AGS 2014: Missed opportunity to restore EU credibility!

EAPN welcomes the new AGS 2014 priority on participation of national stakeholders, but deplores the failure to refocus on Europe 2020 and its targets and to propose a coherent strategy to tackle rising poverty

Brussels, 17 November 2013 –The European Anti-Poverty Network’s first reaction to the AGS, which the Commission adopted yesterday, is one of disappointment. EAPN criticizes the failure to re-focus the AGS on Europe 2020 and its targets (particularly the poverty and other social targets) and insists on the need for coherent integrated strategies, as called for in the EAPN letter to President Barroso on October 4th. The proposal to strengthen national stakeholder engagement in the Semester is however welcomed, but concerns raised about the overall aims.


Will MEPs give the ESF its full potential to reduce poverty?

Brussels, 18 November 2013 – Last week, EAPN and the 19 other NGOs running the campaign EU Money for Poverty Reduction NOW! sent an urgent letter to the President of the European Parliament and the Presidents of the European political groups, on the eve of the plenary vote on the EU Budget and the ESF Regulation 2014-2020. The Coalition sees this vote as a test of the European Parliament’s commitment to reducing poverty by supporting a strong European Social Fund of at least 25% of the Cohesion Budget to back the 20% earmarked for poverty reduction. This would make a real difference for the 120 million women and men currently facing poverty and social inclusion across the European Union and would help to increase people’s trust in the European Parliament in these times of crisis.


The Poverty Alliance, (Scottish member of EAPN UK): New Living Wage Figure Announced For Scotland

04/11 – As part of the annual ‘Living Wage Week’, the Scottish Living Wage Campaign and the Living Wage Foundation has announced the new living wage figure will be £7.65 an hour for the coming year, an increase of 20p. More than 400 companies and organisations across the UK are now officially accredited Living Wage Employers. Living Wage Week will highlight the benefits that the living wage brings for both companies and employees. 


EPSCO Council conclusions (15/10/2013)

15/10 – The main agreements at the latest EPSCO Council Conclusions were:
  • No progress on the posting of workers directive. Still no agreement on this important Directive that would try to ensure a basic package of social rights to workers posted abroad within the internal market.
  • Youth Guarantee: there was a review of progress, and a request to all MS to work quickly to spend the 6 million allocated including through ESF underspend.
  • Declaration of the European Alliance for Apprenticeships launched in July.
  • First debate on the Commission’s Communication on the Social Dimension of the EMU – cautious welcome, underlining the importance of coherence of fiscal, economic and social policies, with a first step in the establishment of the social scoreboard and new social indicators in the MIP, Alter procedure. However the Council rejected any automatic trigger of Recommendations if thresholds were breached. A further discussion will take place in the December Council.
  • Evaluation of the 2013 European Semester (including NRPs and CSRs). Concerns still about the short timescale, and confirming the need to involve social partners, and to confirm the key role of the EPSCO in any discussions/ recommendations which have an impact on employment or social policy.

EAPN meets with civil-society organisations from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Turkey


15/10 – EAPN hosted a group of civil-society representatives from Bosnia and Herzegovina, part of the Citizens for Europe initiative. The meeting focused on understanding EAPN’s structure, internal governance, models of structuring national anti poverty networks, and engagement of members in following the Europe 2020 strategy and the European policy-making process.