2010 Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion
2010 is a crucial moment for the EU. As the EU Year against Poverty and Social Exclusion it marks the deadline set by the Lisbon Strategy of 2000 for the EU to have made a decisive impact in eradicating poverty in Europe. It presents a vital opportunity to assess how far the EU has succeeded in achieving this goal. The Year is an opportunity for new thinking and new approaches. It is also an opportunity to deepen and broaden cooperation and solidarity with our European partners, and to genuinely contribute to a broader movement based on solidarity with those experiencing poverty across the European Union and beyond it boundaries. EAPN Ireland will play a central role in Ireland activities for the 2010 Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion.
What’s Going to Happen?
Throughout 2010, national governments, the European Union, civil society organisations and NGOs, and people experiencing poverty and social exclusion will come together to strive for a renewed pan-European commitment to tackling poverty and social exclusion. The year aims to put the fight against poverty and social exclusion at the top of the European and National agenda, so that the decade ahead can usher in real and tangible improvements for the 80 million Europeans who live every day at risk of poverty. Above all, the 2010 Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion aims to give a voice and a platform to people experiencing poverty and social exclusion, so that they can influence the decisions that affect their lives while also affirming their right to be heard and to play a part in steering Europe towards economic and social recovery.
What are the Aims of EAPN Ireland for 2010?
- Progress a new political commitment and understanding of participation in decision-making.
- Challenge incorrect, destructive or pejorative assumptions and progress responses to income support, inclusive labour markets and access to quality services (Active Inclusion).
- Contribute to the public debate on an alternative model of development for a more inclusive, equal and sustainable society.
- Build the profile and capacity of EAPN Ireland and its members.
What Messages will EAPN Ireland Communicate in 2010?
- Direct participation is the key to understanding and addressing the structural causes of poverty and social exclusion.
- More equal societies do better.
- An ‘EU we can trust’4 has a vital contribution to make to shaping a fair and inclusive society.
What is EAPN Ireland Planning for the 2010 Year?
EAPN Ireland will launch it’s programme for the year on 19th February 2010 with an International Conference entitled “Building Social Europe – From Crisis to Opportunity“. The Conference is an opportunity for EAPN at European and National level to set out it’s political objectives for 2010 and to raise the profile of the EU Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion. EAPN Ireland will coordinate or feed into a wide range of activities and events for the 2010 Year under the following headings (1) Participation & Empowerment; (2) Policy Development; (3) Awareness & Communication.
(1) Participation & Empowerment
- Direct engagement with people experiencing poverty in focus groups on issues of concern to them (25 focus group led by partners), focusing on income, services and labour market.
- Training sessions with individuals who are interested in becoming more engaged in policy processes in the context of the 2010 Year (three thematic training sessions).
- Development of a ‘train the trainers’ programme to secure sustainable strategies for enhancing engagement with local, national and European policy agendas (manual and training).
- Development and implementation of a stories campaign, with the real participation of those directly impacted by the issues represented.
- Preparation and participation of the Irish delegation in the 9th European meeting of People Experiencing Poverty, building on the outcomes of the 8th meeting.
- Building the membership of the Network and empowering existing (and new) members to become involved in activities related to the European Year.
- Organising regional meetings between people experiencing poverty and MEPs (building on pre elections contacts).
(2) Policy Development
- Three ‘Burning Issues Papers’ on income, services and labour market activation (led by partners).
- A study on the impact of the European Social Agenda in Ireland.
- Analysis of Ireland’s social welfare provisions in a comparative European context.
- Research on rural income targets (led by partner) and the development of income targets.
- Research on effective integrated service delivery at local level (led by project partner Cork City Council).
- Thematic regional roundtables (nine led by partner) on income, services and labour market activation
- National roundtables (three led by partners) on income, services and labour market activation
- Effective consultation initiative and report, including the development of a proposal for a participation commitment.
- European conference launching the EAPN political strategy for the Year (February 2010), as part of broader strategies to realise EAPN Europe’s proposals on a new post 2010 EU strategy.
- Implementation of the European campaign on adequate minimum income in Ireland.
(3) Communication & Awareness
- Development of a media initiative on the 2010 Year, with emphasis on representing stories of those experience poverty (factsheet and training) and opening up critical debate.
- Participation and development of activities relating to the 17 October, UN Day against Poverty.
- Development and implementation of a stories campaign, with the real participation of those directly impact by the issues represented.
- 6-8 local authority events building on the stories campaign.
- Specific media initiatives to dissemination actions, including the transnational conference and the stories campaign.
- Ongoing strategies to respond to emerging debates and make targeted contributions to media debate in the context of the three key messages.
- EAPN Newsletter on 2010 European Year.
- Development of new website.
- Anniversary publication and celebration (20-20 vision).