Olivier de Schutter is the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights. He believes that Europe has not done enough to reduce exclusion.
I long for more. In Porto, we deal with symptoms more than causes. The Porto Declaration never clearly pointed out structural obstacles in Europe’s fight against poverty. In my opinion, there are three points: lack of fiscal coordination, social competition among 27 countries, and finally the Stability and Growth Pact, and the macroeconomic constraints it imposes on Europeans.
There is a debate about what to do next in the committee. Roughly speaking, should we restore the existing agreement as soon as the crisis is over? Or continue to do other things to better encourage countries to fight social exclusion?I met [les vice-présidents de la Commission] Valdis Dombrovskis and Frans Timmermans, and commissioner Paolo Gentiloni [à l’économie], And Nicholas Schmidt [aux affaires sociales] : Obviously, there are differences of opinion in the committee. The fact that Nicolas Schmit is not in contact with the working group responsible for reflecting on the subject is not a good sign.
This is a card that the committee should play. Europeans have missed the opportunity to promote a more socialized Europe, even if recovery plans provide funding, such as projects to fight exclusion led by non-governmental organizations.We worked with my team on the national recovery plan [que les Européens ont remis à la Commission afin d’accéder aux aides du plan de relance]Unfortunately, with the exception of Spain, NGOs and social partners have hardly participated.
The EU still pretends to believe that growth will meet the expectations of those who are permanently excluded. We know that this is not the case. Social affairs are certainly not within the EU’s mandate, but they have a way to create a framework to promote poverty eradication efforts. The reform of the Stability and Growth Pact may change the rules of the game.
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