Brussels, 8 May 2009
Social Cohesion promised – but not delivered
EAPN welcomes the commitment made by the Summit to put people at the centre of the recovery plans, promoting social cohesion through an integrated economic, employment and social approach. However, these principles are not delivered through the actions proposed. The 10-step solutions focus mainly on maintaining jobs at any price, without taking full account of the broader social impact of the crisis.
EAPN urges the June Council to address this failure by making Active Inclusion, which is rooted in guaranteeing an adequate minimum income for all, as well as access to quality services and personalized support into sustainable jobs, an overarching approach to tackling the social aspects of the crisis. Adopting this approach would be consistent with the strong endorsement of the Active Inclusion Recommendation given by the EPSCO Council in December and by the European Parliament in approving the Lambert Active Inclusion Report last Wednesday.
“The integrated Active Inclusion approach is a vital instrument to limit the social impact of the crisis and a strategy to promote social inclusion for people excluded from the labour market. The Summit conclusions seem to have ignored the support given by the EPSCO Council last December to this approach, as well as by the European Parliament when it approved the Lambert Report on Active Inclusion this week“, said Fintan Farrell, Director of EAPN.
“We want to see active inclusion as a cross-cutting pillar, with specific recommendations to strengthen social protection systems, particularly guaranteeing an adequate minimum income for a dignified life, as well as investing in social services and social economy. We want supportive approaches to help people who haven’t got jobs into sustainable jobs that can take them out of poverty, rather than increasing hardship and pressure on the poor, through punitive activation approaches and sanctions“, continued Mr Farrell.
EAPN urges the Council to ensure that Social NGO’s are actively involved in the discussions on solutions for the social impact of the crisis, before the June Council, to ensure these concerns are adequately taken up.
• See EAPN’s letter to the Spring Council
• European Commission: EU Employment Summit agrees on ways to tackle rising unemployment
• European Council: Employment Summit, 7 May 2009, Main messages
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