European Anti-Poverty Network calls for EU Social Investment Pact

Tue 12 Jun 2012 12:45:00 PM EEST

Brussels, 11 June 2012 - The 23rd General Assembly of the European Anto-Poverty Network (EAPN) delivered a strong message to EU Institutions and National Governments to say that ‘Austerity´ is not working and that it is driving people further into poverty and making the ‘poor´ pay the price for the crisis they did not create. Delegates recognised some recent positive change in rhetoric in terms of a more social response to the crisis but it was clear that a change in words will not be enough but needs to be backed up by an EU Social Investment Pact.

EAPN believes that the following elements should be part of such an EU Social Investment Pact:

  1. Investment in quality job-creation, accessible services and high level social protection systems, including adequate minimum income schemes.
  2. Backing the role of the State to provide common goods and ensuring inclusion and social cohesion.
  3. The pursuit of tax justice - prioritising progressive income tax, wealth tax, financial transactions tax and tackling tax evasion and avoidance by closing down tax havens.
  4. Saving the Euro and reinforcing European economic stability.
  5. Measuring social progress not just economic performance.

The delegates to the General Assembly also expressed their solidarity with the people of Greece who they feel have been abandoned by EU leaders who enforced policies with no consideration for their immediate and long term social consequences. "This approach has had disastrous consequences which many, including EAPN, predicted" said Sérgio Aires, the new President of EAPN. "Until addressing poverty and inequality and defending the European Social Model becomes a real priority in European politics we will continue on this road to disintegration", he added.