EAPN releases its full assessment of the European Commission’s Country-Specific Recommendations 2015

2015-EAPN-CSR-2015-Assessment-cover10/06/2015 – On May 15 the Commission adopted their proposals for Country-Specific Recommendations (CSRs). EAPN responded with an immediate Press Release calling on Commission to issue poverty recommendations not only in 6 but in all Member States. This paper sets out the main messages and main recommendations from a more detailed assessment of the CSRs, as regards their delivery on the Europe 2020 Strategy targets on poverty reduction, employment and education. A detailed country by country analysis is annexed.

 

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PRESS RELEASE- Green Budget Europe response to EC CSRs ‘Commission drops fossil fuel subsidy reform, putting citizens’ health and the EU’s position at climate negotiations in jeopardy’

30/05/2015- The country-specific recommendations (CSRs) released by the European Commission are devoid of any mention of Environmentally Harmful Subsidies, expert platform Green Budget Europe (GBE) reveals. This stands in stark contrast to the CSRs issued in 2014, when the Commission pointedly asked Italy to “remove environmentally harmful subsidies”. Last year, the Commission had also requested both Belgium and France to “phase out environmentally harmful subsidies”. GBE says: “Overall, the entire CSRs run to around 5,000 words but the very word environment is only used in once. That’s in relation to one of Europe’s smallest countries – Luxembourg – which the Commission asks to “broaden its tax base, in particular on consumption, recurrent property taxation and environmental taxation”.

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PRESS RELEASE- The Semester Alliance on CSRs 2015. EU further off-track to deliver an inclusive, sustainable, social and equal Europe.

20/05/2015- The EU is failing to deliver an inclusive recovery strategy, which is urgently needed to bring the Europe 2020 Strategy back on track – in particular to combat poverty, create quality jobs, invest in early child development, equality for all, including gender equality and ensure environmental sustainability. This is the critical assessment of the Semester Alliance, a broad European coalition bringing together environmental, social and equality NGOs and trade unions, responding to the European Commission’s Country-Specific Recommendations (CSRs) published on 13 May 2015.

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PRESS RELEASE – EAPN deeply worried about Commission’s Country-Specific Recommendations and calls on the EC to issue a specific set of recommendations to fight poverty in all Member States

On 13/05/2015 the European Commission made public its proposals for Country-Specific Recommendations (CSRs).  The European Anti-Poverty Network reacted sharply to the Commission’s proposals for country-specific recommendations, which were published on the 13th of May. “The new recommendations may be closely aligned with President Juncker’s key priorities in the Annual Growth Survey: boosting investment, structural reforms and responsible fiscal policies, but they offer little in the way of a vision to turn the tide for the more than 120 million people in poverty in Europe,” said Sérgio Aires, President of EAPN. EAPN is very concerned about the increasing invisibility of Europe 2020 Strategy together with its commitments to promote smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and to deliver on the targets – particularly to reduce poverty by at least 20 million by 2020.

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PRESS RELEASE: “European Fund for Strategic Investment: Making it Democratic, Social and Sustainable”

SemesterAlliance17/03/2015 – The Semester Alliance, a broad European coalition bringing together environmental, social and equality NGOs and trade unions, calls on the European Council and the European Parliament to ensure that the European Commission’s proposal for a European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI) focuses on achieving the Europe 2020 targets. For this to be attained, changes must be made to the proposal to ensure that the Investments will have a particular focus on Social and Sustainable projects, whilst also being based on a transparent and democratic decision-making process.

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A BEATING HEART FOR A BETTER EUROPE | Watch EU Semester Alliance video

Untitled02 February 2015 – Today, the EU Alliance for a democratic, social and sustainable European Semester or (EU Semester Alliance) releases A Beating Heart for a Better Europe. This video highlights the main activities, benefits and learning of the EU Semester Alliance, particularly incorporating the views of the national level and external stakeholders.

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Give a voice to civil society in Europe 2020!

2014-Semester-Alliance-hearing-03-12-2014Brussels, 03/12/2014 – Today, the EU Alliance for a democratic, social and sustainable European Semester, a broad coalition bringing together environmental, social and equality NGOs and trade unions, is holding a hearing in the European Parliament hosted by Jean Lambert MEP (Greens/EFA) and Marian Harkin (ALDE). The hearing aims to highlight the missing voice of civil society in the debate on the revision of the Europe 2020 Strategy, and the urgent need to include them as key partners in the EU governance process known as the European Semester, at national and EU level. It will also debate with Parliament and stakeholders, initial reactions to the new AGS 2015 package adopted by the European Commission on Friday the 28th November.


The EU Semester Alliance believes that the Europe 2020 Strategy could form the basis of a rebalanced agenda for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, but significant changes are needed. Key to progress is governance. The Semester needs to connect to people and organizations on the ground, who are working directly with the result of EU policies, and involve them effectively in the decision-making process. Though the new AGS 2015 gives some recognition of this, concrete steps forward are needed”, said Barbara Helfferich, Chair of the EU Semester Alliance.

Participation is about ownership and legitimacy, but also about getting better solutions. Europe 2020 has to be put back at the heart of this Semester process, and clear commitment given to deliver on the failed poverty, social and environmental targets and to make progress on equality goals. The new AGS 2015, focusing on market-led investment, more structural reforms and continued austerity cuts to public spending, doesn’t appear to give much hope to the people living in Europe of delivering tangible results. We had expected that the new Commission would give new priority to Europe 2020 targets on poverty, employment, and climate/ resource efficiency. The focus must shift away from short-term quick fix to how to deliver long-term prosperity, sustainable development, social justice and gender equality based on fundamental rights. Greater ownership and accountability would help the whole process to live up to its full potential’, she added.

The event will present the Semester Alliance assessments and key messages for revision of the strategy, including the findings of 3 pilot cross-sectoral national alliances in Bulgaria, Denmark and Ireland and will debate with cross party representation of MEPs from the European Parliament and other EU institutions on the new AGS 2015 and the way forward for Europe.

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NOTES TO THE EDITOR:

See Key Messages and Report

See Presentations

The Alliance

The EU Alliance for a democratic, social and sustainable European Semester (EU Semester Alliance) is a broad coalition bringing together 15 major European civil-society organisations and trade unions, representing thousands of member organisations on the ground at European, national and local levels in the European Union.

The ‘Semester Alliance’ aims to support progress towards a more democratic, social and sustainable Europe 2020 Strategy, through strengthening civil dialogue engagement in the European Semester at national and EU levels. Its activities include capacity-building and awareness raising as well as joint advocacy actions and support to 3 national pilot cross-sectoral alliances in Bulgaria, Denmark and Ireland.It is currently funded by the European Commission under the framework of a Joint Action, supported by the EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (VP/2013/006)

The EU Semester Alliance members

The EU Alliance members include:

  • Age Platform Europe
  • Caritas Europa
  • Housing Europe
  • Eurochild
  • Eurodiaconia
  • European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN)
  • European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD)
  • European Environmental Bureau (EEB)
  • European Federation of Food Banks (FEBA)
  • European Federation of National Organisations working with the Homeless (FEANTSA)
  • European Public Service Union (EPSU)
  • European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC)
  • European Women’s Lobby (EWL)
  • Green Budget Europe
  • Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM)

The Alliance’s other key publications

The EU Semester Alliance – A voice to be heard and followed

http://semesteralliance.net

#semesteralliance

Enabling civil-society to participate in the shaping of EU policies and to contribute to progress on the Targets of the Europe 2020 Strategy concerns us all!

For press inquiries, Contact Nellie Epinat (nellie.epinat@eapn.eu) +32 (0)498 44 13 66 or Sian Jones, Coordinator of the Semester Alliance (sian.jones@eapn.eu) +32 (2) 226 58 50