On the 9 October, the European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN) held its Annual Policy Conference, addressing the question of whether the European Semester can deliver on poverty and participation. The event was attended by a range of stakeholders, such as national members of the EAPN and representatives from the European Commission, including Marianne Thyssen, the Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, and Skills and Labour Mobility. Concerns were raised over the failure of the European Semester to deliver on the social dimension, as the number of people experiencing poverty has even increased since 2008, with one in four people at risk of poverty in the EU right now. Furthermore, the participation of stakeholders and civil society organisations in the process of the European Semester was deemed insufficient and of low quality. Therefore, three key messages have been highlighted:

  • Macroeconomic policies should deliver on social objectives.
  • The social dimension of the European semester needs to be strengthened, with an integrated strategy on poverty and investments.
  • Participation and NGO involvement needs to be taken seriously.

The full report can be accessed here.

A full EAPN assessment of the national reform programs can be accessed here.