New Year New Me?

Welcome to our first Social Compass of 2021.

I think we are all relieved to have slammed the door on 2020. The anticipation of the final moments on 31 December were felt in every household across the world as we put our hopes on the turn of a fresh year.

I am not going to spend any time in my first editorial of 2021 focussing on the challenges of last year, as we have all felt them – some much more than others. And of course, each of our organisations are busy preparing for the many difficulties that lie ahead.

However, if 2020 has taught us anything – it is that our work as civil society organisations are now more important than ever. We can and will play an invaluable role in the recovery and re-shaping of a Europe that works for all.

That is why I enter 2021 with optimism. At Social Platform, we are looking forward to an action packed work programme over the coming months and to collaborating with our members to achieve our collective vision.

We welcome that the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of European Union has put social high on their agenda and we have seized the opportunity to begin interacting with the Presidency to make the voices of our network heard.

As we move towards the Presidency’s Social Summit at the beginning of May, our Flagship Conference will act as a precursor to these high-level discussions and give our members and wider-civil society the platform to showcase our experience and solutions for the recovery. We also look forward to shaping the Presidency’s agenda through our own recommendations on how to achieve a socioeconomic governance system that can support those who have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 crisis and contribute towards building a real social Europe.

With social high on the agenda and the European Commission’s Action Plan on the European Pillar of Social Rights falling within the timeframe of the Presidency, we will also move to advocate for an ambitious and comprehensive push to realise all of the principles of the Social Pillar.

2021 may not have delivered the “new year new me” scenario that we all hoped for towards the end of last year. However, despite the challenges, we have been offered a chance to make a positive difference towards the lives of millions of people in Europe who experienced further marginalisation, poverty and inequality in 2020.

Work with us and let’s get the job done.