The new European Commission, in its first major act since their appointment, has decided to recommend that the objective of greater Social Cohesion and the eradication of poverty be dropped as a priority objective for the EU. On 22-23 March the Heads of State and Government will meet in Brussels to decide if they will accept this recommendation from the Commission. To convince the Governments that the Commission’s proposal is not the new start the European Union needs, EAPN has proposed a “Day of Action – ‘Make or Break’ Social Europe – Let’s defend the 68 million people who live facing poverty in the EU”.
The "Day of Action" is set for Monday 21 March, the eve of the Spring Council Meeting, and will aim to make it known that Social Cohesion and the fight against poverty must remain a top priority for the EU. The types of activities that will be arranged include: press activities, petitions, events and street actions. All individuals, organisations and institutions who support this message are invited to take ownership of this Day of Action. EAPN National Networks either alone or in cooperation with other actors will ensure that activities take place on this date.
Save our Social Europe: sign the on-line petition!
Several organisations – including EAPN – have also launched a campaign called SOS Europe – Save Our Social Europe. The aim is to find strong support amongst civil society organisations, trade unions and decision-makers at European and national level in order to call upon the European Council of 22-23 March and the Luxembourg Presidency to reintegrate the social dimension into the Lisbon Strategy. Organisations and individuals are invited to support a declaration by signing an on-line petition. This declaration, once signed by many hundreds of organisations, will be sent to the President of Council, Jean-Claude Juncker, at the Spring European Council.
See: http://www.soseurope.org/. The declaration is available in many EU languages.
Euro-demonstration, 19 March 2005
On 19 March 2005, from 11.00 onwards, the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) calls to a Euro-demonstration in Brussels to defend employment, fundamental social rights and against the Bolkestein directive, ahead of the crucial Spring European Council meeting taking place on 22-23 March.
Trade unionists from numerous European countries will join the demonstration, to send a clear signal to the Summit that the protection of employment and fundamental social rights must be a priority for future EU policy, not an afterthought. The ETUC is calling for wide support for its campaign to defend social rights and ensure EU leaders take account of the interests of working people in their forthcoming decisions.
EAPN has decided to join this demonstration in the name of people experiencing poverty and social exclusion within the EU.
For further information, please contact Vincent Forest (Information officer) or Fintan Farrell (Director), tel. +32 2 230 44 55 – fax. +32 2 230 97 33 – E-mail: email@example.com