This was one of the discussion questions in our conference this week on “Balancing Social and Economic Policies“. A lively debate took place between 2 MEPS who are good friends of Eurodiaconia but have different views on how social and economic policies should be developed.
The purpose of the conference was to contribute to debates on economic governance at EU level – which might seem very dry and far away from the reality of our members… But actually, our members in Austria and the Netherlands demonstrated the effect of distant economic policies on the lives of people – particularly the most vulnerable in our societies – those with the lowest incomes or with precarious work.
We had a lot of debate about systems – and the systems we are working with – but a system only works if it has a purpose – and what is that purpose? When we think about HOW public money should be used we perhaps need to follow that up with WHO is it being spent for?
The measure of a society is how it relates to the less advantaged among us – and so that should be the answer to how we spend public and private monies and how our economic policies should be designed. We need to have economic growth but it should be in the context of a social market economy that promotes the wellbeing of people as its primary aim.
This week our members showed why they are the true experts both practically and politically. They used evidence-based approaches from the services and relationships they have to show how social and economic policies need to be balanced and what the impact would be. You can watch our conference on catch up via our website but we will be moving forward, with our members and our friends in the European Parliament and the European Commission, to bring more reality checks to decision-makers and more proposals for ensuring an economy of wellbeing.
Have a nice day,