In advance of the Spring Council 24-25 March, EAPN wrote to the Prime Ministers and Heads of State and Governments, to express its alarm at the current discussions and decisions taking place on Economic Governance (Reform of the Stability and Growth Pact and the Pact for the Euro), happening without adequate public and democratic scrutiny and without a proper assessment of their social impact.
“This separation of Economic and Social Governance is in direct contradiction with the vision expressed in the Europe 2020 Strategy. It undermines both the European Social Model and the potential of a sustainable recovery from the crisis as well as the confidence in our democratic procedures” said Ludo Horemans, President of EAPN.
“The Council must give a clear message that the poverty-reduction target is a priority for the EU and that the scoreboard mechanisms in the ‘Pact for the Euro’, and the ‘Europe 2020 Strategy’ will evaluate social as well as economic criteria”, said Mr Horemans.
“If the European Union abandons the Social-Inclusion Strategy based on commonly agreed objectives and delivered through National Strategies on Social Protection and Social Inclusion, it is hard to believe that the setting of the poverty target was a serious commitment” said Fintan Farrell, Director of EAPN. “One year on from setting the target, we need to see evidence of a commitment to inclusive growth, that will deliver a real social pillar in the Europe 2020 Strategy, that will seriously tackle the growing levels of working poor and will respect and defend the role of social protection and social inclusion as the guarantor of access to dignity for all who live in the European Union ” concluded M. Farrell.
The letter from EAPN calls on the Council to:
- Make explicit the commitment to fair, inclusive growth and the need to balance economic governance with the protection and development of social rights.
- Set an ambitious agenda for a social Europe, promoting investment in recovery and restoring confidence in the EU as a promoter of social rights.
- Increase transparency and democratic accountability.
- Back an explicit reinforced social pillar in the Europe 2020 Strategy with a reinforced Social OMC delivering a strategy for Social Protection and Social Inclusion.
See EAPN’s letter to Prime Ministers here: http://eapn.eu/images/stories/docs/EAPN-position-papers-and-reports/2011-eapn-letter-topm-spring-council-24-25-march-en.pdf .