The package sets out a framework for policy reforms ‘to render social protection more adequate and sustainable, to invest in people’s skills and capabilities, and to support people throughout the critical moments experienced in their life”. The package includes a Commission Communication and 8 Working Papers.
Prior to its launch EAPN urged the Commission to make sure that the Social Investment Package provides a coherent strategy for fighting poverty, backed by EU funding, capable of achieving the poverty target, with an emphasis on concrete measures that defend and show the benefits of social spending and infrastructures. How far has this been realized? EAPN will carry out a full assessment with its members and produce a detailed opinion. The initial response however is one of cautious welcome to elements of the approach, but concern about the overall coherence of the package of recommendations and the lack of new, visible concrete initiatives which can drive progress.
“Initially, we welcome the reference to the positive role of social protection systems and the proposal on ‘action to ensure adequacy as well as sustainability of social systems and their contribution to stabilising the economy. We also welcome specific proposals in the thematic areas – child poverty, homelessness, active inclusion and health’’,said Sergio Aires, President of EAPN. “It is necessary that key priorities are highlighted to be mainstreamed through Europe 2020 and through Structural Funds” he added.
For EAPN the support to developing a common methodology for reference budgets to set minimum income and improvement of taxation systems are key initiatives. HoweverEAPN is concerned as social investment seems mainly to be aimed at‘activating people’ for the economy and labour market, rather than investment in people and their right to a dignified life and ensuring a more equal, prosperous and healthy EU.
“The commitments fail to address the urgency of the current social crisis,particularly in the Troika countries” said Fintan Farrell, Director of EAPN. “The proposal in the SIP may be as far as the Commission can go at this stage but it demonstrates that we are far from a European Union of solidarity” said Fintan Farrell, Director of EAPN.
For more information please see the following:
- See here the Social Investment Package
- EAPN’s letter to Commission Andor and EAPN’s Input on the Social Investment Package
- On Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/pages/EAPN-European-Anti-Poverty-Network/51278044814?ref=hl
- On Twitter: @EAPNEurope
For further information, contact Fintan Farrell (Director) firstname.lastname@example.org or Sian Jones (Policy Coordinator) Sian.Jones@eapn.eu. Tel. +32 2 226 58 50 – fax. +32 2 226 58 69 – general e-mail: email@example.com – website: www.eapn.eu.