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Social Progress Lab: need for alternative reforms to enhance Europe’s social dimension
The recent quarterly review by the European Commission to assess labour market and social developments painted a clear picture: the number of unemployed people remains high throughout Europe with big divergence between Member States. Although some improvements in employment numbers can be identified, especially young people are carrying the burden of the recent economic crisis and failed policy responses. Waiting for growth to return the Europe is not an answer SOLIDAR can accept. Therefore, our approach is two-fold: supporting our members in their targeted services provision to the persons in need and at the same time the development of alternative answers to the structural reforms currently being promoted by EU institutions and most national governments.
Greek referendum - to be or not to be?
Where are the Europeans? The media hype in the Member States and at EU-level continues, but the tone has changed. Determinism, intimidation and threats are now on the table and in the speeches about resolving the Greek/European crisis. It seems there are only losers: the Greek people – because whatever they vote for, they will not immediately escape the trap of austerity. You only need to look at the key indicators to find the real story: a rising suicide rate, and disastrous health and employment statistics. Behind every statistic are human beings! A YES vote will bring new negotiations, but will there be real alleviation, will there be a roadmap for the sustainable economic and social development of Greece? The contributions and reactions of Stieglitz, Griffith-Jones and Piketty show the alternative solution. A NO vote will send the first domino falling. If the Drachma is reintroduced there will be two currencies, one strong - the Euro - and difficult to access and one weak, linked to inflation and a loss of purchasing power for pensioners, workers and employees.
Validation of skills and qualifications acquired through non-formal and informal learning
Today, in its plenary session the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) looks at the opinion report of the section for Employment, Social Affairs and Citizenship on “Validation of skills and qualifications acquired through non-formal and informal learning – the practical inputs of organised civil society” prepared by Pavel Trantina. This own initiative report puts a strong emphasis on providing people with opportunities of validation of learning outcomes of non-formal and informal leaning in light of the Council Recommendation on validation that calls on Member States to develop validation arrangements by 2018.
Universal Social Protection: ILO and the Word Bank call world leaders to ensure that no one is left behind
On June 30th, a milestone joint ILO and Word Bank initiative, calling world leaders to move away from targeted safety nets to universal social protection systems, was launched.
This is a major step away from the minimalistic, temporary and targeted safety nets vision of Social Protection victim, since the 1980s of market-oriented reforms.