The Economic and Social Council and Eurofound held a joint conference on the social investment package on 16 June 2014. The conference took stock of the bad situation in the attainment of the Europe 2020 targets on unemployment and poverty.
Participants called for emphasising that active inclusion does not limit itself to work activation, but that it is a broader concept to move people out of poverty. This is often forgotten in the debates. In 2013, the European Commission issued a communication on ‘social investment’, announcing a paradigm shift in its thinking about social protection: if done in an efficient manner, social spending invests in people and is a pillar to a smooth functioning of a society and its economy. The Commission has proposed a number of strategies to implement the social investment approach.
Participants to the conference called for addressing the growing rates of poverty using the Social Investment approach, a measure that does not necessarily cost more money. The participants also called for the Country-Specific Recommendations to go in line with the poverty reduction target.