The Recommendations were drafted by EAPN national and EU members, following an appraisal of the NRPs, and sent to the Commission in May. The alternative proposals presented in the event, were a broader compilation developed by the Greens, reflecting inputs of different civil society actors and trade unions, including EAPN. The aim was to show the relevance of civil society organisations as partners in the NRPs, Europe 2020 and the Economic Semester, with a further request that CSO’s should be funded to engage, and produce shadow inputs as annexes.
In the afternoon session, Commissioner Rehn presented his solutions to overcome the crisis re-stablishing European Prosperity based on ‘’sustainable growth, economic stability and social fairness, and open and democratic societies”. He announced that “Growth is not an end in itself but a driver of wider well-being’’. He recognized that the recipes being promoted, were failing to get public support, and they needed to think more how to ‘win over hearts and minds’.
Commissioner Rehn did not respond directly to the challenges presented by EAPN and other stakeholders, other than the need to promote gender equality, particularly on the role of austerity in generating poverty, the lack of progress on the target, the failure to promote a balance of social objectives with economic governance, with Europe 2020 sidelined, or to engage effectively with stakeholders.
However, Commissioner Andor made these issues more the focus of his response, defending the Commission’s record. He highlighted the relevance of the initial agreement on poverty targets and focus of Europe 2020, and the impact of the EU Year in 2010, but recognized the weaknesses in the delivery currently. He emphasized the strong support from the Commission – eg in the proposals in the MAFF and Structural Funds, but the reluctance of Member States to support this.
He highlighted the need to differentiate the very different realities and impact of the crisis on poverty across Europe, and the need to use Structural Funds to fill some of these gaps. He denied that the Commission’s proposals were “deliberately undercutting the welfare States’’, and underlined the necessity of growth and a focus on job creation. He recognized the need to work more effectively with national stakeholders. The event built on an relevant initiative of the Greens/EFA bringing together different civil society organisations and social partners to make alternative recommendations.
For more information on the event or the Recommendations, see below.
You can also contact Sian Jones, EAPN Policy Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org.
Conference website :
EAPN’s country-specific recommendations :
read also EAPN’s press release on its 1st assessment of NRPs (21 May)
Alternative and Additional country-specific recommendations presented by the Greens at the conference: