The austerity-only policies imposed as an « answer » to the economic and social crisis are having devastating effects on social investments, including those in social inclusion structures and services, social innovation and of course social protection systems. Such systems have always supported people’s skills and capacities and their participation in society and the labour market..
However, if we want to put a halt or even reverse the disintegration of the social fabric of our cities and regions, time has come to shift our policy focus and prioritise the public budgets towards long-term investment in people.
In fact, because of its stabilisation effect,the way towards long-term fair and sustainable growth cannot but go through social investment, which must become the top priority on the European political agenda.
Together with its political family, the PES Group in the CoR has been strongly involved in the fight for abinding EU Social Investment Pact, which would set investment targets for social investments to be taken up by Member States in a given timeframe in order to meet the employment, social and education targets of the Europe 2020 strategy.
In this context, this seminar aims at addressing through an open debate the current EU social policy framework and at putting on the table concrete progressive measures for improving social investment in our cities and regions. At the same time, it will feed into the discussions on the Social Investment Package,on which PES Group member Ahmed Aboutaleb, Mayor of Rotterdam, is the Committee of the Regions rapporteur.