Our Key Messages on the AGS are:
- Europe 2020 continues to be invisible in the AGS, overshadowed by economic governance and the economic semester.
- The new “social’’ priority 4 is welcomed but undermined by EU’s overarching austerity focus and priorities.
- Growth-friendly fiscal consolidation proposals fall sort of re-affirming inclusive growth and closing the inequality gap.
- Tackling unemployment needs concrete measures to promote quality work and Active Inclusion, not hardening conditionality.
- Social Consequences of the crisis cannot be reduced to unemployment nor tackled without stronger safeguards to social protection, and social investment.
- Failure to mention governance and participation undermines credibility of EU, reinforcing the democratic deficit
- Structural Funds fall short of their potential to contribute to the achievement of the poverty reduction target.
Our key messages on the Joint Employment Report:
- Support overarching multidimensional, integrated national strategies to fight poverty and social exclusion, developed in the National Social Reports to underpin the NRP and EES.
- Active Incluson needs a higher profile and be better mainstreamed into the EES.
- Make employment a real route out of poverty for those who can work.
- Prioritize a comprehensive approach to the different needs of all vulnerable groups
- Raise the profile of Structural Funds in the fight against poverty and unemployment
EAPN’s responses build on EAPN and its members’ assessment of the 1st National Reform Programmes of the Europe 2020 strategy: Deliver Inclusive Growth – Put the heart back in Europe! (EAPN Analysis of the 2011 National Reform Programmes. (October 2011).
For more information contact: Sian Jones, EAPN policy coordinator (AGS) and Amana Ferro, policy officer (Joint Employment Report).
Photo by David Rose in http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/6711284/Poverty-in-Britain-is-at-a-nine-year-high-says-Joseph-Rowntree-Foundation-report.html.