At Eurodiaconia we welcome the general promise to strengthen cohesion and solidarity amidst economic recovery. However, we are forced to highlight once more that the social and economic dimensions are of equal importance; both form the base for social cohesion, which is not adequately reflected yet.
This morning, the President of the Council of the European Union Charles Michel has also presented the Council’s new proposals for the next MFF and the Recovery Plan, which will be at the center of next week’s European Council.
As the leading federation of diaconal organisations in Europe, we are still particularly concerned with the overall reduction of the ESF+ budget and the decrease of EU co-financing rates. In recent open letters to the EU institutions, Eurodiaconia and its members have addressed these major concerns. European leaders need to take into account the well-being of people across Europe, which must be recognised as a firm priority within the framework of recovery in the short and long-term.
The ESF+ is crucial for implementing long-term social inclusion measures and should be sufficiently reflected in the current proposal. There should be an overt commitment to address all forms of poverty and social exclusion. It’s time for the European Union to listen to the voice of its citizens and to build an economy that puts human dignity first and works for all people. It is time to permanently fill the inequality gaps that existed before COVID-19 and have been exacerbated by the current crisis.
It is time to look closely at the social and health care sectors’ needs as essential services and to make sure that adequate funding will be available for our services to provide a comprehensive and people-centered approach in light of the long-term impact of this pandemic.
Have a nice weekend,