In the preface to the Economic Recovery Package launched yesterday by the European Commission, President Barroso highlights the fundamental principle of “solidarity and justice” to “lessen the human cost” of the downturn. For the European Anti Poverty Network (EAPN), the measures proposed are not enough. Social justice and investment in people are urgently needed.
“The Economic recovery plan assumes that all that is needed are extra measures and more business as usual and that the current crisis is only a temporary blip in a sound economic model” commented Fintan Farrell, Director of EAPN. “EAPN does not accept this analysis. “The current “Growth and Jobs” focus has clearly failed to reduce poverty and social exclusion, even in times of boom, so how are we supposed to trust that more of the same will help us in times of crisis?” he added.
For EAPN, the proposed plan does contain some useful measures which could address the needs of people in poverty or furthest from the labour market. However without a comprehensive pillar focused on social justice and investment in people, the measures aimed at addressing people in poverty such as increasing benefit schemes are likely to get lost.
This pillar focused on social justice and investment in people would:
Start from the impact on people and address the affect of the crisis in key areas like housing, debt, adequate income, affordable services, as well as access to jobs which can lift people out of poverty.
Redirect public investment into social and environmental innovation which creates jobs and new services to deliver social and environmental needs, particularly supporting the social economy.
Recognize the role of re-distributory and solidarity mechanisms as fundamental to creating a sustainable future
Ensure the participation of all stakeholders, including people in poverty in all discussions at EU and national level on the implementation of the recovery package and future strategies.
“EAPN wants to see a coherent strategy centered on the rights of people – not just businesses and banks. We want an open debate on the causes and consequences of crisis so that we can turn this crisis into an opportunity to avoid the mistakes of the past and build a new social and sustainable EU” added Fintan Farrell.
For further information, please contact Audrey Gueudet (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