The first half of the 2020s is likely to be remembered as one of great insecurity, uncertainty and social anxiety. Arguably, the successive crises and insufficient responses to ongoing global crises have encouraged civil society organisations (CSOs) to search for decentralised solutions. CSOs are today the driving force in our communities and societies, voicing local concerns, defining local needs and finding local solutions. Emboldened by their pivotal role in the COVID-19 pandemic and the war against Ukraine, it is likely that CSOs and youth organisations in particular, will become more prevalent, more vocal and perhaps more political in the near future in order to attain their given objectives.
Within this context, the Civil Society Organisations' Group, whose members represent national CSOs, will maintain the topic of the fight against poverty and the role of CSOs in combating poverty, as the overriding priority of the Group. This priority will apply both to 2023 and to the duration of the next 2.5-year mandate (beginning in April 2023). The emphasis on poverty eradication is all the more relevant given that it constitutes the first objective of the Sustainable Development Goals and that the EU has a relatively high percentage of its population in poverty, or at risk of poverty and social exclusion. Moreover, prevailing downward demographic trends in Europe will necessitate increased investment in care and the elderly, in order to avoid even greater levels of poverty and social exclusion.
In the forthcoming period, the Civil Society Organisations' Group will take a three-pronged approach to its work. In 2023, its work programme will concentrate on six priority areas.