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A New Thrill: Investment
When Commission President Juncker addressed the European Parliament prior to his election he put forward the idea of an investment programme of 300 billion euro. Too ambitious or too modest? At least it is a clear sign of possible policy change! Until now the orthodoxy of “sound public finances” and the “black zero” have been the overall objective. This mantra was not questioned and always presented as though there was no alternative. In response, progressives have consistently called for a balanced policy that includes investment and does not kill the investment capacity of Member States even those under the Troika rules. The unilateral focus on financial and fiscal consolidation has produced unprecedented social imbalances in and between the Member States, as the Employment and Social Developments in Europe (ESDE) review has shown in the last three years.
For a dignified life free of poverty – SOLIDAR at EPAP Convention
On 20 November, in the framework of the European Platform Against Poverty Convention 2014, SOLIDAR organised an event titled ‘For a dignified life free of poverty – securing adequate levels of income throughout the life-cycle’ together with EAPN, EWL, AGE Platform Europe and the European Network of Migrant Women. The event aimed at identifying aspects and drivers of poverty related to how to ensure men and women in different stages of the life cycle can achieve an adequate income through decent jobs, income support and access to social protection.
SOLIDAR Report monitoring ENP Progress in Palestine
After Sweden officially recognised the State of Palestine on 30 October, in an important move that confirms the Palestinians’ right to self-determination, last week Spanish MPs overwhelmingly adopted a motion calling on their government to recognise a Palestinian state, echoing similar votes last month in Britain and Ireland.
SOLIDAR’s member, El Movimiento por La Paz (MPDL) that has been working in Palestine for 19 years, with extensive in-field knowledge of the political and socio-economic context of the country, has positively welcomed the initiative of the recognition of a Palestinian state.
Taking stock for a new Neighbourhood Policy
Last week SOLIDAR spoke at an Arab Europe dialogue organised by the Coptic Evangelical Organisations for Social Services (CEOSS) and the Protestant Academy Loccum (EAL) with the support of Brot für die Welt and Danmission (Speaking notes). Taking part in the panel together with representatives of the European Commission, European Peacebuilding Liaison Office and Faculty of Economics and Political Science of Cairo University, SOLIDAR underlined the need to reorient the Neighbourhood Policy to support social justice in the Middle East and North Africa. This was particularly crucial given the continuing violations of women’s rights (Promoting Women’s Rights and Gender Equality in the Middle East and North Africa publication), persisting violations of freedom of association, the high youth unemployment, limited quality and access to social and public services, limited basic social security guarantees, as well as the precarious living and working conditions of migrant and domestic workers.