NGOs and trade unions launch the Semester Alliance

programme-photo-logosThis 07 April, the EU Alliance for a more democratic, social and sustainable European Semester kick starts in a hearing in the European Economic and Social Committee. The public hearing, Strengthening the legitimacy of the European Semester, will present the Semester Alliance, which gathers 16 European networks of civil-society organisations and trade unions, and their new report “Civil-Society Proposals for Smart, Sustainable and Inclusive growth“. This is a public hearing targeting EU decision makers and stakeholders, but open to everyone.#semesteralliance #csr2020

 Strengthening the Legitimacy of the European Semester

Civil Society proposals for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth
7th April 2014: 9.30-1.00
European Economic and Social Committee
TRE 7701 (7th floor, Trèves Building, 74 rue de Trèves, 1040 Brussels)

To register and for practical issues, please contact sigrid.dahmen@eapn.eu by 1st April.

For more information, contact Sian Jones, EAPN Policy Coordinator sian.jones@eapn.eu

Background

A Failing Europe 2020 Strategy

The European Commission is now preparing to launch its Mid-Term Review of the Europe 2020 and the European Semester (EC Communication (5 March 2014): Taking Stock of the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth). No one can dispute that the European Semester is increasingly shaping social and environmental policies at the national level, particularly through the Country-specific Recommendation (CSR) process.

However, as the Commission’s Communication recognizes, progress on the Europe 2020 goals and targets of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth has been weak besides the dominant economic governance priorities, aiming to keep public deficits at bay. Particularly concerning is the increase in poverty and unemployment rather than progress towards the target.

Eroding of civil-society participation to decision-making processes

Whilst civil-society stakeholders are ostensibly recognized as key partners to the process, the reality is very limited and low-quality engagement, with no real mechanism for meaningful dialogue or opportunity to actively contribute to ensure that Europe 2020 delivers on its promises, particularly those relating to:

  • lifting at least 20 million people out of poverty,
  • achieving a 75% employment rate for women and men,
  • 10% school dropout and
  • 20% increase in energy efficiency.

In this event, the new EU Alliance for a more democratic, social and sustainable Semester will be launched and it will present its proposals on CSRs, based on its national members input. There will be a debate with the EU institutions and other stakeholders on the way forward to get the European Semester to deliver on its promises for inclusive and sustainable growth, and to increase democratic legitimacy.

Members of the Semester Alliance:

European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN) – coordinator of the Alliance
Age Platform Europe
Caritas europa
European Environmental Bureau
CECODHAS – Housing Europe
European Public Service Union
European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD)
European Trade Union Confederation
Eurochild
European Women’s Lobby (EWL)
FEANTSA
European Federation of Food Banks
PICUM
Socialplatform
Eurodiaconia
Green Budget Europe

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