On 14 December 2006, at a meeting between social NGOs, Commission officials and the EU Social Protection Committee, the European Anti Poverty Network (EAPN) expressed its deep concern at the disappearance of a clear focus on the eradication of poverty as an objective of the revised Lisbon Strategy.
“EAPN’s main concern is the disappearance of a clear focus on the commitment to poverty eradication in EU policies, and particularly in the Open Method of Coordination on social protection and social inclusion” stated Fintan Farrell, Director of EAPN.
The meeting took place as part of the consultation for developing the 2007 Joint Report on Social Protection and Social Inclusion which follows from the recent submission by all Member States of National Strategic Reports on Social Protection and Social Inclusion.
For EAPN the recent simplification of the Open Method of Coordination on social protection and social inclusion (OMC) is risking to loose attention on the fight against poverty and social exclusion, in favour of a limited scope for action through restrictive prioritization of policies and a shift away from the agreed common objectives to fight poverty.
“The OMC has allowed for invaluable transnational mutual learning and for the promotion of better governance. NGOs are involved and feel committed to this process, but it is time for it to deliver clear and effective policies, and for the European Institutions to take a steering position in making this process deliver”, added Mr. Farrell. “We cannot subscribe to a process which takes little account of the multi-dimensional nature of poverty, which potentially undermines strong universal social systems and where the notion of social inclusion is slowly being replaced by the notion of active inclusion. Work is important, but not a guarantee against poverty.”
See: The EAPN’s report “The 2006-8 National Strategy Reports on Social Protection and Social Inclusion: What do they deliver for people in poverty?”, which was presented on this occasion to the Commission and to the EU Social Protection Committee
For further information, please contact Audrey Gueudet (Information officer) or Fintan Farrell (Director), tel. +32 2 230 44 55 – fax. +32 2 230 97 33 – E-mail: email@example.com – Website: www.eapn.org