2011/2052(INI)

European Platform against poverty and social exclusion

Procedure completed

2011/2052(INI) European Platform against poverty and social exclusion
RoleCommitteeRapporteurShadows
Opinion BUDG COZZOLINO Andrea (S&D)
Opinion CULT COSTA Silvia (S&D)
Opinion ECON
Lead EMPL DAERDEN Frédéric (S&D)
Opinion ENVI
Opinion FEMM ZÁBORSKÁ Anna (EPP)
Opinion ITRE
Opinion REGI
Lead committee dossier: EMPL/7/05569
Legal Basis RoP 048
Subjects
Links

Activites

  • 2011/11/15 Text adopted by Parliament, single reading
    • T7-0495/2011 summary
    • Results of vote in Parliament
  • 2011/10/24 Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
  • 2011/10/24 Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
  • 2011/10/06 Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading
  • #3114
  • 2011/10/03 Council Meeting
  • 2011/06/22 Deadline Amendments
  • 2011/06/08 Committee draft report
  • 2011/04/07 Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
  • 2011/03/08 EP officialisation
  • 2010/12/16 Non-legislative basic document published
    • COM(2010)0758 summary
  • 2010/12/16 Date
  • 2010/12/16 Non-legislative basic document
    • COM(2010)0758 summary
    • DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, ANDOR László

Documents

AmendmentsDossier
548 2011/2052(INI) European Platform against poverty and social exclusion
2011/06/14 CULT 46 amendments...
source: PE-464.995
2011/06/21 BUDG 14 amendments...
source: PE-467.216
2011/06/28 EMPL 396 amendments...
source: PE-467.322
2011/07/20 FEMM 51 amendments...
source: PE-469.890
2011/09/09 EMPL 41 amendments...
source: PE-472.086

History

(these mark the time of scraping, not the official date of the change)

2012-02-09
activities added
  • date
    2010-12-16
    docs
    • url
      http://eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexplus!prod!DocNumber&lg=EN&type_doc=COMfinal&an_doc=2010&nu_doc=0758
      text
      • PURPOSE: to propose a European Platform against Poverty and Social Exclusion: A European framework for social and territorial cohesion.

        BACKGROUND: in 2008, more than 80 million people across the Union lived below the poverty line. Women account for well over half of them and 20 million are children. With the economic crisis, the situation has of course worsened.

        The European Commission has placed the fight against poverty at the heart of its economic, employment and social agenda - the Europe 2020 strategy. Heads of State and Governments have agreed a major breakthrough: a common target that the European Union should lift at least 20 million people out of poverty and social exclusion in the next decade.

        The Commission proposes to establish a European Platform against Poverty and Social Exclusion, as one of its seven flagship initiatives for action to serve that goal. The Platform aims at creating a joint commitment among the Member States, EU Institutions and the key stakeholders to fight poverty and social exclusion.

        As most of the upcoming decade is likely to be marked by reduced public budgets, actions will have to increase efficiency and trust by finding new participative ways to address poverty while continuing to develop prevention policies and target needs where they arise.

        The Platform will therefore set a dynamic framework for action to ensure social and territorial cohesion such that the benefits of growth and jobs are widely shared across the European Union and people experiencing poverty and social exclusion are enabled to live in dignity and take an active part in society.

        CONTENT: this Communication presents how different policies will contribute to this ambitious goal of reducing poverty and increasing inclusion, identifies a number of associated actions to help achieving the poverty target and explains the design and the content of the Platform.

        The Commission has identified the following areas for action:

        (1) Delivering action to fight poverty and exclusion across the policy spectrum:

        • Access to employment: conscious of the fact that getting a job is the safest route out of poverty for those who can work, the Commission promotes an Agenda for New Skills and Jobs which sets out the routes for bringing more people into employment. Furthermore, in 2012 it will present a Communication providing an in-depth assessment of the implementation of active inclusion strategies at national level, including the effectiveness of minimum income schemes and of the way EU programmes can be used to support active inclusion;
        • Social protection and access to essential services: it is also essential that policies address two key challenges: prevention which is the most effective and sustainable way of tackling poverty and social exclusion and early intervention to avoid that people that fall into poverty remain trapped in ever more difficult and problematic socio-economic situations. Pension reforms need to take into account the overall design of social protection. Vulnerable groups and people with short or discontinuous work careers are likely to become increasingly dependent on minimum pensions and minimum income provisions for older people. Widening health inequalities within Member States underline close interactions between health inequalities and poverty. In this context, the Commission will: (i) present in 2011 a White Paper on Pensions to jointly address sustainability and adequacy of pensions in the post-crisis context; (ii) launch a European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on active and healthy ageing in 2011; (iii) develop the Voluntary European Quality Framework on social services at sectoral level, including in the field of long-term care and homelessness; (iv) undertake an assessment of the efficiency and effectiveness of health expenditure, (v) present in 2011 a legislative initiative to ensure access to certain basic banking services.
        • Education and youth policies: education and training systems should be instrumental in supporting upward social mobility and help break, rather than reinforce, the cycle of disadvantage and inequality. In this respect, the Commission will: (i) present in 2011 a Communication and a proposal for a Council Recommendation on policies to combat early school leaving and launch a wide-ranging initiative to promote more effective interventions at all levels of education against the cycle of disadvantage; (ii) propose in 2012 a Recommendation on child poverty outlining common principles and effective monitoring tools to combat and prevent poverty in early age.
        • Migration and integration of migrants: while migration can be an important part of the solutions to Europe's economic, demographic and competitiveness issues, setting a comprehensive and effective policy framework for integration is a major challenge. The Commission will present in 2011 a "New European Agenda on Integration" to better support the efforts of Member States in promoting third-country nationals of diverse cultural, religious, linguistic and ethnic backgrounds to participate actively in European economies and societies.
        • Social inclusion and antidiscrimination: the Commission will: (i) present an EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies in 2011; (ii) step up efforts to promote the economic independence of women, which is the first of the five priorities of its Strategy on equality between women and men for 2010-2015; (iii) ensure appropriate follow up to the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020, targeting in particular circumstances and barriers that prevent people with disabilities from enjoying their rights fully; (iv) identify methods and means to best continue the work it has started on homelessness and housing exclusion.
        • Sectoral policies:EU policies and financial instruments need to take into greater consideration the essential role that networkservices, such as transport, energy, IT and others can play in reducing local and regional disparities and promoting social inclusion.
        • External dimension: in the framework of the EU enlargement process and within the European Neighbourhood Policy, the Commission will also ensure that the objectives of this Platform are taken up in the relevant countries.

        (2) Making EU funding deliver on the social inclusion and social cohesion objectives: several initiatives have been envisaged to better mobilise the available Funds:

        • in line with the Budget Review, the European Social Fund should be used to sustain Member States' efforts to achieve the Europe 2020 objectives, including the poverty reduction target. This implies that the necessary resources would be devoted to social inclusion while making the access of the relevant stakeholders to those resources easier;
        • the Commission will aim at facilitating access to global grants for small organisations and an improved access to funding for groups with multiple disadvantages and at high risk of poverty;
        • the Commission will put forward proposals in 2011 for the new Cohesion Policy regulatory framework for the period post-2013 which will simplify access to the structural funds for local groups and ensure greater complementarity and synergies between EU funds to promote community-based approaches, including for urban regeneration;
        • the Commission will propose for the new Cohesion Policy post-2013 a Common Strategic Framework (CSF) that will ensure coherence and complementarity between the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the European Fisheries Fund. The CSF would identify EU priorities to address the European poverty target and the actions set out in this flagship initiative.

        (3) Developing an evidence-based approach to social innovations and reforms: the Commission will launch in 2011 an initiative to pool a range of European funds to promote evidence-based social innovation, possibly initially concentrating on social assistance schemes. Comprised within the initiative will be:

        • a European research excellence network to promote capacity building for the design and evaluation of social innovation programmes;
        • a European research project in the area of social innovation aimed at devising workable methods and concrete impact measurements;
        • the definition of common principles on the design, implementation and evaluation of small scale projects designed to test policy innovations (or reforms) before adopting them more widely (social experiments);
        • Communication and awareness raising about ongoing social innovation;
        • a "high-level steering committee" which will provide advice and guidance on developing actions.

        (4) Promoting a partnership approach and the social economy: the Commission will support through the PROGRESS programme regular exchanges and partnerships between a wider set of stakeholders in specific priority areas, such as active inclusion, child poverty, Roma inclusion, homelessness and financial inclusion. The Commission will elaborate voluntary guidelines on stakeholders' involvement in the definition and the implementation of policy actions and programmes to address poverty and exclusion, and will promote their implementation at national, regional and local level.

        The Commission will support the development of the social economy as a tool for active inclusion by proposing measures to improve the quality of the legal structures relating to foundations, mutual societies and cooperatives operating in a European context, proposing a "Social Business Initiative" in 2011, as well as facilitating access to relevant EU financial programmes.

        (5) Stepping up policy coordination between the Member States: based on the experience of the first European Semester of Europe 2020, the Commission will discuss with Member States and other institutional and non-institutional actors, how to best adapt the working methods of the Social Open Method of Coordination to the new governance of Europe 2020. The Commission will present a report before the end of 2011 summarising the orientations emerged and the follow up it will give to it. The Commission's Annual Growth Survey (AGS), presented each January, will inter alia review overall progress achieved on the headline targets, the flagship initiatives, and identify priorities for action aimed at achieving the objectives and the targets of the strategy.

        Follow-up: in addition to the regular reporting within the governance mechanisms of the Europe 2020 strategy, and in particular in the Annual Growth Survey, the Commission will  review the implementation of the Platform in 2014, also with a view to adapt it to the new Multiannual Financial Framework.

      title
      COM(2010)0758
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      Non-legislative basic document published
      celexid
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    Non-legislative basic document published
  • body
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    Date
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      text
      • PURPOSE: to propose a European Platform against Poverty and Social Exclusion: A European framework for social and territorial cohesion.

        BACKGROUND: in 2008, more than 80 million people across the Union lived below the poverty line. Women account for well over half of them and 20 million are children. With the economic crisis, the situation has of course worsened.

        The European Commission has placed the fight against poverty at the heart of its economic, employment and social agenda - the Europe 2020 strategy. Heads of State and Governments have agreed a major breakthrough: a common target that the European Union should lift at least 20 million people out of poverty and social exclusion in the next decade.

        The Commission proposes to establish a European Platform against Poverty and Social Exclusion, as one of its seven flagship initiatives for action to serve that goal. The Platform aims at creating a joint commitment among the Member States, EU Institutions and the key stakeholders to fight poverty and social exclusion.

        As most of the upcoming decade is likely to be marked by reduced public budgets, actions will have to increase efficiency and trust by finding new participative ways to address poverty while continuing to develop prevention policies and target needs where they arise.

        The Platform will therefore set a dynamic framework for action to ensure social and territorial cohesion such that the benefits of growth and jobs are widely shared across the European Union and people experiencing poverty and social exclusion are enabled to live in dignity and take an active part in society.

        CONTENT: this Communication presents how different policies will contribute to this ambitious goal of reducing poverty and increasing inclusion, identifies a number of associated actions to help achieving the poverty target and explains the design and the content of the Platform.

        The Commission has identified the following areas for action:

        (1) Delivering action to fight poverty and exclusion across the policy spectrum:

        • Access to employment: conscious of the fact that getting a job is the safest route out of poverty for those who can work, the Commission promotes an Agenda for New Skills and Jobs which sets out the routes for bringing more people into employment. Furthermore, in 2012 it will present a Communication providing an in-depth assessment of the implementation of active inclusion strategies at national level, including the effectiveness of minimum income schemes and of the way EU programmes can be used to support active inclusion;
        • Social protection and access to essential services: it is also essential that policies address two key challenges: prevention which is the most effective and sustainable way of tackling poverty and social exclusion and early intervention to avoid that people that fall into poverty remain trapped in ever more difficult and problematic socio-economic situations. Pension reforms need to take into account the overall design of social protection. Vulnerable groups and people with short or discontinuous work careers are likely to become increasingly dependent on minimum pensions and minimum income provisions for older people. Widening health inequalities within Member States underline close interactions between health inequalities and poverty. In this context, the Commission will: (i) present in 2011 a White Paper on Pensions to jointly address sustainability and adequacy of pensions in the post-crisis context; (ii) launch a European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on active and healthy ageing in 2011; (iii) develop the Voluntary European Quality Framework on social services at sectoral level, including in the field of long-term care and homelessness; (iv) undertake an assessment of the efficiency and effectiveness of health expenditure, (v) present in 2011 a legislative initiative to ensure access to certain basic banking services.
        • Education and youth policies: education and training systems should be instrumental in supporting upward social mobility and help break, rather than reinforce, the cycle of disadvantage and inequality. In this respect, the Commission will: (i) present in 2011 a Communication and a proposal for a Council Recommendation on policies to combat early school leaving and launch a wide-ranging initiative to promote more effective interventions at all levels of education against the cycle of disadvantage; (ii) propose in 2012 a Recommendation on child poverty outlining common principles and effective monitoring tools to combat and prevent poverty in early age.
        • Migration and integration of migrants: while migration can be an important part of the solutions to Europe's economic, demographic and competitiveness issues, setting a comprehensive and effective policy framework for integration is a major challenge. The Commission will present in 2011 a "New European Agenda on Integration" to better support the efforts of Member States in promoting third-country nationals of diverse cultural, religious, linguistic and ethnic backgrounds to participate actively in European economies and societies.
        • Social inclusion and antidiscrimination: the Commission will: (i) present an EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies in 2011; (ii) step up efforts to promote the economic independence of women, which is the first of the five priorities of its Strategy on equality between women and men for 2010-2015; (iii) ensure appropriate follow up to the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020, targeting in particular circumstances and barriers that prevent people with disabilities from enjoying their rights fully; (iv) identify methods and means to best continue the work it has started on homelessness and housing exclusion.
        • Sectoral policies:EU policies and financial instruments need to take into greater consideration the essential role that networkservices, such as transport, energy, IT and others can play in reducing local and regional disparities and promoting social inclusion.
        • External dimension: in the framework of the EU enlargement process and within the European Neighbourhood Policy, the Commission will also ensure that the objectives of this Platform are taken up in the relevant countries.

        (2) Making EU funding deliver on the social inclusion and social cohesion objectives: several initiatives have been envisaged to better mobilise the available Funds:

        • in line with the Budget Review, the European Social Fund should be used to sustain Member States' efforts to achieve the Europe 2020 objectives, including the poverty reduction target. This implies that the necessary resources would be devoted to social inclusion while making the access of the relevant stakeholders to those resources easier;
        • the Commission will aim at facilitating access to global grants for small organisations and an improved access to funding for groups with multiple disadvantages and at high risk of poverty;
        • the Commission will put forward proposals in 2011 for the new Cohesion Policy regulatory framework for the period post-2013 which will simplify access to the structural funds for local groups and ensure greater complementarity and synergies between EU funds to promote community-based approaches, including for urban regeneration;
        • the Commission will propose for the new Cohesion Policy post-2013 a Common Strategic Framework (CSF) that will ensure coherence and complementarity between the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the European Fisheries Fund. The CSF would identify EU priorities to address the European poverty target and the actions set out in this flagship initiative.

        (3) Developing an evidence-based approach to social innovations and reforms: the Commission will launch in 2011 an initiative to pool a range of European funds to promote evidence-based social innovation, possibly initially concentrating on social assistance schemes. Comprised within the initiative will be:

        • a European research excellence network to promote capacity building for the design and evaluation of social innovation programmes;
        • a European research project in the area of social innovation aimed at devising workable methods and concrete impact measurements;
        • the definition of common principles on the design, implementation and evaluation of small scale projects designed to test policy innovations (or reforms) before adopting them more widely (social experiments);
        • Communication and awareness raising about ongoing social innovation;
        • a "high-level steering committee" which will provide advice and guidance on developing actions.

        (4) Promoting a partnership approach and the social economy: the Commission will support through the PROGRESS programme regular exchanges and partnerships between a wider set of stakeholders in specific priority areas, such as active inclusion, child poverty, Roma inclusion, homelessness and financial inclusion. The Commission will elaborate voluntary guidelines on stakeholders' involvement in the definition and the implementation of policy actions and programmes to address poverty and exclusion, and will promote their implementation at national, regional and local level.

        The Commission will support the development of the social economy as a tool for active inclusion by proposing measures to improve the quality of the legal structures relating to foundations, mutual societies and cooperatives operating in a European context, proposing a "Social Business Initiative" in 2011, as well as facilitating access to relevant EU financial programmes.

        (5) Stepping up policy coordination between the Member States: based on the experience of the first European Semester of Europe 2020, the Commission will discuss with Member States and other institutional and non-institutional actors, how to best adapt the working methods of the Social Open Method of Coordination to the new governance of Europe 2020. The Commission will present a report before the end of 2011 summarising the orientations emerged and the follow up it will give to it. The Commission's Annual Growth Survey (AGS), presented each January, will inter alia review overall progress achieved on the headline targets, the flagship initiatives, and identify priorities for action aimed at achieving the objectives and the targets of the strategy.

        Follow-up: in addition to the regular reporting within the governance mechanisms of the Europe 2020 strategy, and in particular in the Annual Growth Survey, the Commission will  review the implementation of the Platform in 2014, also with a view to adapt it to the new Multiannual Financial Framework.

      title
      COM(2010)0758
      type
      Non-legislative basic document
      celexid
      CELEX:52010DC0758:EN
    body
    EC
    commission
    • DG
      Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion
      Commissioner
      ANDOR László
    type
    Non-legislative basic document
  • body
    EP
    date
    2011-03-08
    type
    EP officialisation
  • date
    2011-04-07
    body
    EP
    type
    Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
    committees
  • date
    2011-06-08
    docs
    • url
      http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE464.970
      type
      Committee draft report
      title
      PE464.970
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    type
    Committee draft report
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    text
    • The Presidency informed the Council about the message that it intends to deliver at the first annual convention of the European platform against poverty and social exclusion which will be held in Krakow, on 17 and 18 October 2011.

      This message may be summarised as follows:

      The impact of the economic crisis continues to be felt in the EU. An increasing number of people are at-risk-of poverty or in a condition of severe material deprivation or live in jobless households. As stated by the Council, the EU must pursue its course against unemployment, poverty and social exclusion as boldly as it pursues recovery and financial stabilisation.

      The first Annual Convention must help consolidating the EU commitment to the social goals of the Europe 2020 Strategy. In this context, the Presidency encourages the Annual Convention to take stock of progress made towards the headline target for poverty reduction and social inclusion, to review the implementation of the activities announced under the Platform and to consider suggestions for future actions.

      The Presidency supports the key ambition for the meeting in Cracow:

      • to give high political visibility and weight to the European Platform against Poverty;
      • to encourage the Convention to start building a supportive and active constituency cutting across various policies and institutions, different levels of government and civil society actors.

      The Presidency invites all Member States to be actively engaged in the first Annual Convention and it its follow-up, so that this annual event can grow in the future.

    council
    Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs
    date
    2011-10-03
    type
    Council Meeting
  • date
    2011-10-06
    text
    • The Committee on Employment and Social Affairs adopted the own-initiative report drafted by Frédéric DAERDEN (S&D, BE) on the European Platform against poverty and social exclusion.

      Members recall that 116 million people in the EU are at risk of poverty and 42 million (8%) live 'in conditions of severe material deprivation and that the gap between rich and poor is continuing to widen as a result of the crisis. In this respect, Members stress that the increasing poverty in the EU is currently being exacerbated by the economic and financial crisis and by soaring food prices in the context of almost inexistent food surpluses in the EU, and that 43 million people are currently at risk of food poverty.

      Faced with such a situation, Members call on the Commission to boost the involvement of organised civil society, of all stakeholders (such as NGOs, social economy organisations, service providers, experts in social innovation and the social partners, as well as people living on poverty, etc) in the development of a European strategy at all levels of governance (European, national, regional and local).

      Members also call for the Platform against Poverty also to serve to bring together, at European level, those national organisations representing the groups at greatest risk of poverty which are not yet federated. The Commission should play a coordinating role and to guide the Member States in order to meet the current challenges and combat poverty and social exclusion, being mindful that combating poverty is primarily the responsibility of national policies.

      Evaluation mechanism: the report calls:

      • for the establishment of a regular, critical evaluation mechanism involving Parliament, the Committee of the Regions and the European Economic and Social Committee, based on precise indicators at national and European level, which will make it possible to evaluate the multiple dimensions of poverty and measure the Member States' progress;
      • for the improvement of national and European indicators as regards the comparability of national statistics on poverty among vulnerable groups, and to track the number of people receiving less than 50% or 40%, respectively, of the median income, and to use this as a basis for conducting an annual evaluation of poverty situations in the EU;
      • for a detailed, up-to-date study of the number of people living in poverty and the number at risk of falling into poverty, to be carried out as a matter of urgency in the coming months;
      • on the Commission to draw up and present an annual report to Parliament on the Member States' progress in reducing poverty and social exclusion.

      Horizontal social clause: Members call on the Commission to take full account of the correct horizontal social clause as specified in Article 9 TFEU, under which the EU has to take into account requirements linked to the promotion of a high level of employment, the guarantee of adequate social protection and the fight against social exclusion. They call for more in-depth social impact assessments of EU policies making it possible to avoid a levelling-down of social standards in Europe and facilitating the development of a common social basis in Europe.

      Budget: Members call on the Commission to identify more precisely the budget lines relevant to the Platform and the level of appropriations allocated to them, particularly as regards the ESF. They call on the Commission to:

      • set out its proposals for combating poverty and social exclusion in the 2014-2020 multiannual financial framework;
      • identify the financial support needed for agreed thematic priorities and provide increased funding for, European programmes which can contribute to various aspects of the fight against social exclusion, poverty and social and economic inequality, including health inequality (such as the research Framework Programme and the Progress programme).

      Noting that in the draft budget 2012, the European Commission has estimated the increase for the European Platform against Poverty flagship initiative at 3.3 %, as compared to last year, Members ask the Commission to provide further explanation on the contribution of the European Social Fund (ESF) to this flagship initiative and on specific measures addressing priorities such as the fight against poverty among children, women, elderly people and migrant workers, and the prevention of early school leaving.

      As regards food distribution scheme for the most deprived people in the EU, Members contest the Commission's decision to review downwards, from EUR 500 million to EUR 113.5 million, the budget for the 2012 food distribution scheme for the most deprived people in the EU (the MDP scheme). They call on the Commission and the Council to find a way to continue the MDP scheme for the last two years of the current funding period (2012 and 2013) and for the next funding period (2014-2020), giving it a legal basis that cannot be contested by the CJEU and maintaining the annual financial ceiling at EUR 500 million so as to ensure that people dependent on food aid do not suffer food poverty.

      Basket of basic goods and services: Members call on the Commission, in consultation with the European Central Bank, to propose common principles to define the 'basket of basic goods and services' required to enable everyone to live in dignity. They call for the Platform to make it possible to map, as accurately as possible, the degree of access to these basic requirements (which vary according to the place and group concerned) under the various systems in place for the provision of assistance to the poor.

      2008 recommendation: Members welcome the Commission's announcement of a communication on the implementation of its 2008 recommendation concerning the active inclusion strategy. They call for that communication to include, in particular, a timetable for implementing the strategy's three component strands, namely:

      1. sufficient income support: the Member States should recognise the individual's basic right to adequate resources and social assistance as part of a comprehensive and consistent drive to combat social exclusion;
      2. inclusive labour markets: the Member States should provide persons whose condition renders them fit for work with effective help to enter or re-enter, and stay in, employment that corresponds to their work capacity;
      3. access to quality services: the Member States should ensure that those concerned receive appropriate social support to facilitate their economic and social inclusion.

      Homelessness: Members believe that the situation of the homeless calls for particular attention and the introduction of additional measures on the part of both the Member States and the Commission, with a view to ensuring their full integration by 2015.

      The report calls on the Commission to:

      • develop, as a matter of urgency, an EU homelessness strategy;
      • draw up a detailed roadmap for the implementation of this strategy in the 2011-2020 period.

      Housing: Members recommend that the Member States adopt a proactive policy on decent housing in order to ensure universal access to quality housing at affordable prices or on preferential terms of purchase. They call for more attention to be paid to migrants, who are often exploited and forced to live in sub-standard housing. Members recommend that the Member States expand the supply of quality social housing and emergency housing in order to guarantee access for all, and in particular for the most disadvantaged, to decent, affordable housing. Considering that it costs society and the community more to rehouse people who have been evicted from their accommodation than it does to keep them there, Members recommend, the implementation of policies to prevent evictions, in particular by the public authorities taking responsibility for payment of rents and rent arrears of persons threatened with eviction. They consider EU action in deprived neighbourhoods as a cost-efficient way to combat exclusion and reduce health expenditure, and call on the Commission to step up such action under the next cohesion policy and other EU programmes. An increase in the ERDF budget for measures to improve energy efficiency in social housing in order to tackle energy poverty is also called for.

      Decent work/the working poor: Members recall that the increasing number of insecure employment contracts in most Member States is having the effect of exacerbating the segmentation of the labour market and reducing the protection afforded to the most vulnerable. The creation of new jobs must proceed in accordance with the basic principles laid down by the ILO, putting into practice the concept of decent work and quality jobs (including decent working conditions, the right to work, health and safety at work, social protection, and arrangements for worker representation and dialogue with employees) and applying the principles of equal pay for men and women and equal treatment for EU workers and third-country nationals legally resident in the EU.

      Members urge the Member States to step up their efforts to combat substantially and effectively the problem of undeclared employment. The Commission is called upon to tackle the problem of the working poor. The report urges the Member States to make public employment offices more effective, inter alia by identifying the needs of the labour market more accurately. It also recalls that women are at greater risk of falling into extreme poverty than men and calls for a whole range of specific policies which should be tailored to both the gender dimension and the specific circumstances.

      Education/training: Members take the view that a comprehensive and effective way out of poverty can be found only if the necessary strengthening of social protection instruments is accompanied by significant reinforcement of education and training paths at every level. They support the development of more inclusive education systems to tackle the problem of early school leaving and enable young people from disadvantaged social groups to reach a higher level of education.

      Minimum income: Members wish the Commission to launch a consultation on the possibility of a legislative initiative concerning a sensible minimum income which will allow economic growth, prevent poverty and serve as a basis for people to live in dignity. They want the Commission to help Member States share best practice in relation to minimum income levels, and encourage Member States to develop minimum income schemes based on at least 60% of the median income in each Member State.

      Members also ask for a series of specified measures to fight against poverty:

      • migrants: the Commission and the Member States need to step up their cooperation with third countries in the field of education and culture, with a view to reducing poverty and social exclusion in such countries;
      • people with disabilities: Members recommend that Member States develop new measures to help vulnerable and socially excluded groups, especially people with disabilities, and promote accessible environments for people with disabilities;
      • women: noting that the gender aspect of poverty and social exclusion is completely ignored in the Platform, Members invite the Commission and the Member States to take the gender-specific perspective as a key component in all common policies and urge Member States, as part of measures to support employment - especially among women - through the reconciliation of work and family life, to facilitate access to quality and affordable care facilities;
      • Roma: Members call for Roma people, and the organisations that represent and work with them, to be actively involved in the drafting and implementation of the national Roma integration strategies up to 2020. They stress that the inclusion and integration of Roma will require greater efforts in order to achieve their full inclusion - and put an end to the numerous forms of discrimination to which they are subject;
      • children: the committee calls for the fight against child poverty to focus on prevention through the provision of equal access to high-quality early childhood education and childcare services. It calls for financial support for services having proven their worth and for the systematic integration of policies designed to support poor families into all relevant areas of activity combining a universal approach with targeted measures for the most vulnerable families. Members point out that thousands of children are separated from their parents as a result of their living conditions (lack of housing) or because their parents are living in severe poverty (material, social and cultural) and have not received the necessary support to help them fulfil their parental responsibilities;
      • elderly people: the committee maintains that elderly care programmes, including home care, must be developed and reviewed in all the Member States and adds that families caring for the elderly should also be provided with support (financial if possible). It stresses the importance of developing policy proposals at Member State level to tackle homelessness and drug and alcohol addiction and recommends an adequate minimum pension which allows the elderly to live in dignity.

      Use of funding: Members acknowledge the need to assess, where possible, the effectiveness, impact, coordination and value for money of the use of EU funds - especially the European Social Fund (ESF) - in terms of achieving the poverty reduction target. They maintain that priority must be given to projects that combine employment targets and strategies with integrated active inclusion approaches, such as projects designed to strengthen intergenerational solidarity at regional and local level or which specifically contribute to gender equality and the active inclusion of vulnerable groups.

      Other measures are as follows:

      • the importance of effective action for solidarity, including reinforcement, anticipated transfers, and reductions in the Member States' share of cofinancing in respect of budgetary funding, so as to create decent jobs, support production sectors, fight poverty and social exclusion and avoid creating new forms of dependence;
      • tackling poverty in urban and rural areas;
      • strengthening the European Social Fund (the main instrument specifically intended to promote social inclusion);
      • strengthening the Grundtvig programme;
      • maintaining the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund beyond 2013.

      Economic governance/European Semester: the report calls on the Member States to submit national reform programmes consistent with the aim of the Platform and with the Union's objectives of social and sustainable development, and, supporting the Commission's recognition that poverty 'is unacceptable in 21st-century Europe'.

      Members call on the Commission to:

      • develop country-specific recommendations with a view to meeting the poverty reduction target, especially in the event that those programmes are not successful;
      • draw up guidelines at European level for the Member States so as to ensure that local authorities and other stakeholders participate effectively in the drafting of national reform programmes;
      • close gaps in the existing anti-discrimination legislation, which does not currently cover all relevant aspects, with a view to further eradicating discrimination, including social discrimination.

      Members take the view that the Member States should aim to translate the targets relating to the reduction of social exclusion/poverty into ambitious national and regional targets, and should include a specific target relating to child poverty and specific strategies involving a multidimensional approach to child and family poverty.

      Social economy: lastly, Members welcome the Commission's desire to take greater account, through various initiatives, of the role of social economy actors (mutual societies, foundations and cooperatives) so that there are no more obstacles hindering them from making a full contribution, with legal certainty, to reducing poverty and social exclusion by proposing innovative and sustainable responses to citizens' needs. They are concerned, however, that no reference is made to the statute for a European association, given that the not-for-profit sector is a major actor in the fight against poverty. They stress, however, that the measures currently being proposed to promote the social economy, in particular associations and mutual societies, do not adequately reflect its potential contribution to the policy on combating poverty.

      The report calls for a framework directive on the quality and accessibility of social services of general interest, in particular in the areas of health, education, public transport, energy, water and communication.

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EMPL/7/05569
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title
European Platform against poverty and social exclusion
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  • Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament EP 048
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  • 4.10.05 Social inclusion, poverty, minimum income

code AGPLv3.0+, data ODBLv1.0, site-content CC-By-Sa-3.0
© European Union, 2011 – Source: European Parliament