As one of the members of the European Stakeholder Committee, EAPN participated in the kick-off meeting of a new Horizon 2020 project “Closing gaps in social citizenship – New tools to foster social resilience in Europe” (EUROSHIP) that took place on 27 and 28 February 2020 in Oslo.
The project aims at:
- providing a gender-sensitive assessment of the current gaps in social protection across Europe
- building up new knowledge about the effectiveness of national and EU-level social protection policies targeted at reducing poverty and social exclusion
- offering a better understanding of the impact of social rights on the lives of vulnerable citizens in the EU and developing policy recommendations on how to strengthen social citizenship at the national and EU level.
In this context one main focus will be on minimum income schemes as part of social protection systems.
In addition to the thematic focus on the effectiveness of and gaps in minimum income schemes, as part of social protection systems to reduce poverty and social exclusion, the EUROSHIP project also looks into political opportunities for exercising choice and influence on national and EU-level social policies. This is done for three groups for:
- young persons at risk of poverty and social exclusion
- workers in atypical jobs and/or precarious employment conditions with care obligations
- elderly and disabled people who have long-term care needs and for seven countries, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Spain and the United Kingdom.
This explains the involvement of the European Youth Forum (YFJ), Families Europe (COFACE) and AGE Platform Europe alongside EAPN in the European Stakeholder Committee whereas the Social Platform is full project partner.
EAPN’s role and hopes
In this project, EAPN contributes to the analysis of the effectiveness of social protection systems on vulnerable groups and how they can deliver better.
Building on its experience and expertise due to long-standing policy and advocacy work with its members, EAPN’s role is to:
- give advice on key aspects of the research on minimum income (schemes)
- to help identify relevant developments and hooks for policy action at EU-level
- to provide feedback on the policy recommendations to be elaborated.
EAPN hopes that the EUROSHIP project will produce:
- further evidence to make the case for policy initiatives and the redirection of EU funding to support upward social convergence in Europe.
- recommendations to EU institutions and national governments which strengthen the role of individual and collective social rights in the delivery of the European Semester (which since this year incorporates the Sustainable Development Goals). The recommendations used should be useful to influence the rolling out of the Action Plan for the European Pillar of Social Rights across the EU MS as of 2021.
At the kick-off meeting EAPN made a presentation on EAPN’s priorities, demands and recommendations for minimum income schemes and on EU-level action needed, backed by a Framework Directive. EAPN mainly commented on two work packages:
- The first one deals with existing indicators of poverty and social exclusion in Europe. It is coordinated by the TÁRKI Social Research Institute, Budapest, Hungary, and will ask how adequate these indicators are and which new indicators would be needed to have a better evidence base in the fight against poverty and social exclusion.
- The second entitled “Closing gaps in social citizenship through minimum income schemes” and led by the University of Milan, Italy will:
- investigate the relationship between minimum income schemes and social outcomes, mainly poverty reduction,
- look at the policy settings to define and decide upon minimum income policies
Policy Lessons, Recommendations and Dissemination
EUROSHIP will generate primary data by means of:
- life-course interviews
- meetings and seminars
- one focus forum (national policy lab, world café style) with stakeholder representatives that will involve stakeholders as co-researchers in the project