To wrap up 2021, Eurodiaconia hosted a webinar for members on the European Semester process. The aim of the event was to offer members an understanding of the upcoming 2022 Semester cycle, how they can engage with it at a national level and how we can support them at a European level.
The webinar began with a summary of our report “Promoting Shared Prosperity in the European Semester”, in particular, our social policy priorities for the 2022 Semester: strengthening social services, supporting long-term care services, building on the Child Guarantee, supporting young people and addressing poverty in all its forms. We then presented our reaction to the 2022 Autumn Package which is encouraging in some respects, especially with regards to the language used, emphasising sustainability, fairness and inclusivity. However, there are limitations, especially the extent to which the different Social Pillar Principles are addressed and the application of the Social Scoreboard. We highlighted 4 key areas in which we can see room for improvement: recognising & supporting the work of social service providers, taking decisive action on long-term care, effectively ensuring that no one is left behind and strengthening structured civil dialogue.
We then discussed how our members can get involved in the Semester Process. Firstly, presenting a guidance document, produced by Social Platform, designed to support the improvement of civil dialogue within member states. Through this document, Social Platform provides a clearly structured approach that organisations can utilise at a national level. They specify the key moments in which contributions can be made and advise on how to go about doing so. Secondly, we went through the timeline of the new Semester process as it looks in conjunction with the Recovery & Resilience Facility. We pinpointed key points at which members can contribute to the Semester process at a national level in 2022 and those points at which Eurodiaconia will contribute at the European level. Here you can find the European Semester Timeline and an overview of the planned involvement of Eurodiaconia.
We will be working with the Semester Process throughout 2022, with an emphasis on those areas where we see room for improvement and on those principles of sustainability, fairness and inclusivity. In June we plan to organise a webinar for members on the Country Reports and Country Specific Recommendations, which we encourage both members already working with the Semester and those who are interested to begin doing so, to attend.
You can find the full recording of the webinar here and the PowerPoint slides here.