European Anti-Poverty Network: EAPN input to the public consultation for an action plan to implement the European Pillar of Social Rights

The European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN) presents its proposals for an Action Plan to implement the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR), submitted as a part of EAPN’s response to the European Commission’s public consultation. It builds on several *EAPN policy position papers on the EPSR developed together since its launch with its national and European organisation members.

In this position paper, EAPN underlines the need to ensure that the Action Plan for the EPSR builds on the emergency measures being put in place by Member States to deal with COVID-19 to:

  • Reinforce adequate income (quality jobs with fair living wages and adequate minimum income and social protection income support)
  • Access to key public and essential services (public health and care services, education, training and lifelong learning and social, affordable housing)

EAPN calls for a high-profile EPSR Action Plan proposing soft and hard law measures, with a clear timetable at EU and national level, mapping progress towards obligatory social rights that guarantee basic living standards for all EU residents. The Action Plan should include an EU strategy to fight poverty as the overarching goal and framework for the Action Plan with an ambitious poverty target.

These are the seven overarching EU pre-requisites EAPN believes are necessary for a successful Action Plan:

  1. Support short-term responses to COVID-19 and ensure they lead to long-term reductions in poverty and inequality
  2. Promote a coherent Europe 2030 Strategy – a Social and Green Deal!
  3. Adopt an EU integrated strategy to fight poverty as the framework for social rights
  4. Adopt an ambitious EU 2030 poverty target to support upward convergence!
  5. Propose EU Legislation to enforce Social Rights for all!
  6. Improve monitoring and implementation of rights through EU soft instruments e.g. European Semester and EU funds
  7. Put people at the heart – empowering people to contribute to solutions, holding governments to account

EAPN highlights specific proposals for EU soft and hard law measures to implement five key EPSR principals as priorities:

  1. Principle 14: Minimum Income. SDG 1.
  2. Principle 12: Social Protection. SDG 1 and 10
  3. Principle 6: Fair Wages, connected to Principles 3, 4, 5 and 8 – SDG 8.
  4. Principle 20: Access to Essential Services, connected to Principles 19, 16, 18, 11 – SDG 1,3,6,7,10,11.
  5. Principle 1: Education, Training and Life-long learning- SDG 4.

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