Social Platform pleas for Commission to be more ‘far-reaching’

| June 10, 2015 | 0 Comments

Social-Platform_logo1The European Commission has been urged to “go deeper in its analysis” and be more “far reaching” in its proposals on social policy. The plea comes from Social Platform, the largest alliance of social NGO networks.

Social Platform says this is necessary if it is serious about addressing the “social emergency” in the European Union.

It comes after the commission organised its first Orientation Debate on social policy on Tuesday.

In their press conference Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis and Commissioner Marianne Thyssen addressed some of the concerns of Social Platform – the largest civil society alliance fighting for social justice and participatory democracy in Europe.

In its letter dated 1 June, it called for:

– The delivery of the EU poverty target with an integrated approach combining employment policies with social policies, including adequate social protection.

– The development of concrete proposals for European social standards with regards to income protection and social services for upwards social convergence among EU countries.

– The better use of the EU’s financial instruments, such as the European Structural and Investment Funds.

In her summary of what the College agreed, Commissioner Thyssen referred to these issues.

But Social Platform says much more is yet to be done to flesh-out these initial talks and transform them into concrete policy proposals.

“Achieving upwards social convergence is not only about getting people into employment. It is vital that civil society – not just social partners – is involved in developing and monitoring these policies,” it said.

Speaking after the press conference, Pierre Baussand, Director of Social Platform, said “This first debate by the College on social policy in the EU was long overdue considering the social emergency experienced by many across Europe. We are still concerned that Commissioner Thyssen’s focus on jobs is too narrow.

“However, her references to upwards social convergence, including through the establishment of social standards such as minimum income, minimum wage and access to services, offers some promise of a broader understanding of social policies.

“We believe reducing poverty and inequalities and investing in people – in particular the most disadvantaged in our societies – is the only way to achieve the social ‘triple A’ rating to which the EU aspires.

“Social Platform is ready and willing to support the Commission’s ongoing reflection and future actions in this area.”

Consisting of 48 pan-European networks of NGOs, Social Platform campaigns to ensure that EU policies are developed in partnership with the people they affect, respecting fundamental rights, promoting solidarity and improving lives.

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Category: A Frontpage, EU, European Commission