Calls on European ministers to save the social dimension of the EU investment strategy

The European Union’s investment strategy is missing a strong social dimension; this is the message Social Platform has transmitted to European ministers ahead of important meetings of the Council of the EU next week.

Having previously voiced concerns that the European Social Model will not survive unless a serious commitment is made to invest in ambitious and integrated social policies, our letters seek to warn member states that no long-term and sustainable investment can be achieved if investment in the social field is focused only on job creation and the building of social infrastructure.

A first step announced by the European Commission’s Investment Plan, released in November 2014, is the creation of the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI). This fund will act as the main vessel for mobilising the €315 billion in private and public investment envisaged by the Commission. Despite the declaration that the fund should “target projects delivering high societal and economic value” in consistency with the Europe 2020 Strategy – the headline targets of which include reducing poverty and social exclusion, increasing employment and improving educational attainment, including higher-education – the current EFSI proposal on the table misses the necessary elements to ensure that it will be utilised to complement the social objectives of the strategy and enhance social progress.

In two separate letters to European ministers on both the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO) – meeting on 9 March – and the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) – meeting on 10 March – we have called on them to:

  1. Push for investment in ambitious integrated social priorities
  2. Insist on the exclusion of social investments from the EU’s deficit targets, established under the Stability and Growth Pact
  3. Request the inclusion of social and equality preconditions in the overall orientation, investment guidelines, strategic policies and asset allocation of EFSI
  4. Call for the appointment of a specialist in social policies to the EFSI Investment Committee

Read our letter and four recommendations in full here.