Caritas Europa answers to the European Commission's consultation on a new social vision for Europe
Brussels, 20 February 2008 - Caritas Europa answered last week to the consultation: "Opportunities, access and solidarity: towards a new social vision for 21st century Europe" that was launched by the European Commission in the framework of the renewal of the EU Social Agenda by mid-2008.
The Communication intends to draft out a new social vision for Europe. The European Commission has based this work on a preliminary analysis of how European societies are changing; the new social challenges they are facing and how these could be addressed through an effective partnership between the EU and its Member States.
Caritas Europa has answered to the consultation by establishing a list of comments and proposals. The organisation's answer is based on the long-time experience of its member organisations that, on a daily basis, deal with millions of people exposed to poverty and social exclusion.
Solidarity "is a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good
Caritas Europa reacts to the Commission's single-track description of social security systems as means to contribute to employment and economic growth. It stresses that social security systems should also have the social mission "to protect human rights, to uphold the dignity of men and women and to foster social cohesion".
The organisation underlines the lack of reference to several disadvantaged social groups who would benefit of structural changes in the market and in the social security systems, such as single-parent families, the mentally ill and the working poor.
Reminding the EU and its Member States that what really counts in the end is what they "will deliver on their values and promises", Caritas Europa remarks that a series of important highlights mentioned in a previous paper on "social reality stocktaking" have not been mentioned in the present document anymore.
In particular, the consequences on social security systems arising from globalisation; the negative effects of focusing on profits and short-term financial returns on job security and long-term commitments; and the widening of inequality between European regions are not included.
Read Caritas Europa's complete Answer to the Consultation on "Opportunities, access and solidarity: towards a new social vision for 21st century Europe"
Opportunities, access and solidarity: towards a new social vision for 21st century Europe
Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions
Brussels, 20.11.2207 - COM(2007) 726 final
Europe's Social Reality: a "stocktaking"
European Commission prior consultation process on which "Opportunities, access and solidarity: towards a new social vision for 21st century Europe" is based.