This week the new European Commission finally took office. It has been a rocky road to get here with Commissioners set aside and negotiations over portfolios, gender representation, and titles. But here we are…27 people who will shape the policies of the European Union for the next 5 years. At Eurodiaconia we are happy with the appointment for social rights and have already had the opportunity to introduce Commissioner Nicolas Schmit to what Eurodiaconia is and does. But he is one person and the whole of the European Commission needs to be committed to social rights and social justice. The new Commission is still to publish its work programme so I thought I might have a go on behalf of the members of Eurodiaconia… So here is my ten-point plan for the new European Commission:

– Put people and planet first in all that you do

– Work for a real social market economy that serves the well being of people

– Prioritize the most vulnerable in our societies – how they are treated will show what values the European Union really has

– Engage with people who have experienced poverty and social exclusion, marginalised groups and experts by experience to see if policies will work and hear their proposals

– Invest in social policies including social services, ensuring access, affordability, availability and quality

– Ensure adequacy of income for all people in Europe by ensuring living minimum income or salaries

– Remove barriers for not for profit social service providers to be full players in the provision of social and health care services around the European Union

– Re frame the narratives on migration and social exclusion to ensure we see the value that each person can bring to our communities and fight against populist and rights restricting politics

– Continue to socialise the European Semester and make it the driving force for social, economic and environmental wellbeing

– Work with Eurodiaconia and its members as well as other NGO’s to gain knowledge, ideas and partnership and continue to provide funding to do so

Do you think they will listen.. let’s hope so.

Have a good weekend,