EAPN published its response to the Fifth Report on Economic, Social and Territorial Cohesion of the European Commission on 28 January, calling for social inclusion and the fight against Poverty to be a binding priority.
The 5th Report of the European Commission on Economic, Social and Territorial Cohesion details progress on these areas and how the EU, national and regional governments have contributed to it. Moreover, it gives political orientations regarding Cohesion Policy after 2013.
In its response, EAPN calls for:
An ambitious budget for Cohesion Policy to match the social targets of the EU2020 and the necessity to mobilize Structural Funds to lift the most vulnerable groups of people out of poverty and social exclusion especially in time of crisis and austerity measures,
A stronger link between Structural Funds and the new social OMC with National integrated strategies and plans on social protection and social inclusion discussed within the European Platform against Poverty as basis for Structural Funds proposals focussed on the objective of reducing poverty and social exclusion,
Ensuring a comprehensive and integrated delivery of the social objectives of the EU2020 Strategy by making social inclusion and the fight against Poverty a binding priority in all Operational Programmes primarly through active inclusion approaches (OPs),
A social conditionality and incentive system aiming at ensuring progress towards the agreed targets,
A more social-friendly evaluation system (social outcome indicators and social inclusion proofing system),
The implementation of the partnership principle as a binding requirement in the Structural Funds General Regulation and the availability of global grants and technical assistance resources for NGOs in all OPs with a particular support for NGO-driven technical assistance services at EU and regional level. A minimum proportion of Structural Funds delivered by NGOs should also be established,
The Future of ESF should be maintained within Cohesion Policy with an ambitious and distinct budget to achieve the social targets and not purely the financial Instrument of the European Employment Strategy.
All these points were raised by EAPN (Fintan Farrell) during the Cohesion Forum organised by the European Commission on 31 January – 01 February.
Access here the full version of EAPN’s Response to the 5th Cohesion Report in English and in Italian.
The European Commission has launched a public consultation on this Report (mid-November 2010 – end of January 2011).