Social Justice: our push for progress in 2023

78% of Europeans believe that overall public spending on key social policies should increase.

As Social Platform, we will always champion a ‘social Europe’, where people, their rights and needs are protected by strong social policies. With the countdown now on until the EU elections next year, we call on EU leaders to make social justice and a social Europe a priority.

And we are not alone: a recent Eurobarometer found that 78% of Europeans believe that overall public spending on social policies should increase. At a time of huge financial burden and uncertainty for people across Europe, this stat undoubtedly reflects the reality: the EU and member states must do better.

Looking ahead to the EU elections, there are many opportunities for EU leaders to make this happen. Here are a few top issues to keep an eye on in 2023:

  1. Ensuring a socially just transition  

The idea of the ‘just transition’ is to ensure that no one is left behind. However, balancing the needs of both people and planet is not straightforward.

While the Social Climate Fund was agreed at the end of 2022, it will not be enough on its own to ensure those most at risk of poverty are supported. Meaningful participation from civil society, in particular from those representing vulnerable groups, is crucial.

Unfortunately we see very few opportunities this year for civil society to help shape the just transition, but together with our members and partners we will continue monitoring closely and keep advocating for social rights.

   2. Turning away from austerity  

From the COVID-19 pandemic, to the cost of living crisis and the fallout of the war in Ukraine, there are many lessons to be learned on how the EU addresses future challenges. 

The European Commission aims to take some of these lessons on board with a reform of the EU economic governance framework. As work continues this year to get Member States on board, 2023 will also be an important year for civil society to have a say in the upcoming reform.  

Together with partners, Social Platform will continue to push for strong reform that will allow Europe to turn its back on austerity for good and support the necessary investments for a socially just transition for people and planet. 

    3. Tackling poverty with Minimum Income 

Living at risk of poverty or social exclusion in the EU is an everyday reality for over 95 million people.

This situation is not just a consequence of the rising cost of living, or merely a short-term problem where we can wait, and hope things improve. A decent standard of living will always be out of reach for millions of people in Europe, unless action is taken.

As EU political groups, parties and candidates start to look ahead to the 2024 elections, form their manifestos, and make commitments, tackling poverty must be a top priority for all. Together with members, Social Platform is advocating for a minimum income directive that ensures everyone gets over the poverty line and live a decent life.  Follow our campaign with #OvertheLine!