Brussels, 3 February 2010 – The Commission Lisbon evaluation and overview of the public consultation is a cause for concern for EAPN. The Commission published yesterday their staff working documents on the Lisbon evaluation and the first overview of responses to the Europe 2020 consultation.
The general message from these documents is that the Lisbon Strategy was working well until the Crisis occurred and that there is general support for the Commission’s focus on ‘jobs and growth’.
This assessment is a cause for great concern to EAPN. “We do not accept that the revised Lisbon strategy has worked well. Without a significant refocusing of the strategy, then in 2020 we will not have a reduction in the numbers of people living in poverty in the EU and we will have even greater inequalities – leading to a greater loss of trust in our Democratic systems” said Fintan Farrell, EAPN Director. “If ‘growth and jobs’ failed to deliver an impact on poverty levels in periods of good economic conditions then how can you credibly expect 79 million people already living in poverty in the EU to believe that it will work in times of economic crisis?” added Mr Farrell.
“The EU Leaders when they meet at their special Council on 11 February to discuss the EU2020 strategy must come to conclusions that are credible to the public” said Mr Ludo Horemans, President of EAPN. “They need to agree an EU2020 strategy that puts people and planet before profit and which is based on social and sustainable growth with the eradication of poverty, social exclusion and the reduction of inequality clearly identified as a specific objective of the strategy” added Mr Horemans.
The statement that “what ultimately counts is the impact on jobs and growth” is very revealing of the limits of the vision being put forward by the Commission. EAPN is astonished at the statement in the Commission’s assessment of the consultation responses that “stakeholders with a social vocation broadly support the Commission’s proposed priorities”. Certainly for the contributions of EAPN and a large number of other social NGOs and actors, including the Social Platform, this was clearly not the case. EAPN calls on the Commission to make all consultations public so that citizens can make their own overview of the results of the public consultation.
EAPN will hold on 19 February 2010 in Dublin, a major conference involving key anti-poverty actors aimed at influencing the EU2020 strategy. The Commission’s documents will ensure a lively discussion at this Conference.
- Commission Staff Working Documents – ‘Lisbon Strategy evaluation document’ at http://ec.europa.eu/growthandjobs/pdf/lisbon_strategy_evaluation.pdf
- ‘Europe 2020 – public consultation – First overview of responses’ at http://ec.europa.eu/eu2020/pdf/eu2020_public_consultation_preliminary_overview_of_responses.pdf
For further information, please contact Nellie Epinat (Communication – Press Officer) or Fintan Farrell (Director), tel. +32 2 226 58 50 fax. +32 2 226 58 69 – E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org – Website: www.eapn.eu