European Anti-Poverty Network: Social Rights or Social Plight? EAPN assessment of the 2017 National Reform Programmes

The European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN) presents its assessment of the 2017 National Reform Programmes (NRPs) in terms of poverty: ‘Social Rights or Social Plight?’ EAPN members assessed how far Member States are pursuing policies which contribute to key social targets of the Europe 2020 strategy (on poverty, employment and education). Are governments investing in social rights and standards to ensure inclusive and sustainable development and growth? Are they demonstrating an increased commitment to quality participation of civil society organisations and people experiencing poverty?

EAPN’s concern is to highlight how far the approach at EU and national level is effectively tackling poverty, promoting social rights and investment in quality jobs, services and social protection. Achieving a real re-balancing of the approach is a central challenge for the EU and key to achieving support for the future of a Social Europe with social rights at its heart.

This report synthesises 20 national networks’ answers to a questionnaire and scores in a scoreboard (BE, CY, CZ, DK, EE, FI, FR, DE, IE, IT, LV, LT, LU, NL, PL, PT, RO, ES, SE, UK), as well as inputs from other members in workshops held in June.

The detailed assessment produces six key messages:

  1. Make macroeconomic policies coherent with social rights
  2. Prioritise social rights and an integrated strategy to effectively reduce poverty
  3. Make the employment target deliver on poverty reduction and social inclusion
  4. Foster equal access to education and life-long learning
  5. Ensure the European Social Fund 20% has an impact on poverty
  6. Make the NRPs a true and participatory driver of positive social change

Read the assessment here.

Full article.