Exchange with key stakeholders on the European Platform against Poverty.

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The European Commission is working on a draft proposal on the European Platform against Poverty, one of the EU2020 flagship initiatives due to be presented in November.
The Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal opportunities, known as DG

Employment, organised an exchange meeting with key stakeholders involved in the Social OMC and the European Year 2010 with the aim of exchanging information on the Platform's preparation and allow for a discussion on its main features. Representatives of organisations such as Solidar, Eurodiaconia, Feantsa, ENAR and Age were present at the meeting.

 

Antonia Carparelli, head of Unit at DG Employment, presented how the Platform would be. She described it as a framework under which various actions would be carried out for achieving the EU2020 objective on social inclusion.

These actions will constitute the four pillars of the Platform on poverty:

  • Reinforcing the social Open Method of Coordination (OMC), an intergovernmental policy coordination mechanism with all 27 Member States supervised by the European Commission, to preserve the positive achievements but redefining some elements of this method.

  • Stakeholders’ involvement and social economy. These dimensions will be present in a separate pillar in order to emphasize their importance and give them a recognition which was not given before. There is a need to ensure better governance with the participation of all the stakeholders concerned but also to recognize the role of social economy which was marginalized in the previous OMC.

Structural Funds. European financial instruments should be oriented towards solutions. Ms Carparelli stressed that the social OMC was useful for diagnosis of different realities and challenges.

 

  • Policy coordination and mainstreaming. The Commission will pay attention to the aspect of social inclusion and poverty present in several policies. Then Commissioners will work at joint initiatives to fight against poverty and social exclusion to be then adopted by the European parliament and the Council.

The Platform on poverty will advance its work though roundtable of ministries, meetings with people experiencing poverty, possible workshops with stakeholders and supporting the networks working on fighting against poverty and social exclusion.

Several stakeholders raised questions about how to link the Platform on poverty to the EU2020 strategy and especially to the National Reform Programmes. Others questioned the logic of having two separate pillars for the involvement of stakeholders and for the OMC. Ensuring the link between the European and the national level within the Platform was also an issue raised during the meeting.

Antonia Carparelli assured the participants that the OMC method will remain. The designed four pillars of the Platform are dimensions fully consistent complementary to each other. She stressed the fact that the Platform can be a major change and create the opportunity to rebalance the agenda at European level focusing more on social dimensions.

In creating two separate pillars for reinforcing the OMC and for the involvement of stakeholders, the intention was to make a specific space for dialogue with stakeholders and to not squeeze it in an intergovernmental method driven by the Social Protection Committee. However, some elements should be still better defined such as how to structure the monitoring and reporting system of the results of the Platform. There will be an annual report survey and then the reporting based on the National reform programmes.