Brussels, 17 June 2009 – In advance of the forthcoming European Council (18-19 June) the European Anti Poverty Network (EAPN) has sent a letter today to the Heads of States and Governments urging them to make visible the fight for an ‘EU we can Trust’, both in the short- term responses to the crisis and longer term vision of the post 2010 EU strategy.
The messages in the EAPN letter are drawn from the final declaration, which was adopted at its 20th General Assembly, held in Vienna from 11-13 June. The discussions at the General Assembly took place against a backdrop of the current financial, economic and social crisis and the delegates asserted that it is time to recognise that the current EU strategy of “growth and jobs” and “market liberalisation” is failing to protect and develop a Social Europe where everyone has access to fundamental rights.
“In light of the record low turn outs in the recent European Parliament elections, now more than ever the European leaders must demonstrate the EU’s relevance, which is intrinsically linked to its capacity to contribute to the realisation of a fairer, more inclusive and anti-racist society, capable of delivering effective access to rights and dignity for all” said Ludo Horemans, President of EAPN.
The General Assembly of EAPN and the letter to Heads of States and Governments called on the EU leaders to make visible the necessary political action to build an “EU we can Trust”:
• to put people and planet before profit
• to put the economy at the service of social and sustainable development
• to recognise the fight against poverty, inequality and social exclusion and the defense of fundamental rights, as a priority challenge and pre-requisite for progress at the EU and global levels.
In the letter, EAPN calls for a genuine stakeholder debate on the post 2010 EU strategy and outlined its key proposals for the post 2010 EU strategy which should respond to the realities of the current crisis through:
• a new social and sustainable post 2010 EU strategy which makes progress on combating poverty and inequality a pre-requisite and which reinforces the EU Social Protection and Social Inclusion Strategy (OMC Social Protection and Social Inclusion).
• developing a “Social Pact” which would make clear the EU action aimed at delivering on rights and solidarity through 6 key areas.
• building a dynamic partnership for change, involving people experiencing poverty and anti-poverty NGOs, through an effective civil dialogue at all levels and stages of the policy cycle.
The EU’s response to the crisis, will figure strongly in the Council discussions, together with the recent Commission Communication on Employment. Whilst EAPN welcomes the reference to the Commission Recommendation on Active Inclusion and to the need for adequate income support for a dignified life, EAPN regrets that lack of specific actions to follow up this reference. “Such rhetoric without commitment to action undermines rather than builds trust, therefore it is crucial that the EU leaders adopt an action plan with concrete recommendations at EU and national level to implement this commitment” said Fintan Farrell, Director of EAPN.
Please see attached:
• The letter sent by EAPN to the Heads of States and Governments
• The final declaration of the EAPN General Assembly
• The EAPN position paper on the post 2010 EU Strategy: An EU we can trust
Please note that the General Assembly elected the following Bureau for the period 2009-2012:
President: Ludo Horemans, EAPN Belgium, First Vice President: Michaela Moser, EAPN Austria, Vice Presidents: Izabella Marton, EAPN Hungary, Olivier Marguery, EAPN France, Karl Schwarz, EAPN Czech Republic.
For further information, contact Nellie Epinat (Communication & Press Officer) or Fintan Farrell (Director), tel. +32 2 226 58 50 – fax. +32 2 226 58 69 – E-mail: email@example.com – Website: www.eapn.eu