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Acting on human rights together with Frans Timmermans


One of the first statements we heard last week when meeting with Frans Timmermans – the First Vice-President of the European Commission – was that he wants to introduce measures to demonstrate to the public that the Commission is acting to solve the problems of all communities in Europe. We understand that a man alone cannot fulfill that task – but the First Vice-President of the European Commission is not really alone. He has the power to lead a strategic action plan to promote human rights throughout the Union. The question that needs to be answered is this: how can such a “strategy” prove to the public that the EU can deliver concrete actions to solve their human rights problems? Read more...

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Pierre Baussand, Director
               
Social Justice  Inclusion       Employment    Rights           Services        Civil Dialogue  
News
Members' news

 Eurochild: Italian EU Presidency awarded “above average” grade on children’s rights

 EAPN: Launch of EAPN’s 2015 Assessment Report and proposals on Country-Specific Recommendations – making progress on Europe 2020 – investing in people for a fairer EU

 European Youth Forum: Juncker Investment Plan for Europe welcomed by European Youth Forum

 SOLIDAR: Little progress, other policies are needed for a real breakthrough

 European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities: EASPD participates in a symposium on the challenges ahead for persons with disabilities in Wallonia

 Eurodiaconia: EU stakeholders discuss the relevance of social investment
 
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I don’t want to just go back to our social rights of 2007


The economic crisis has eroded our social rights, but was the situation so good before the crisis? This was my key concern during a conference on the “Future of the Protection of Social Rights in Europe”, at which I spoke last Thursday. Being asked about the crisis led me to thinking: while people in vulnerable situations are worse of today, were they truly enjoying their social rights before the crisis? In 2008 there were some 81 million people living in Europe at risk of poverty. Homeless people were still fighting to have a roof above their head. After centuries of a medical approach, people with disabilities were finally witnessing the entry into force of the UN convention of the rights of people with disabilities. Read more...

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Pierre Baussand, Director
               
Social Justice  Inclusion       Employment    Rights           Services        Civil Dialogue  
 Our activities
Members' news

 Eurodiaconia: ‘Pathways to Social Inclusion’ report released

 COFACE: Take a stand against cyber bullying and install the #DeleteCyberbullying app!

 FEANTSA: International review of groundbreaking Finnish ‘Strategy to Tackle Homelessness’ published

 European Blind Union: European Accessibility Act – European Commission breaks promises

 SOLIDAR: Dialogue with US Ambassador Gardner on Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with public procurement, Social Services provision & ISDS on the menu
 
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Brussels needs to heed calls to end austerity


Last week we witnessed three important events that challenged austerity policies led by the EU to the core. My question is how long will it take the Commission and the European Council not only to heed calls to end austerity measures, but to start to embrace social investment policies as the way out of the ongoing crisis?

On Sunday 25 January, Greek voters sent a strong anti-austerity message to the EU by electing Syriza. Whatever the political analysis made of the elections, there was at least one clear message given by Alexis Tsipras, the party leader: read more...

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Pierre Baussand, Director
               
Social Justice  Inclusion       Employment    Rights           Services        Civil Dialogue  
 Our activities
 
Members' news

 International Federation of Social Workers: Edition two of ‘European Social Worker’ out now

 European Association of Service providers for Persons with Disabilities: ‘Employment for All’ award

 European Network Against Racism: Invisible visible minority – ENAR’s latest book on people of African descent in Europe

 

When inequality rises, economic growth falls


What if the fight against inequality was not only good for greater social justice in Europe, but also good for the economy? This is the stance we share with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) that produced a report in December showing that income inequality hurts economic growth. The gap between rich and poor is at its highest level in 30 years in most OECD countries, and rising inequality has reduced potential growth by more that 9 percent in the UK and Finland and 6-7 percent in Italy and Sweden. The report goes on to point out that ’greater equality prior to the crisis helped increase the GDP [gross domestic product] in Spain, France and Ireland’.

Taking this into account, what is the role of the EU in prioritising the fight against inequality? Read more...

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Pierre Baussand, Director
 
 

The services you need should not be TTIPed over


When looking for a good school for your children, a nice apartment to live in provided by social housing services or a hospital to be treated in, is the first question that comes to mind, “is it publicly or privately funded?” No, your primary concerns are: is it a good place for me or for the people I care for? Can I afford it? Is it close by? Does it address my needs? Fundamentally, you consider these services to be essential and for the benefit of all. Because they are a necessity they should be available, affordable, accessible, universal and of quality.

If you agree, then you should be paying close attention to the current negotiations of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) – the EU-US trade agreement. Why? Because during last week’s round of trade talks between the EU and US it became apparent that both blocs want to prioritise the source of funding over the type of service delivered. Read more...

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Pierre Baussand, Director
               
Social Justice  Inclusion       Employment    Rights           Services        Civil Dialogue  
Our activities
Members' news

 European Anti-Poverty Network: A beating heart for a better Europe – watch EU Semester Alliance video

 AGE Platform Europe: Bridging European and global action to address Europe’s demographic change

 SOLIDAR: Building learning societies – European Commission pledges the support to NEETs

 ILGA-Europe: Only just begun – Slovakia’s fight for LGBTI equality
 
Do you have a news article that you would like included in next week's Social Compass? If so, please send it to Social Platform!
 
 
 
               
Social Justice  Inclusion       Employment    Rights           Services        Civil Dialogue  
 Our activities
 

Members' news

 European Anti-Poverty Network: Economic crisis & austerity in southern Europe – threat or opportunity for building a sustainable welfare state?

  FEANTSA: Monitoring report – ‘Confronting Homelessness in the Framework of the European Semester 2014′

 AGE Platform Europe: Let’s draw lessons from the past and unite for freedom, justice and peace!

 SOLIDAR: Together for Social Europe

 European Association for the Education of Adults: EAEA urges Commissioner Malmström to exclude adult education from TTIP

 Eurodiaconia: Minimum income, minimum wage & reference budgets – work done by Eurodiaconia members


 


Do you have a news article that you would like included in next week's Social Compass? If so, please send it to Social Platform!

 

The New European Commission - how to free social objectives m their straightjacket


It is my wish that the new European Commission takes the initiative to respond to people’s social needs. We know that the first year of any mandate is the most important one, so our key objective will be to release social objectives from their straightjacket of Employment and Social Affairs. We know that EU competence is focused around economics more than social policies, but our goal is to reshape economic priorities to serve the social. 

This is why we agree with Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s decision to set fundamental rights as his top priority; he has placed this vital portfolio in the hands of first Vice-President Frans Timmermans. We look forward to discussing with him our proposal for an EU internal Human Rights strategy to ensure that not only is there no infringement of these rights within our borders, but that they are also promoted and implemented by the EU and individual member states. Read more...

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Pierre Baussand, Director
 
               
Social Justice  Inclusion       Employment    Rights           Services        Civil Dialogue  

Our activities
 


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