Member states agree more must be done to reach the Europe 2020 targets
It is positive to see the European Council calling for “stepping up efforts to reach the Europe 2020 targets”. This supports the request of employment and social affairs ministers during their EPSCO meeting last week to “strengthen their efforts to reduce poverty”. What is still urgently needed however is a translation of this commitment into concrete action.
On March 20-21, the heads of state and government discussed the implementation of the Europe 2020 strategy at their Spring European Council meeting. This was based on a Commission communication in preparation for the mid-term review of the strategy in 2015. This Communication highlighted the failures of Europe 2020: poverty in the EU has increased by 10 million in 5 years; income inequalities have risen dramatically; and the unemployment rate has increased sharply.
“We are calling on the EU and member states to take the necessary action to rectify these failures and to reinstall the social dimension of the Europe 2020 strategy,” said Heather Roy, President of Social Platform, “The strategy is at a turning point and the social situation in the EU has to be a top priority for everyone.”
The EU and member states must steer the mid-term review towards the embedding of ambitious EU strategies for combating poverty, inequalities and unemployment in Europe 2020. This should be illustrated already by the 2014 National Reform Programmes that should include ambitious national action plans for reducing poverty and social exclusion as well as for increasing quality employment.