Fighting poverty

18 Feb 2016
Adopted References: SOC/530 EESC-2015-06663-00-03-ac Exploratory Opinion Rapporteur: Boland (Various interests - GR III / Ireland) Co-rapporteur: Bulk (Workers - GR II / Netherlands) Plenary Session: 514 - 17 Feb 2016 - 18 Feb 2016 (Summary Plenary Session) OJ C 133, 14.4.2016, p. 9–16
Fighting poverty (exploratory opinion requested by the Dutch presidency)

EESC opinion: Fighting poverty

Key points

The EESC:

  • supports the intention of the Dutch Presidency of the Council to address poverty through integrated approaches and cooperation public and private stakeholders, but finds that these stakeholders should be supported by European and national strategies;
  • urges the EU Council to reiterate the poverty reduction commitment made in the Europe 2020 and to take into account the Sustainable Development Goals;
  • recommends that the European Semester focus on the Europe 2020 poverty reduction target;
  • calls for a move away from EU economic policies which continue to be only austerity-orientated;
  • urges Member States to launch their own national strategies to fight poverty;
  • requests that the Commission pursue an ambitious and wide-ranging social investment agenda within the European Semester and that Member States implement the Social Investment Package;
  • calls on the Commission to propose new guidelines for consulting stakeholders in the social field, allowing them to provide input at all stages of the process: design, delivery and evaluation;
  • asks the Commission to consult Member States and stakeholders to find out whether the decision to earmark 20% of the European Social Fund (ESF) fight poverty is being implemented;
  • encourages the Commission to include social standards and systems in the "European pillar of social rights" and to make fighting poverty a priority of the major components of that pillar.