An EU Worth Defending – EAPN analysis of National Reform Programmes and National Social Reports 2012

In its latest EU wide assessment of Member States National Reform Programmes and National Social Reports EAPN (Europe) has concluded that using the current approach the Europe 2020 poverty target to lift at least 20 million people out of poverty and social exclusion by 2020 will not be met.

The analysis has shown that despite the promises of the Commission’s Annual Growth Survey priority 4 – to tackle unemployment and the social consequences of the crisis -, poverty has increased by 2 million since 2010, and the analysis of the NRPs demonstrates how macroeconomic focus on austerity, driven by economic governance, is directly undermining benefits and public services. Whilst poverty is mainly invisible in the reports, the main strategy offered is a job at any price, hardening activation, when there are few jobs to go and excluded groups are the last to access them. Investment in integrated, person-focussed strategies which promote active inclusion and provide access to rights, resources and services are largely absent, nor have EU Structural Funds being used to promote them.

The report assesses the contribution of all areas in the NRPs and NSRs to effective policies for poverty reduction: macroeconomic, employment and social inclusion policies, Structural Funds and participation of stakeholders. The overwhelming verdict is a ‘fail’, in all fields. Read the full report and recommendations entitled ‘An EU worth Defending: Beyond Austerity to Social Investment and Inclusive Growth’

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