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European Citizen’s European Citizen’s Consultations Consultations Regional Conference Regional Conference Setting the Scene Setting the Scene putting poverty and social exclusion putting poverty and social exclusion at the centre of the EU’s policy agenda at the centre of the EU’s policy agenda HUGH FRAZER HUGH FRAZER Coordinator, EU Network of Independent National Experts on Social Coordinator, EU Network of Independent National Experts on Social Inclusion & Adjunct Professor, NUI Maynooth Inclusion & Adjunct Professor, NUI Maynooth Farmleigh, Dublin Farmleigh, Dublin 20th November 20th November 2009 2009
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Page 1: European Citizen’s Consultations Regional Conference Setting the Scene putting poverty and social exclusion putting poverty and social exclusion at the.

European Citizen’s ConsultationsEuropean Citizen’s Consultations

Regional ConferenceRegional Conference

Setting the SceneSetting the Scene

putting poverty and social exclusion putting poverty and social exclusion at the centre of the EU’s policy agendaat the centre of the EU’s policy agenda

HUGH FRAZERHUGH FRAZER

Coordinator, EU Network of Independent National Experts on Social Inclusion & Coordinator, EU Network of Independent National Experts on Social Inclusion & Adjunct Professor, NUI MaynoothAdjunct Professor, NUI Maynooth

Farmleigh, Dublin Farmleigh, Dublin 20th November 200920th November 2009

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The Context (1)The Context (1)• 16% of EU population at risk of poverty • range: 11% - 21%• children and elderly at greater risk (19%)• range: 10% – 25% for children• range: 5% - 51% for older people

• 17% materially deprived (lacking at least 3 basic necessities)• range: 3% – 50% • 32 million are at risk and are also materially deprived

• Unemployment a key factor• 1 in 10 live in households where no one working• 42% unemployed at risk of poverty• but 8% in work live in poverty

• Some groups at very high risk of extreme poverty• eg. some ethnic minorities, especially Roma; migrants and refugees; those living in or

leaving institutions; victims of violence and abuse

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The Context (2)The Context (2)• Inequality: richest 20% have 5 times higher

incomes than poorest 20%– range: 3.3% to 6.5%

• Social protection transfers reduce poverty in EU by 36% – from 25% to 16%

• by 50% or more in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, the Netherlands, Austria, France, the Czech Republic and Slovenia

• by less than 20% in Greece, Spain, Italy and Bulgaria

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EU’s response since 2000 EU’s response since 2000 - the Lisbon Strategy- the Lisbon Strategy

• Lisbon strategy 2000 - 2010– objective: ”The most competitive and dynamic

knowledge-based economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion.”

• an integrated approach between economic, environmental, employment and social policies

• policies should be interdependent and mutually reinforcing

• The Social OMC 2000 - 2010– aim: “to make a decisive impact on the eradication of poverty and social

exclusion by 2010”.

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EU’s response since 2000 - the Social OMC (1)

A “soft” process– a voluntary and agreed process based on shared concerns– responsibility rests with the Member States– no externally imposed framework and goals– no sanctions– emphasis on information exchange and mutual learning– but pressure comes from regular monitoring and reporting and

peer pressure

Key elements– commonly agreed objectives on tackling poverty and social

exclusion– two yearly National Action Plans (NAPs/inclusion)– commonly agreed indicators– regular monitoring and reporting (Joint Reports on Social

Protection and Social Inclusion)– transnational exchange and learning

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EU’s response since 2000 EU’s response since 2000 - the Social OMC (2)- the Social OMC (2)

7 key issues• increasing labour market participation• modernising social protection systems• tackling disadvantages in education and training• eliminating child poverty and social exclusion of children• tackling housing exclusion and homelessness• improving access to quality services (health & long-term care,

social services, transport, local environment, ICT)• overcoming discrimination and increasing the integration of

people with disabilities, ethnic minorities & immigrants

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EU’s response since 2000 EU’s response since 2000 - Active Inclusion- Active Inclusion

• 2008 European Commission Recommendation– “Member States should design and implement an integrated comprehensive

strategy for the active inclusion of people excluded from the labour market combining adequate income support, inclusive labour markets and access to quality services. Active inclusion policies should facilitate the integration into sustainable, quality employment of those who can work and provide resources which are sufficient to live in dignity, together with support for social participation, for those who cannot”

• A good development but a long way to go– e.g. an adequate minimum income

• 1992 European Council Recommendation called on Member States “to recognise the basic right of a person to sufficient resources and social assistance to live in a manner compatible with human dignity as part of a comprehensive and consistent drive to combat social exclusion”.

but• “most countries’ Minimum Income Schemes fall short of allowing all people

to live life with dignity and many fall far short”– EU Network of Independent Experts on Social Inclusion, October 2009

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Learning from the Social OMCLearning from the Social OMC- strengths- strengths

• Increased awareness: kept poverty and social inclusion on agenda

• Built agreement on indicators and strengthened data and analysis (EU SILC)– increased possibility for transnational comparisons and benchmarking

• Fostered exchange and learning– exchange projects, peer reviews, studies, conferences, networks, awareness raising

• Promoted ideas and concepts: – multidimensional, coordinated and mainstreamed approach – mobilisation and participation of actors

• Increased focus on key issues: – child poverty, active inclusion, and housing exclusion/homelessness, migrants/ethnic

minorities

• Supported networking– e.g. EAPN, ESN, EUROCHILD, FEANTSA– EU Network of Independent National Experts on Social Inclusion

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Learning from the Social OMCLearning from the Social OMC- weaknesses- weaknesses

• Not achieved a “decisive impact”

• Lacked teeth– low political status & commitment; little accountability and no sanctions (weak

monitoring); lack of targets; no recommendations; little financial clout (weak links with Structural Funds)

• Limited interaction with jobs + growth strategy– little explicit feeding in or feeding out

• Little direct impact on national policy development– some exceptions (e.g. BE, EE, ES)

• Exchange of learning but not a strategic process

• Weak links to local/regional levels and weak delivery

• Limited awareness– EU’s best kept secret

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What is needed for a stronger social dimension?

• Raise political status of Social OMC– revise Lisbon architecture (post 2010) to put Social OMC at same level as Growth and Jobs

strategy in a framework of overarching Sustainable Development objectives– ensure better integration of NAPs/inclusion with national policy making processes

• Make the Social OMC more rigorous, more challenging and more comparative– set targets, establish minimum standards and make recommendations– more rigorous monitoring and reporting based on more timely data

• Strengthen governance in relation to social inclusion issues– promote mainstreaming and greater use of social impact assessments– establish EU minimum standards for participation

• Develop focus on key issues– i.e. active inclusion; child poverty; housing exclusion/homelessness; discrimination &

migrants/ethnic minorities – publish annual scorecards; make use of Commission Recommendations & Framework

Directives• Increase awareness of the process at both EU and (sub-)national levels.• Enhance the exchange of learning and good practices

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A key moment – an opportunityA key moment – an opportunity• End of Lisbon process

– opportunity to influence debate on priorities for post 2010 period– new Commission– new priorities by Spring 2010

• 2010 European Year for combating poverty and social exclusion

• EU Lisbon Treaty– 'social clause'

• promotion of a high level of employment, adequate social protection, fight against social exclusion, etc) must be taken into account when defining and implementing all policies

– the Charter of Fundamental Rights • strengthens the fight against poverty and gives social Europe a stronger legal basis

– children’s rights recognised for the first time

• Financial and economic crisis– has highlighted importance of social protections systems

• both for preserving social solidarity and as tool for economic stimulus

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ConclusionConclusion- - overcoming poverty and inequality & building a overcoming poverty and inequality & building a

fairer & more inclusive EUfairer & more inclusive EUAbove all this requires:• Political leadership and commitment

• A more balanced model of development– “which balances economic, social and environmental objectives and can sustain

itself into the future through: an economy that is productive and promotes full employment and well-being; a society that is cohesive, caring and inclusive of all; an environment that is cared for and well managed”

– and is built on values of participation, equality and global solidarity – (Is Féidir Linn)

• Stronger mechanisms which will ensure that the EU and Member States prioritise and are held accountable for:

– combating and preventing poverty and social exclusion – ensuring that all citizens have: an income that is adequate for a decent life;

access to good quality services; and the opportunity to access inclusive labour markets (i.e. active inclusion)

– converging towards social standards of the best performing Member States

Page 13: European Citizen’s Consultations Regional Conference Setting the Scene putting poverty and social exclusion putting poverty and social exclusion at the.

• Thank you for listening

• Je vous remercie de votre attention

• Dank u voor uw aandacht