Â«Further action is clearly needed on the Europe 2020 targets and member states must take their commitments seriouslyÂ» Herman van Rompuy, at Social Platforms General Assembly
Press Release â€“ April 26, Brussels
Today Herman van Rompuy, President of the European Council addressed our General Assembly on â€˜implementing EU social objectives to ensure an inclusive and sustainable recoveryâ€™. In our address to Mr van Rompuy we highlighted the need to: include a social pillar in the economic governance; support the creation of quality jobs; invest in equality and ensure that the internal market supports and enables the development of social services and social enterprises; and develop EU policies with the support of people living in the EU. See Social Platform messages to Herman Van Rompuy.
Conny Reuter, President of Social Platform, stated that â€˜our members have been concerned that the debate at the EU level is being led by just the financial dimension and the social dimension is being lost. Besides the treaty on fiscal consolidation there is a necessity for a new social pact to ensure cohesion throughout the EU on social issues. We must defend the EU social model to ensure citizens are properly investedâ€™â€™.
Heather Roy, Vice-President of Social Platform commenting on the internal market stated â€˜social services of general interest are essential for ensuring social inclusion and social cohesion in the EU â€“ but we are appalled that in the context of so called austerity policies that essential services are being targeted. It was not over investment in social services that caused the crisis but it is these systems that are being targetedâ€™.
In response Mr van Rompuy stated that â€˜after tackling the financial crisis and sovereign debt crisis now we have breathing space to tackle these issues. How we protect the most vulnerable in society is a huge challenge for us all. Member states must take their commitments to the EU 2020 strategy targets seriously and it is the job of the European Council to remind member states of their commitments;â€™ . In conclusion he stated that â€˜you (as civil society) must make your voice heard about the future of Europeâ€™.