"The credibility of Europe 2020 is at risk — Make the social and employment targets binding!"
S&D Euro MPs will call on the EU to set binding targets to fight poverty and social exclusion during a debate on the Europe 2020 strategy tomorrow morning in Strasbourg. The European Parliament will set out its priorities on the mid-term review of the strategy in a resolution to be adopted the same day.
S&D Group spokeswoman on employment and social affairs Jutta Steinruck said ahead of the debate:
"The EU will probably not reach its target to reduce the number of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion by 20 million by the year 2020. In fact, now there are seven million more people at risk than in 2008 - people who have been forgotten under the cloak of the crisis.
"In order to improve the situation in Europe, the social and employment targets of the Europe 2020 strategy must be put on the same level as EU economic and fiscal governance. Targets must become binding and be monitored within the framework of the European Semester. The credibility of the Europe 2020 strategy is in question, shortly before its mid-term review."
"Nothing will be possible without a strong investment package that includes social investments, for example, in the quality and access to social services."
Note to the editor:
The Europe 2020 strategy sets 5 targets for smart, inclusive and sustainable growth including a poverty and an employment target. By 2020, 75% of the 20-64 year-olds should be in employment. Furthermore, at least 20 million fewer people should be in or at risk of poverty and social exclusion. In 2015, the European Commission will undertake a mid-term review of the strategy. The poverty target will need particular attention to be achieved.