Europe needs a sustainable and inclusive long term plan
Brussels June 28 â Today, at the European Summit, Heads of State will gather to discuss the new economic governance of the EU, the banking and fiscal union and implement an economic recovery plan. Any of the new decision should ensure that it improve the life of the population, not increase precariousness and social exclusion. With the EU barely evading another economic recession, unemployment at a historic rate (10.3%) and two more countries in need of a bailout - it is clear that now is the time for the EU to invest in a new Pact. A Social Pact that will provide a sustainable and inclusive long term plan.
Conny Reuter President of Social Platform stated that âTodays Summit is still focusing on emergency measures, austerity and cuts in budget expenditures as a means to recover from the crisis. The decisions taken today must take into account the EU 2020 targets and assess their social impact on people. We need to invest in a new Social Pact to provide the missing link between poverty reduction and social inclusion, sustainability and growthââ.
The first priority of all the country specific recommendations (being adopted today) is on correcting excessive budget deficits and requires ârigorous implementation of budget strategyâ. Only a limited number of countries have received a CSR on alleviating poverty. The word quality is never linked to employment in the CSRs in-fact most of them aim at lowering employment protection which is detrimental to inclusive growth.
Therefore Social Platform called on the Heads of State to invest in a Social Pact in the economic governance that will support an inclusive growth with quality jobs, adequate social protection systems and accessible public services and ensure reduced poverty and social exclusion. The Social Pact should comprise of:
Â· Implement the commitment to lift at least 20 million people out of poverty and social exclusion
Â· Invest in quality and sustainable employment to counter the increase of precariousness,
Â· Invest in quality education and training to achieve equal opportunities, social inclusion and full participation
Â· Invest in quality social and health services as a potential source of quality employment and as an answer to the ageing population; and
Â· Ensure affordability of housing to respond to the current housing market crisis
It is also crucial to involve citizens and civil society organisations at local, regional, national and European level in the decision making process of the economic governance and the implementation of the Europe 2020 Strategy in order to give a voice to those who are directly impacted by budget and fiscal consolidation.