities and business and life-long learning including informal/non-formal activities.
- Investment in equality and anti-discrimination: give priority to tackling inequalities with anti-discrimination measures ensuring equal access to employment and services.
- The increased use of EU funds for inclusion: back the Commission’s proposal of 25% for the European Social Fund (ESF) and 20% for poverty reduction and social inclusion. (See NGO campaign: 20% for poverty reduction)
For further information, contact Fintan Farrell (Director) firstname.lastname@example.org or Sian Jones (Policy Coordinator), email@example.com or Nellie Epinat (Communications Officer), Nellie.firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone: (+32 (0)2 226 58 50).