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EU 2020: Civil society proposals for a smart, sustainable and inclusive recovery

(Brussels, 14 May 2013) At a Public Hearing today in the European Parliament, European Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have joined forces in an ad-hoc coalition to present country-specific recommendations for 2013 in the areas of employment, poverty, education, tax, environmental change and gender equality. Together, they call for a more balanced social, sustainable and equality-based Economic and Monetary Union, Europe 2020 Strategy and effective multi-stakeholder engagement in the whole European Semester process.

“Strengthening ownership and democratic legitimacy through the voices of European citizens, national Parliaments and the European Parliament is the only way to restore confidence in the capacity of the EU to steer towards inclusive recovery”, states Sian Jones, European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN). “To do this, we are calling for a balance between macro-economic objectives, Country-Specific Recommendations (CSRs) and budget proposals that will substantially enhance, rather than undermine, social, environmental/climate and equality objectives and funds to support effective multi-stakeholder engagement in the whole European Semester process.”

As the EU enters its 5th year of crisis, the EU’s image is overwhelmingly identified with austerity, particularly in countries under the ‘Troika arrangements’. Steps are urgently needed to restore the balance between social and sustainable objectives and economic governance, if the EU is to revive trust in its Europe 2020 promises of a smart, sustainable and inclusive recovery based on democratic accountability and engagement.
“European governance mechanisms need to move beyond enforcing budgetary and financial stability and re-connect to the lives of real women, men, girls and boys across Europe. Member States must be accountable to the broader social and sustainable goals embedded in the Europe 2020 Strategy”, says Mary Collins, European Women’s Lobby, on behalf of the coalition. “Country-Specific Recommendations have a key role to play and the input of citizens across Europe is crucial to ensure smart, sustainable and inclusive recovery”.

This hearing is co-hosted by MEPs Marije Cornelissen, Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance; Veronica Lope Fontagné, European People’s Party; Marian Harkin, ALDE; Sergio Gutiérrez Prieto, S&D. The Country-Specific Recommendations presented by the CSOs have been compiled by their respective members, representing the voices of thousands of citizen’s across Europe that are directly affected by austerity and the requirements of economic governance to reduce public deficits and debt.

The ad-hoc coalition has produced a JOINT REPORT : Strengthening the democratic legitimacy of the European Semester: Civil Society Alternative Proposals for CSRs for a smart, sustainable and inclusive recovery, 2013-14.
It includes the key messages of the ad-hoc coalition and compiles alternative country-specific recommendations from the social, environmental and equality perspective from the member organisations of the coalition. Links to the individual CSOs and their respective CSRs are also included.

Follow on Twitter #csr2020
For further information, or interviews please contact:

  • Nellie Epinat, EAPN Communications Officer, +32 (2) 226 58 50
  • Anna Bates, EWL Communications Officer +32 2 217 90 20
  • Björn Becker, Communications Officer +32 (0)2 511 70 83

For further information regarding the Country-Specific Recommendations and engagement in the Europe 2020 and European Semester, please see:

European Anti-Poverty Network: Square de Meeus 18, 1050 Brussels
Contact: Sian Jones, Policy Coordinator. Tel: +32 2 226 5859.;
See: EAPN Assessment and Alternative Proposals for Country-Specific Recommendations (2013) with detailed country fiches.

European Women’s Lobby: rue Hydraulique 18, 1210 Brussels
Contact: Mary Collins, Policy Officer. Tel: +32 2 217 90 20 email:

Caritas Europa
Contact - Artur Benedyktowicz, Policy and Advocacy Officer. Tel: +32 2 235 26 52;
See: Europe 2020 Shadow Report - Missing the train for inclusive growth

Green Budget Europe (GBE): Boulevard de Waterloo 34 , B-1000 Brussels
Contact: Constanze Adolf, Director. Tel: +32 2 790 88 12 -
See Green Budget Europe CSR proposals

EASPD: Av. d’Auderghem/Oudergemselaan 63, B - 1040 Brussels
Contact: Sabrina Ferraina, Policy Officer. Tel +32 2 282 46 15 ;

Eurodiaconia: Rue Joseph II 166, 1000 Brussels
Contact: Clotilde Clark Foulquier, Policy Officer. Tel +32 2 234 3860;

Eurochild : Avenue des Arts, 1-2, B -1210 Brussels
T: +32 (0)2 511 70 83 -
Contact: Réka Tunyogi (Advocacy & Parliamentary Officer) -

AGE : Rue Froissart 111, 1040 Brussels, Tel. +
Contact : Maciej Kucharczyk (Managing Director),;

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