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Social Protection Committee’s Key Social Challenges for Europe endorsed by EU Member State Permanent Representatives

The Committee of the Permanent Representatives of the Governments of the Member States to the European Union (COREPER) has endorsed the EU’s Social Protection Committee’s key messages on the social challenges Europe currently faces.

Composed of the permanent representatives of each of the EU’s Member States, COREPER’s endorsement of the Report suggest that Member States acknowledge that these challenges are present at a national state level.

Published by the Social Protection Committee (SPC), which is an advisory policy committee for the Employment and Social Affairs Council (EPSCO), the report highlights the importance of high quality social services and the transition towards community based care.

Key messages of the report include:

  • There is a lack of inclusiveness of the economic recovery.

To address this issue the report calls for further action within a number of different policy areas, such as fostering equal opportunities across all policy domains, improving the design of tax and benefit systems, as well as stepping up the active inclusion approach, which combines adequate income support, integrated active labour market policies and access to quality social services.
 

  • That a 1/5 of all people living in poverty or social inclusion are children  

To support a reduction in child poverty the report highlighted the need for integrated strategies that combine prevention, adequate income support and access to quality services. In particular the report stressed the need for access to affordable quality early childhood education and care, along with well-designed work-life balance policies as these areas key to improving children's life prospects, while at the same time supporting the labour market participation of their parents, notably mothers.

 

  • People with disabilities, with a migrant background and ethnic minorities, including Roma, often face multiple disadvantages in relation to participation in the labour market and in society

The report asserts that supportive measures to help people enter the labour market should be complimented by improved accessibility, social services and preventive approaches to strengthen all individuals' capacities to participate actively in society and the economy.

 

  • An aging population is increasing the demand and need for long-term care.

The report stresses that measures to address this demand could include creating a shift from institutional to community care and home care and improved policies for prevention, rehabilitation and independent living.

 

  • The principles enshrined in the European Pillar of Social Rights should provide a strong consensual basis for social protection systems and social inclusion measures which invest effectively and efficiently in people and support them in coping with challenges throughout the life course.

These messages are intended to be used a guide for the messages of the primary work of the 2019 Annual Growth Survey, which is the first step of the European Semester cycle, a multiannual framework which enables Member States to coordiante their economic policies across the EU and monitor their progress throughout the year.

 

To read it the COREPER’s full endorsement of the SPC’s key challenges click here.

To find about more about the European Semester and the Annual Growth Survey, click here.