BelgPresidency Conference on EU Coordination in the Social Field
Brussels, 15 September 2010
Belgian Presidency Conference on ‘EU Coordination in the Social Field in the Context of Europe 2020: Looking Back and Building the Future’, La Hulpe, 14-15 September 2010
Time to clarify how Europe 2020 will deliver on all its social objectives!
“We would like to know how the new Europe 2020 Strategy is expected to help Member States achieve their social objectives not only on poverty reduction but also in the pensions and health and long-term care fields. Major reforms are being introduced in these areas in many Member States and policy makers don't seem to have a clear undertanding of the impact such measures will have on older people's daily lives”, said Anne-Sophie Parent, Director of AGE, at the Belgian Presidency Conference on 14 September.
"The Social OMC needs to be reinforced on all 3 strands (social inclusion, pensions and health/long-term care) and we need new tools - such as a basket of goods and services that older people need to live in dignity - to assess and manage the impact of policy reform on older people daily lives", added Ms Parent.
For the first time ever, Member States agreed at EU level to reduce the poverty rate and to lift 20 million people out of poverty by 2020. This commitment is a direct recognition of the ongoing deterioration in people’s lives across Europe and of the growing number of those who fall into poverty – including older workers and the most vulnerable older people. However, the remaining challenge will now be to translate this ambitious objective into concrete measures. To do so, Member States and the Commission have proposed a flagship initiative on the ‘European Platform against Poverty’ as part of the Europe 2020 Strategy.
For AGE Platform Europe, there are still many open questions on how this new policy frame will work, and in particular how it will be linked to the Social Open Method of Coordination. "It is essential that the new Europe 2020 framework should seek to promote overall policy coherence and help Member States reform their social protection policies to ensure that gains in economic growth will benefit all", concluded Ms Parent.
Link to the Belgian Presidency Conference: http://www.eutrio.be/eu-coordination-social-field-context-europe-2020
Link to AGE latest Press Release on pensions: http://www.age-platform.eu/en/age-a-the-media/age-communication-to-the-media-press-releases/1100-belgian-presidency-conference-on-pensions