How can we better support cities in meeting the employment, poverty reduction and education aspects of the Europe 2020 strategy?
Our new policy paper on cities' experiences on the social aspects of the Europe 2020 strategy will feed into the European Commission's public consultation on Europe 2020. Since the launch of the Europe 2020 strategy in 2010, European cities have been experiencing a number of challenges in terms of the social targets, including: an exacerbation of poverty among at-risk groups; an increase in the number of working poor due to low quality and insecure jobs; greater youth unemployment and more young people not in employment, education or training; persistent long term unemployment among the over 50s; and an upward trend in early school leaving, particularly in deprived urban areas.
In addition, despite the fact many cities are frontline providers of social services, many have had their budgets and resources cut due to austerity policies and the drive for fiscal consolidation. In some cases, this has left them unable to respond adequately to mounting social challenges.
We call for better involvement of cities in the Europe 2020, by engaging them directly in preparing the National Reform Programmes (NRPs), as well as strengthening their role in the implementation of EU funding to support the local development of socially-innovative policies.
We also call for EU and national commitment towards coordinated active inclusion strategies, to empower cities in their work on poverty, employment and early school leaving.
Finally, we recommend maintaining the current poverty, employment and early school leaving targets, and promoting a comprehensive European social policy in partnership with European cities.
You can find our full statement at the link below.