Latvia faces major challenges in relation to healthcare and poverty, particularly as regards adequate social protection, and access to affordable housing. It suffered sharp economic decline as a result of the crisis and then further pain as austerity measures promoted by the European Commission resulted in massive cuts in public spending. Latvia is not an austerity success story and urgent and major action is needed to reduce poverty, address housing shortages and turn the ailing health system around.
The report Focus on Latvia proposes suggestions from the Semester Alliance of the kinds of Country Specific Recommendations that are needed in 2017 to begin to tackle the major challenges across these three policy areas.
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On 20 September, the European Semester Alliance held a capacity building session for its members. It was hosted by the European Confederation of Independent Trade Unions (CESI), with the participation of 18 Alliance members from a wide range of social, environmental NGOs and trade unions.
On 1 March 2016 – (9.30-12.30), Sergio Gutierrez Prieto (S&D) and Marian Harkin (ALDE), with the EU Alliance for a democratic, social and sustainable European Semester, hosted a very well-attended hearing The AGS behind, the Semester ahead, what proposals to make Europe 2020 more social, democratic and sustainable? in the European Parliament. The Alliance presented its proposals on the AGS 2016 and its report on the Country-specific Recommendations with concrete key messages.
SEMESTER ALLIANCE ISSUES ITS JOINT POSITION ON COUNTRY-SPECIFIC RECOMMENDATIONS 2015 and AGS 2016
On 27 November 2015, the EU Semester Alliance held its first stakeholder dialogue meeting with key representatives from the European Commission and the Council of Ministers engaged in the Semester process. This first roundtable exchange discussed the latest developments and changes in the 2016 European Semester, in the light of the 5 Presidents Report, including a first reaction to the new Annual Growth Survey based on the Alliance’s joint letter to President Juncker, set within the broader context of how to progress on a more democratic, social and sustainable Europe.
Semester Alliance will attend the EESC & the ESC of Luxemburg conference on “Common social values and principles & social governance” on 4 November 2015, in Luxembourg. Shared social values and principles, along with coordinated social policies play a crucial role in defining the European identity and add value to the European project, while promoting growth.
17/09/2015 – Yesterday, the Semester Alliance broad coalition addressed a letter to European Commission President Juncker to express its concern about the direction his Commission has taken when it adopted the Country Specific Recommendations for 2015. The letter urges him “to address this and turn the 2016 AGS into a first step towards a European Semester that is democratic, social, sustainable and inclusive“. “Using the European Semester purely as an instrument to ensure macro-economic and monetary stability will not help you bring the EU closer to its citizens”. #semesteralliance #AGS2016 Continue Reading