Following a campaign supported by EAPN, 2010 has been proposed as the EU Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion. Yet this is far from being the first European Year dedicated to a specific cause: many NGOs have already been involved with previous ones, such as the 1997 Year against racism, 2003 Year of people with disabilities, or 2007 Year of Equal Opportunities for all.
Aiming primarily at raising awareness and launching public debates, these Years also led to major political developments, such as the Directive on the fight against racism at the workplace. Building on the experience of previous EU Year, it can therefore be expected that 2010 will lead to:
- Better dialogue with government and public authorities – especially in those countries where civil dialogue is still lacking or in development
- Strengthened political commitment – new measures or more visible political commitment to the fight against poverty
- Better awareness of the reality of poverty – questioning of stereotypes and stigmatization of people in poverty, but also questioning of the causes of poverty
- Funding for projects and activities – from the local to the national level
- Alliances and coalitions, with NGOs and others.
Main contacts European Commission
Anne Degrand-Guillaud, Coordinator of the 2010 Task Force, Inclusion Unit (EMPL E2), Anne.Degrand@ec.europa.eu, +(32) 2 296031
Elodie Fazi, member of the 2010 Task Force, Policy Officer - European Year 2010 for combating Poverty and Social Exclusion, email@example.com, +(32)2 2964406
In the Member States
The National Implementing Body (NIB) is central to the process and will coordinate activities at national level. Please contact the EAPN secretariat if you don’t have the contact details of your NIB..
Background resources and documents The Decision establishing the Year, adopted in October 2008, can be found in English by clicking here. To see it in all EU languages, please click on your language on the official journal website, and select the relevant decision (Decision No 1098/2008/EC).
The Strategic Framework Document adopted in November 2008 (guidelines for Member States) can be found in all EU languages by clicking on the links: BG, CS, DA, DE, EL, EN, ES, ET, FI, FR, HU, IT, LT, LV, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, SV Most of the national programmes for the European Year for Combating Poverty can be found on the Commission’s website at: http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=808&langId=en EU webpage on 2010 (to be soon replaced by www.2010againstpoverty.ec.europa.eu)
Special Euro barometer 279 - Poverty and exclusion - September 2007 (What the European citizens think about poverty and exclusion)
EAPN key positions and past action
The 2010 Year will be all the more special for EAPN as the idea emerged from our network, and as 2010 will mark the deadline the EU set itself to make a decisive impact on the eradication of poverty. For more detailed information on the background of the Year and possible actions, please refer to the TOOLKIT which has been developed for this purpose.
OMC ON SOCIAL PROTECTION AND SOCIAL INCLUSION
Contact person in the Secretariat: Sian Jones + 32 2 226 58 59 Sian.Jones@eapn.eu
EAPN group in charge: Social Inclusion Working Group
It is up to you!!! What you can do.
Register and participate in EAPN Social Inclusion Working Group Meeting and EAPN Denmark’s Seminar on 2010, to be held in Copenhagen on the 12/13 and 14th November.
Respond to the draft EAPN report on the social impact of the crisis by the 4th November 09.
Give EAPN your feedback on the minimum income report – particularly national reports by the 7th November
Respond to the Questionnaire evaluating the Lisbon Implementation Reports on the Crisis by the 31st October.
Contact your SPC and government representations to give your input on the social impact crisis, on the thematic year
.Check the calendar of Peer Reviews to see if you can ask to participate as part of your country delegation and provide input to EAPN representatives to the Peer Review in Paris in December.
For information – latest policy developments
Social Impact of the Economic Crisis.
The Greens, Socialists and Liberals are working together to highlight the social impact of the crisis and the need to defend social rights. A European Parliamentary declaration has been developed to defend social rights when fighting against the economic crisis (0056/2009), which needs half MEP’s to sign in order to force a response from the Commission.This includes pressing for a proper social impact assessment of the crisis, and social conditionality in the loan conditions of the IMF and the Commission to new member states like Latvia, Romania and Hungary..See: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//NONSGML+WDECL+P7-DCL-2009-0056+0+DOC+PDF+V0//EN&language=EN At the SPC meeting on the 1 and 2 July, a roadmap and skeleton was agreed for the 2nd monitoring report on the social impact. The questionnaire will completed by Member States between the 22nd September and 12th October. The draft joint SPC/COM Monitoring report will be presented in the SPC meeting on the 21 October and adopted on the 10th November. This will also form a chapter of the Joint Report 2010.
April 2009 - The SPC has published its assessment of the social impact of the crisis and policy responses as part of its contribution to the EU’s deliberations on the crisis. The assessment analyses the impact in 4 areas: 1) labour market, 2) Income support, 3) measures to mitigate financial crisis on households and 4) investments in social and health infrastructure.
End of May 2009: New PROGRESS Transnational Call on Social Experimentation (VP/2009/005) Closing date: 1st September See: http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=630&langId=en&callId=217&furtherCalls=yes.The call is aims to support the testing out, evaluation and mainstreaming of new policy approaches related primarily to active inclusion, child poverty and access/quality health/long-term care. NGOs can apply but under specific conditions and would need to be part of a partnership with public authorities (local, regional/national level) and bodies with specific evaluation expertise. Questions should be sent by email only to: firstname.lastname@example.org
15 – 16 May, 8th Meeting of People Experiencing Poverty.
The Report of the 8th European Meeting of people experiencing poverty was launched on Tuesday 13 October, clearly calling for a more social Europe. The EU institutions were asked to respond to a checklist of 10 key demands which were drawn from the report of the 8th Meeting.
See the full list of 10 key demands
See the full report of the 8th EU meeting: In English,In Czech: Czech In French: French
The DVD from the 8th EU Meeting will be available on EAPN’s website at the following link
The 8th Meeting was hosted by the Czech Presidency and the Commission, organized by EAPN, and was held in the Palais d’Egmont. It focussed on the theme: Where we live, what we need. Over 200 people participated in the event, the majority being people directly experiencing poverty from the 27 member states, together with their national coordinators. The participative workshops focussed on 3 key areas: financial exclusion, housing and access to other key services.
2009 Round Table on Poverty: 16th October 2009, Stockholm. The Round Table took place on the 16th and 17th of October, in Stockholm : “ Social inclusion in times of recession” - New challenges for the Active inclusion strategy.. Key note speeches were were given by Maria Larsson, Swedish Minister for Elderly Care and Public Health, the Swedish minister for Health and Social Affairs. Elizabeth Schroeder, MEP and Professor Joakin Palime, Uppsala University, with Nicole Tonneau making a powerful input, representing the 8th People experiencing Poverty meeting. The plenaries focussed on the OMC as a driving force for action, included Ludo Horemans, President of EAPN and the Antonia Carparelli, Head of the Social Inclusion Unit with parallel workshops focussed on different aspects to promote integrated delivery of active inclusion strategies including policy design, implementation and governance, and tools for social inclusion for vulnerable groups. 7 interesting site visits were organized highlighting different aspects of social inclusion, including social enterprises, coordinating health and social services, homeless services,
The final plenary, promoted a lively debate involving Fintan Farrell, Director of EAPN, as well as the Director of FEANTSA and Eurochild and Social Platform and AGE-Platform representatives, on the conclusions from the workshops, with a panel discussion involving Commissioner Spidla, Philippe Coutard, Belgian Secretary of State for Social Integration, Martin Hirsch, High Commissioner and Jean Lambert MEP.
The main conclusions of the conference underlined the need for real progress on poverty and social exclusion in 2010 and in 2020, emphasizing the key role of the Social OMC. Strong backing was given to the need for implementation with agreed targets at EU and national level, for specific progress on implementation of Active Inclusion, including on minimum income, and to reinforce governance and participation. The importance of direct involvement of people experiencing poverty was underlined, and for them to be “not seen as the problem but part of the solution”. The National Action Plans were seen as key for engaging local and regional stakeholders, linked to national Parliaments. However, the weakness of the RT persists in having no clear link with the meetings of people experiencing poverty, nor mechanisms for pressing its conclusions/ demands in the EU policy making process. Social OMC – Thematic Focus: Homelessness and Housing Exclusion
This year the thematic focus for this “light year” (when there is no National Strategic Report) is Homelessness and Housing Exclusion.
June/July 2009: the SPC members returned their responses to the Questionnaire by the 15th June. A first discussion took place in the meeting on the 2nd July. Although some individual NGOs were consulted, there was no formal stakeholder discussion at national level, despite EAPN warnings.
The responses will also be analysed by the Networks of Independent Experts and a report published, which will provide the basis for a conference at the end of the year. The questionnaire covers the overall policy framework, access to housing for homeless people and quality of housing, use of integrated active inclusion approach, governance, evidence/monitoring and evaluation.
Other activities financed through PROGRESS on Homelessness and Housing Exclusion will include:
A study on housing exclusion carried out by University of York, started on the 15th of January 2009 will take 15 months to complete.
A Peer Review on measurement of homelessness and housing exclusion in Austria.
Several Mutual learning projects and the Network of Local Autorities Observatories
Development of indicators on housing costs and housing deprivation
Social Situation Report with a thematic focus on housing.
Minimum Income Report
The Core Team of the EU Network of Independent Experts on Social Inclusion has published its report on Minimum Income schemes in the European Union. The conclusions of the report are that most countries still don’t have adequate systems in place to allow for a life in dignity, but underlines the crucial role of these schemes to reduce the impact of poverty. The Report presents 16 suggestions for action at national and EU level in order to improve Minimum Income schemes and to more effectively implement the principles outlined in the Active Inclusion Recommendation. Key proposals are made in the area of guaranteeing adequacy – including developing common criteria and supporting the development of an EU framework Directive, as well as on improving coverage and take up, and reducing the negative impacts of conditionality in integrated active inclusion strategies. Find the full report here. The independent expert national reports have also been translated and published on the same website.
The report will assess access, adequacy, coverage, sustainability and the link to integrated Active Inclusion approaches. It will aim to propose recommendations for better implementation of adequacy amongst other themes.On May 18th, the National Independent experts, coordinated by Eric Marlier and Hugh Frazer submitted their national reports on minimum income.
Reinforcing the OMC
Following the Communication published in July 2008 on Reinforcing the OMC (July 3rd 2008), the SPC’s 2009 Work Programme highlights 4 areas for progress.
Better dissemination, implementation and follow up.
Mainstreaming social objectives.
Regular meeting with SPC and social partners and with EU NGO’s.
The Social Inclusion Unit is preparing a study on Reinforcing the OMC. It should be starting in May for 15 months, and will be delivered through a Framework Contract. It will have two parts:
Assessing the effectiveness of the OMC, developing a methodology or assessment framework similar to the log frame used in the Lisbon National Reform Programmes. It is proposed to have a seminar with stakeholders by the end of the year to debate this – including NGO’s and academics.
Application of the Framework to assess the OMC,
Evaluate the effectiveness of the tools – ie Strategic Reports, Indicators etc.
The impact on member states in terms of content and governance.
Other steps being taken:
The Employment and Social Affairs Committee of the European Parliament is finalising an assessment of the Social Open Method of Coordination by the end of October. EAPN and Social Plaftorm have contributed actively to this assessment.
Study on Stakeholders´ Involvement in the Implementation of the OMC
in Social Protection and Social Inclusion
The stakeholder conference has now been delayed until February 2010.
The Draft Interim report is now available, see here, including 27 country reports.
Some EAPN networks have now been consulted.
The latest information can be found onhere.
The study is contracted out to a consortium which includes: INBAS GmbH and Engender asbl It aims to analyse the key challenges in relation to the governance dimension in the Revised Common Objectives for the Fight Against Poverty and Social Exclusion, in particular on the involvement of stakeholders. It will aim to support the implementation of better policies and the improvement of governance in the fields of social inclusion and social protection policy, as part of the efforts to strengthen the OMC. A key outcome will be to provide recommendations, benchmarks and good practices, as well as examples of practical tools to improve the quality and permanence of stakeholder involvement in the implementation of the OMC. It will be completed in June 2010. Specific outputs will include:
A final report presenting the main conclusions and recommendations
Leaflets for wider dissemination
Social Impact Assessment
June: New Study produced: Assessing the social impacts of European policies. The study uses a database to give an overview of social impact assessment techniques and examined different assessment methods in 4 different areas: trade, internal market, transport and energy. It then sets out a roadmap for selecting the most appropriate method. http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?langId=en&catId=89&newsId=485&furtherNews=yes
DG Employment has produced a draft Guidance document in April aiming at strengthening the quality of the assessment of potential social impacts of Commission initiatives through a common framework and reference document for all Commission services. A workshop was held with the Social Platform on the 19th May to give feedback.
European Commission Revised Impact Assessment Guidelines
Social Platform contribution to the consultation on Impact Assessment
EAPN contribution to Impact Assessment consultation and to the Peer Review.
Previous Developments The Joint Report on social protection and social inclusion 2009 was adopted on the 19th February 2009 by SPC together with the Supporting Document and the country annexes. The Spring Council endorsed the key messages from the Joint Report and emphasized the role of automatic stabilisers in the Economic Crisis (see Lisbon Section).
Peer Reviews: The Social OMC Peer Review Programme for 2009 has now been finalised. Full details can be found on the Peer Review website.
The following Peer Reviews have been completed and the reports are on the website.
Combining choice, quality and equity in social services
Estonia - Hungary - Italy - Lithuania - Portugal - Romania - Spain - The Netherlands - United Kingdom
5. - 6.5.2009
Alzheimer's and other related diseases: coping with behavioural disorders in the patient's home
Czech Republic - Finland - Germany - Luxembourg - Poland - Slovenia - The Netherlands - United Kingdom
27. - 28.5.2009
Integrated programme for the social inclusion of Roma
Finland - France - Germany - Hungary - Spain
15. - 16.6.2009
Ensuring a functioning healthcare system in regions with declining and ageing populations
Finland - France - Greece - Ireland - Portugal - Romania - Slovenia - United Kingdom
6. - 7.7.2009
The City Strategy for tackling unemployment and child poverty
New EU poverty Indicator: The indicators sub-group of the SPC has just added a new indicator to the existing range of EU poverty indicators. This one aims to measure poverty of living conditions, and the impact of low income on access to basic resources eg insufficient money to pay the rent, eat meat regularly, go on holiday etc. The data is collected in the EU-SILC. The SPC in February discussed the use of material deprivation indicators which are now collected through the EU SILC The Paper: What can be learned from deprivation indicators in Europe by Anne-Catherine Guio – IWEPS, Belgium aims to supplement the relative picture of poverty with an alternative view based on material deprivation – enforced lack of a “basket of goods”.
SPC Work Programme agreed on 15 January 2009
The main areas relate to: monitoring the impact of the crisis and follow up on active inclusion, child poverty as well as new concerns. These include:
Preparation of the 2009 Spring Council the and Joint Report
Reflection on EU social policy linked to the Lisbon Agenda post 2010. The Joint SPC and Indicators Task Force will work with the EMCO and EPC to review Lisbon Strategy beyond 2010 in first semester followed by full SPC debate. (Starting on March 18 and finalising opinion in July)
Key Thematic Areas
Active Inclusion: with the focus on the implementation of the Commission Recommendation, through the SPC working Group ( see next section)
Homelessness and Housing Exclusion – will be the thematic focus in 2009
Mainstreaming social aspects of migration and ethnic minorities – including issue of Roma.
Preparations on 2010 and ensuring visibility.
Work on Indicators through Indicators Sub-group (ISG)
Main focus will be on:
Link between Lisbon, OMC and Social Agenda – developing indicators on flexicurity and methodological recommendations to help in identifying and defining national targets.
Developing indicators to monitor Active Inclusion, housing exclusion and material deprivation, child well-being, improving theoretical replacement rates.
How to monitor changes in prices on food/energy for low-income households and for monitoring the economic crisis.
Independent Expert Reports
The draft proposals are for 3 Reports:
Minimum Income – this will be developed in the first 6 months.
Homelessness and Housing Exclusion – based on an SPC questionnaire.
Impact of the Crisis at the end of the year.
2008 15/16th October 2008 7th Round Table on Poverty and Social Inclusion – Marseilles, French Presidency.
The focus of the Round Table was on Active Inclusion and coincided for the first time with an Informal Council meeting. The Conclusions highlighted:
Endorsement of the Active Inclusion Recommendation
3 Innovations – involvement of People experiencing poverty, the involvement of the media and the political momentum with the Informal Ministers meeting.
In the Ministerial Meeting: no agreement was reached on Targets, although agreed importance of national targets and the need to define new tools to implement and monitor the OMC in this respect. A watchdog group was set up to analyse changes in the situation of poverty and “if necessary, call on the European Institutions to take a concerted response” See: French Presidency Site
6th October 2008. EC Staff Working Document: “Monitoring progress towards the objectives of the European Strategy for Social Protection and Social Inclusion, which reviews the full set of indicators developed and agreed by Member States in the context of the Social OMC. This document gives useful data on current trends on poverty, exclusion and inequality and assesses the impact of the growth and jobs strategy.
September 2008: National Strategic Reports submitted to Commission on social protection and social inclusion by Member States. Most reports were submitted on time. (See EAPN analysis below).
EAPN activities In 2009:
Social Inclusion Working Group
The next meeting will be held on the 12/13 and 14th November in Copenhagen. See the latest agenda in the member’s room.
The meeting will include a half day event on 2010 organized by EAPN Denmark, including inputs on good practice on poverty policy, with the participation of representatives of the Danish Government and the Commission, as well as EAPN. The 13th will involve a capacity building seminar focussing on poverty tools and instruments – particularly focussing on Poverty Reports/Laws and Targets. The 14th is a Working Group meeting which will include follow up on the Crisis Report, , next steps on minimum income, preparing the legacy for 2010, action on post 2010, as well as further work on the key working group outputs – wealth and adequate income explainer, and publication on the OMC and participation. June/July
The Social Inclusion Working Group actively participated in the EAPN Joint Seminar on Post 2010, and the subsequent working group meeting on the 29th and 30th May 2009.
The main focus of the WG was the follow up to the seminar related to EAPN’s position on post 2010, input to the thematic year: homelessness and housing exclusion, debating the draft adequacy explainer on minimum income, exchange on promoting participation in EAPN and EAPN good practice publication and checklist..
Main outcomes: Adequate Minimum Income Explainer, is now in its final draft and will be published in September – the reference group providing input includes (FR, RO, AU)
A reference group has been set up to help develop the Participation and Governance booklet on the OMC. ( PT, IE, ES, HU)
The Group agreed to complete a new questionnaire on the crisis by the 4th September, to feed into a report on the social impact to be ready for the Round Table on the 17th October. This will be linked to another short questionnaire evaluating the effectiveness of the Lisbon Strategy response – evaluating the National Reform Programmes 2009 Implementation Reports.
The next meeting will be on the 12/13/14 November in Copenhagen
Lobbying and Advocacy on the Social OMC
In September/October: Round Table
EAPN Sweden was actively involved as part of the organizing team for the Presidency, with particular responsibility for a workshop on supporting social inclusion and participation beyond the labour market and a site visit to Fryshuset - foundation for young people. 25 EAPN members participated from national networks , including 4 people experiencing poverty. Apart from active participation in all the conference sessions, EAPN provided speakers in the opening session, (Ludo Horemans/ President) in the plenary on the OMC, and two workshops on Policy coordination in practice (Slavka Macakova/EAPN Slovakia) and Supporting social inclusion and participation beyond the labour market (Izabella Marton, EAPN Hungary), as well as Fintan Farrell (Director) being rapporteur of the active inclusion workshop and in the final debate. EAPN prepared key messages for the Round Table which focussed on EAPN’s 4 key concerns – which were presented by Ludo Hormans, EAPN President in the opening session.:
Growth and Jobs has not delivered on pledge to make a decisive impact on poverty – demand for a new EU2020 social and sustainable strategy which puts people and planet first
The Social Impact of the crisis has not been adequately addressed – demand for a social summit to defend public services and active inclusion.
The Social OMC must be supported and ensure delivery on the eradication of poverty – with focus on implementation, effectiveness and participation highlighting targets, link to the national level, effective involvement of stakeholders and link to Structural Funds
EU Year on poverty must be more than a series of events – the demand for a strong political statement for a decisive legacy for the EU year 2010.
The initial assessment of the Round Table, was support for strong partnership approach which engaged EAPN and other stakeholders in developing the programme, as well as for the quality of some of the exchanges and inputs. There was also satisfaction with the strong support given to key EAPN messages on the need for a political legacy, the focus on targets and minimum income, and the key role of people experiencing poverty. However, the lack of political backing for the RT, means that follow up on the conclusions/outcomes are not sufficiently visible at EU level. Reinforcing the Social OMC
EAPN represented the Social Platform, together with Eurochild in a meeting with the Social Protection Committee in Stockholm on the 14th September, pressing demands for the reinforcement of the Social OMC and support to a social and sustainable strategy for the EU 2020 agenda.
EAPN represented the Social Platform, presenting proposals on reinforcing the Social OMC, in a meeting with the Employment Ctee of the European Parliament. EAPN made specific inputs to the consultants report.
Meetings with the Commission
EAPN’s President, Director and Policy Coordinator met with the new Director General of DG Employment: Robert Verrue on the 20th October, following a general meeting with the Social Platform. The main focus of the discussion was demands over reinforcing of the social OMC, the need to put poverty at the heart of the EU2020 agenda, and an adequate response to the social impact of the crisis and legacy for 2010.
EAPN met with members of the Commission and the Independent Experts in the preparatory phase of the independent experts report on minimum income. EAPN made significant inputs on the recommendations, many of which appear to have been taken up.
EAPN actively worked with members of the SIWG to organize the EAPN Seminar: Beyond 2010 on the 29th May 2009 and developing the draft EAPN position paper on post 2010: An EU we can trust. The amended draft was then further discussed in the EAPN General Assembly in Vienna on the 11/12 and 13 June and endorsed by the GA final declaration.
A lobbying letter was sent to President Barroso and to the new group leaders in the European Parliament, prior to Barroso’s first intervention in the new Parliament on the 15 July.
July 2009: EAPN has been finalising the adequacy explainer on minimum income, and has liaised and met with the authors of the synthesis report on minimum income. EAPN has been pressing for a strong focus on adequacy, coverage and take up and for Recommendations which insist on further EU instruments including a Framework Directive.
EAPN has liaised with the Commission (Antoine St-Denis) and the consultants contracted to deliver the Study on Stakeholder involvement in the Social OMC.(ENGENDER), highlighting EAPN experience and documents. EAPN will be invited to participate in the Autumn Seminar.
EAPN has liaised with the Commission (Antoine St-Denis), on the new call on social experimentation and provided information/support to EAPN members who are interested in making an application
EAPN has continued to liaise with the Swedish Presidency and the Commission, and EAPN Sweden on the programme and process of the Swedish Round Table. EAPN hopes to get the invitations to the networks confirmed shortly, and the participation of people in poverty. The President of EAPN will speak in the main plenary and Fintan Farrell, Director will be the rapporteur for the workshop on Active Inclusion.
EAPN has worked with other NGO’s to finalise a joint position on Reinforcing the Social OMCat the beginning of June; see www.socialplatform.org. The Social Platform will present this contribution to the SPC meeting on the 14th September in Stockholm
December 2008: Lobbied for improvements on the Draft Joint Report.
November 2008: Developed proposals on a social response to the Economic Crisis based on discussions with all key working groups, as an input to the Commission’s Economic Recovery Package.
October 2008: Developed Principles and Key Messages on Active Inclusion for the Round Table, and actively lobbied for the full Commission Recommendation with EPSCO endorsement and follow up.
October 2008: Engaged in the National Action Plans and delivered an EAPN Assessment Report on the 2008-10 reports: Building Security, Giving Hope
April 2008:Made proposals on Strengthening the OMC.
February 2008, held a capacity building seminar and developed together a new Tool Kit, to support members engagement in the 2008-10 National Action Plans on Inclusion
February 2008 EAPN inputted to the proposals on the Guidelines for the National Strategic Reports
Backing a stronger OMC – with improved governance, hard EU and national targets and more effective mutual learning and tools and stronger political commitment to delivery on overarching strategy
Implementing Active Inclusion approaches in member states.
Effective follow to Child Poverty
Ensuring a social response to the Economic Crisis – through the OMC.