In general terms, there is no significant progress on poverty. This is in a nutshell the main message that comes out of the assessment of the National Strategic Reports on Social Protection and Social Inclusion (2008-10) EAPN just released.
According to the EAPN assessment, whilst in some Member States there are some modest improvements in at risk of poverty levels, this is often matched by deterioration in the poverty levels for specific groups particularly the unemployed, people with disabilities, families with children and lone parents, migrants and ethnic minorities, and in some member states – older family members. In some Member States, poverty and inequality is actually increasing.
With regards to the process EAPN is pleased to see that there are some important signs of progress on participation and governance processes in some member states, particularly some of the new member states. This means an increased involvement of stakeholders in consultation meetings, on-going dialogue, invitation to comment on drafts, and in some cases to engage in follow up discussions and more of an on-going dialogue (perhaps 8 Member States).
A number of Member States appear to have invested more strongly in the process and its outcomes and have embedded an institutionalized regular stakeholder dialogue (perhaps three Member Sates). On the less positive side there are also many signs of stagnation and even steps backwards in some member states. The delay in submitting the Plans is symbolic of this deterioration in commitment to the Social Open Method Coordination (OMC).
This report builds on the EAPN history of engagement in the EU Inclusion strategy (OMC Social Protection and Social Inclusion) and assesses the National Strategic Reports on Social Protection and Social Inclusion 2008-2010.
It is based on the 18 questionnaires received from EAPN members assessing the National Action Plans on Inclusion and National Strategy Reports on social protection and social inclusion from the following Member States: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Malta, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Rumania, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom and from the European NGO FEANTSA.