EESC opinion: European platform against poverty and social exclusion

Key points

The EESC makes the following recommendations:

  • as poverty represents a violation of human rights, governments, the social partners and civil society must take shared responsibility for its eradication;
  • there must be policy coherence between economic, financial, employment and social measures in the Europe 2020 strategy and all should contribute to social cohesion;
  • austerity measures should not increase the risk of poverty and an effective social impact assessment must be made and debated;
  • the Active Inclusion Strategy should be implemented as an integrated approach to ensure adequate income support, an inclusive labour market and access to quality work and services;
  • there must be a stronger emphasis on reducing inequalities and enforcing fundamental human rights, including through fairer income distribution and implementing the horizontal social clauses set out in the Lisbon treaty;
  • there should be increased emphasis on investing in human capital through lifelong learning in education and training, including improved skills training matched to needs in and outside the labour market;
  • the participation of civil society stakeholders in the Platform, including people experiencing poverty, NGOs and social partners, should be reinforced through structured dialogue at EU and national level and supported through appropriate EU funding. The EESC should play an active and collaborative role in this dialogue and in the Annual Convention;
  • EU funding, particularly the Structural Funds, targeted at reducing poverty, needs to be increased and emphasis given to simplifying procedures, increasing transparency and monitoring effective delivery;
  • the social Open Method of Coordination (OMC) must be strengthened, which includes the development of National Strategies for Social Protection and Social Inclusion and action plans at national and local level. Its link to the flagship initiative on poverty needs to be clarified.