In a letter sent today to EU Prime Ministers ahead of the European Spring Council due to take place on 13-14 March, the European Anti Poverty Network (EAPN) raises questions about whether Member States will strengthen their cooperation to address growing inequalities and seriously tackle the unacceptable high levels of poverty in the EU. EAPN asks the forthcoming Spring Council to give clear answers to four key questions.
Successive Spring Council conclusions have called for the strengthening of the social dimension of the Lisbon Strategy and have raised hopes for EAPN and others concerned about Social Europe, that the ambition to achieve “greater social cohesion” would once again become a key focus of the Lisbon Strategy.
“However the preparation for the Spring Council 2008 seems not to have responded to the strong social messages from previous Council conclusions” said Fintan Farrell, Director of EAPN. He called on Prime Ministers to “follow through on the social commitments made in previous Spring Council conclusions and to demonstrate that the EU and the Member States are working together to promote access to high level social standards for all in the EU as well as for a socially responsible globalisation”.
In a letter sent today to EU Prime Ministers, EAPN thus asks that the forthcoming Spring Council gives clear answers to the following key questions:
How precisely do you propose to strengthen the social dimension of the Lisbon strategy?
Given the reality of growing levels of inequality and that 78 million people are living in, or at risk of poverty, what precise actions are proposed to meet the commitment “to make a decisive impact on the eradication of poverty”?
Given that 3 times more people in work (18.9 million) are in, or at risk of poverty, than those who are unemployed (6.9 million), what measures are proposed to address in work poverty?
Given the focus on energy at this Spring Council, what measures are proposed to ensure that rising energy prices do not threaten social cohesion and social inclusion?
To know further EAPN’s detailed assessment of the latest developments in these strategies please follow the link to:
For further information, please contact Audrey Gueudet (Information Officer) or Fintan Farrell (Director), tel. +32 2 226 58 50 – fax. +32 2 226 58 69 – E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org – Website: http://www.eapn.org/