At the opening today in Marseilles of the Round table on poverty and social exclusion combined with the first EU Ministerial meeting on Poverty, where the key item for discussion is the active Inclusion strategy for the people furthest from the labour market, EAPN warns: If the EU leaders are serious about this Active Inclusion agenda they must commit to invest in policies to tackle poverty and social exclusion.
Speaking at the Round Table, Ludo Horemans, President of EAPN welcomed the recent adoption by the Commission of Community legislation (in the form of a Recommendation) on Active Inclusion which addresses the three areas of adequacy of incomes, access to services and access to employment.
He said: “EAPN sees this legislation as a relevant step towards building cooperation between EU Member States to ensure high level social standards in the EU”.
The main message delivered by EAPN to the Round Table is that achieving a recommendation on active inclusion will deliver no change for the 78 million people living in poverty in the EU, unless it is effectively implemented, as part of a wider social inclusion strategy and is reinforced by mainstreaming the fight against poverty across all EU policies and in particular in the follow up of the Lisbon strategy.
“If the EU leaders are serious about this Active Inclusion agenda it will require investment in social protection systems, investment in public services and concerted effort to tackle the growing phenomenon of working poor”, declared Fintan Farrell, Director of EAPN.
“It will be unbelievable and short sighted if the money found to tackle the current financial crisis will be at the expense of the necessary investment to fight poverty and social exclusion. Not only banks need financial backing: policies to tackle poverty and social exclusion do too”, he concluded.
The EAPN key messages on active inclusion for the Round table on Poverty and Social Exclusion (Marseilles, 15-16 October 2008)
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