On 7 June, the European Commission adopted 27 country-specific Recommendations evaluating the Member States’ National Reform Programmes and their Stability and Convergence Programmes. EAPN expected the Recommendations to include a clear focus on addressing the target to reduce poverty by at least 20 million by 2020. While the Commission acknowledges that Member States will need to do more to reach the agreed EU poverty-reduction target, they make no credible recommendations about how to achieve this.
“The Recommendations are a betrayal of the hopes of people experiencing poverty and anti-poverty organizations across Europe that trusted in the commitments to poverty reduction made by President Barroso and the EU”, said Ludo Horemans President of EAPN. “The Recommendations don’t address the fundamental causes of the problems we face in Europe today: growing concentration of wealth in the hands of a few, the dominance of financial speculators, the decline in quality of employment, and the constant erosion of public services and social welfare systems”, added Mr Horemans.
“The Commission Recommendations fails to take the agreed EU poverty-reduction target seriously” said Fintan Farrell, Director of EAPN. “Many Member States didn’t even respect the target and indicators they agreed at the EU Council in June 2010 and even this the Commission lets go by without comment”, added Mr Farrell. “Worse still the Recommendations are likely to generate more poverty and social exclusion and will put more pressure on people experiencing poverty by punishing them for failing to find jobs that are in scarce supply.” concluded Mr Farrell.
EAPN has sent a letter today to the EPSCO Council highlighting its concerns and urging social ministers to take a stronger stand to defend social rights.
For further information, contact Nellie Epinat (Communication & Press Officer), Fintan Farrell (Director) or Sian Jones (Policy Coordinator), tel. +32 2 675 20 55 – fax. +32 2 226 58 69 – E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org – Website: www.eapn.eu
- EAPN’s letter to Social Ministers before EPSCO Council (17 June 2011).
- Read more on the European Commission’s 2011 country-specific recommendations.
- Specific page on the Europe 2020 Strategy on the EC’s website.