Participants

  • Social Platform: Pierre Baussand (Director); Ariella de Gennaro (Development Officer)
  • Members of Social Platform – limited number of available reimbursed participants
  • Social civil society organizations (CSOs) in Lithuania
  • Government, other institutions and local authorities from Lithuania

Algimanta Pabedinskiené, Lithuanian Minister of Social Security and Labour, presented the key priorities of the future Lithuanian EU presidency in the social field, stressing the importance of four key elements: better jobs, rights of workers, the social dimension of the EU and gender equality. She emphasised the importance of the Social Investment Package (SIP) for the presidency. As regards the European Semester, Ms Pabedinskiené mentioned that it is important to implement the recommendations but also to share best practices and bring in a social dimension to the Economic Monetary Union (EMU). As regards Roma integration, the presidency expects the adoption of Council recommendations on enhancing the effectiveness of measures on Roma integration on the December EPSCO Council.

Main Social Platform messages delivered by its president Heather Roy:

  • There is a need to challenge the economic and financial architecture of the EU and its capacity to deliver on social objectives
  • Equal treatment must go beyond the area of employment
  • As regards social policy, adequate minimum income is required; maternity leave, having children and participating in labour market are all linked and must be discussed together.
  • Concerning youth unemployment (which is as high as 30% in Lithuania) old measures seem to have failed and new ones are needed; a youth guarantee must not be coercive but voluntary and should be set as an equality guarantee
  • Economic rights are also human rights so a rights based approach to social investment is essential
  • The efficiency of social and health systems should be reinforced: we should spend in a better way which does not necessarily mean spending less
  • Austerity reached its limits and the Social Investment Package can be considered as investment in the well-being of people

EPHA’s contribution to the conference

EPHA contributed to the conference by stressing the following messages:

  1. The potential of civil society – the European and the Lithuanian civil society shall use the Lithuanian EU presidency as an opportunity to make changes that happen both at European and National level. EPHA mentioned the example of the successful ‘Water is a human right!” European Citizenship Intiative (ECI).
  1. The importance of poverty for public health - there is a strong link between poverty and poor health: the lower the socio-economic status the worst the health outcome. The Fund for the Most Deprived is just a drop in the ocean and it cannot be considered as a silver bullet to reduce poverty at EU level.
  1. Strengthen the social dimension of the economic governance - the Social Investment Package (SIP) is crucial to put back the European social model into the right track. GDP alone is not adequate to describe the level of the performance of our society (go beyond GDP.) Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) should convince not only the health and social decision-makers, but also deliver the same messages to the financial community.

The event included an afternoon Networking Café with interactive discussions. The discussion facilitated by EPHA focused on the question of ‘How to use the economic crisis as an opportunity to reform social welfare/healthcare systems in order to reduce existing inequalities?

- Conference’s programe “Social investment under the Lithuanian EU Presidency” (English & Lithuanian)

For further information, please contact Zoltán Massay-Kosubek, EPHA Policy Coordinator for Policy Coherence at zoltan@epha.org


- Related EPHA articles


Last modified on May 24 2013.