The European Semester continues to frame the recovery in terms of economic stability, productivity, competitiveness and free movement of goods and services in the single market, underpinned by weak social components and indicators. Moreover, the Recovery plans have centred GDP and economic growth as the main measures of progress and a healthy economy. This approach undermines a rights-based approach to social redistribution of wealth, equity and inclusion, that works for the people and the planet.
Inadequate social protection systems
EAPN was concerned by the already inadequate social protection systems in place even before 2020, worsened by the austerity measures following the 2008 crisis. Today, the inadequate and insufficient efforts made to fill the gaps in social protections lead us to raise the alarm on this model where the most vulnerable, who will not be integrated into the labour market, are not taken into account in the recovery plans and the plans for the future of Europe.
The recovery plans, as much as measures implemented by governments since the COVID-19 crisis, are designed to protect businesses as a priority in the hope that the gains will trickle down to the rest of society. This model and set of economic beliefs continue to fail people in poverty.
EAPN believes the European Semester should encourage Member States to better link social fairness, inclusion and equity, for the benefit of the most vulnerable.