In their letter EAPN puts forward short and long-term proposals to ensure that the needs of people experiencing poverty are included in the response to the crisis.
Ahead of the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO) on 9-10 March 2009, EAPN has written to the Ministers regarding the impact of the crisis on people in poverty and anti poverty organisations. In their letter EAPN puts forward short and long term proposals to ensure that the needs of people experiencing poverty are included in the response to the crisis.
“The reality across EU Member States of increasing demands on the services of anti poverty NGOs providing direct support to people in poverty affected by the crisis, while at the same time many of them are dealing with cuts in their budgets, is intolerable” said Fintan Farrell, Director of EAPN. “Our members can not accept that millions of Euros of tax payers’ money are being paid out to save the banks, whilst money can not be found to address the needs of vulnerable people” added Mr Farrell.
EAPN has written today to EU Employment and Social Affairs Ministers to remind them that it is time to deliver on the commitment made in the Economic Recovery Package endorsed by the December Council, that social justice and solidarity should be a horizontal pillar and people put first in the responses to the crisis.
In the short-term, EAPN highlights the need to:
Defend social NGO services and stop the cuts to their financing as they face increasing demands to support people on low incomes who are reeling from the impact of the crisis.
Ensure that minimum income, pensions and other benefits are increased to levels which take people above the poverty line and recognise that investment in social protection systems while respecting fundamental rights also provides an economic stimulus by supporting consumption.
Defend quality jobs which provide a living wage and which can halt the development of ‘working poor’ in Europe.
Invest in new social and green jobs and support for social economy initiatives.
A comprehensive response to the crisis requires a new vision for long-term solutions. A new economic and social model forging social cohesion, with a highly visible and effective EU anti-poverty and social inclusion strategy is needed, based on effective redistributive mechanisms and participative methods. To restore public confidence in the role of governments the EU must draw back from the recognised hazards of an increasingly unregulated market to establish a strong role for government to defend the public good and the general interest, promoting a new balance between the state and the market.
Read the full letter.
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
EAPN is a representative network of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and groups involved in the fight against poverty and social exclusion in the Member States of the European Union.