Commission’s InvestEU proposal – Joint letter from the social sector

Investing in quality, innovative and sustainable social infrastructure – Joint letter from the social sector on the European Commission’s InvestEU proposal

In view of influencing the objectives of post 2020 EU investments, AGE Platform Europe together with other actors representing the social services, health, education and social housing sectors addressed to the European Commission a letter calling to unlock investment into innovative, sustainable and quality social infrastructure projects. The call responds to the European Commission’s proposal from last June to launch a new fund, called InvestEU, for the period 2021-2027 (read the Commission’s press release here).  The fund aims at mobilising €650 billion to finance sustainable infrastructure and is the continuation of the Juncker Plan’s European Fund for Strategic Investments.

While welcoming the general orientation of the InvestEU fund, the cosignatories of the letter pledge for additional changes for the fund in order to enable lasting innovation in the social, health, education and housing and ageing sectors in line with the European Pillar of Social Rights, the Sustainable Development Goals and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

We urged in particular the European Commission to ensure that the money which public authorities will spend across the EU addresses the needs of the people they serve. This should help both to increase public satisfaction and reduce costs. Considering the growing needs for quality infrastructure in the fields of social care and support, social housing, health or education, it is only through consistent public investment that Europe can guarantee the affordability, availability, adaptability, accessibility and quality of services for its citizens including older persons.  Moreover it will be also important to explore and identify new ways to spread out the risk of such public investment through other long-term investment mechanisms; yet without undermining the aforementioned requirements.

For more details please see the full version of the letter or contact Maciej Kucharczyk, maciej.kucharczyk@age-platform.eu

NGOs calls for an ambitious Rights & Values Programme 2021-2027 to support human rights and democracy

On 30 May 2018 the European Commission proposed the creation of a new Rights and Values funding programme in the new programing period 2021-2027 (read EC press release). The objective of this new funding proposal is to fight inequalities and discrimination and address the rise in extremism and radicalism in Europe.

Together with a coalition of NGOs, AGE warmly welcomes the new proposal that, we hope, will help protect the achievements of European integration. For that reason, we jointly call on the EU institutions and national policy leaders to make sure that the Rights and Values Programme 2021-2027 will be ambitious enough to meet the needs of civil society organisations at European level and on the ground in view of the current increasing challenges to democracy and human rights within the European Union.

Recalling that the respect and enjoyment of human rights by all is a fundamental feature of our democratic societies, the eight signatories of our joint letter to EU leaders insist on the need for strong action to protect the EU’s rule of law and address the disenchantment of many Europeans.
  

Read here our joint open letter 

AGE joins NGO call for better promotion of gender equality, accessibility and non-discrimination in EU funds

AGE joined a coalition of NGO’s to call upon EU decision-makers to uphold the issues of equality between women and men, accessibility for persons with disabilities and non-discrimination in the proposal for the Common Provisions Regulation 2021-2027 and in the Funds specific regulations.

In the current funding period 2014-2020, the EU structural and investment funds – including the European Social Fund, the European Regional Development Fund and the Cohesion Fund – are covered by a common regulation that explicitly featured non-discrimination as a horizontal principle of the funds. This horizontal principle does not appear again in the European Commission draft regulation for the 2021-2027 funding period. In a common press statement, the 10 members of the coalition call for the restitution of a horizontal principle on non-discrimination in European funds, recalling EU’s obligations to promote equality between women and men and combat all forms of discriminations under the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU, the European Charter of Fundamental Rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of persons with Disabilities
The statement also points out the important role played by the Common Provisions Regulations, in particular at a time where Europe is confronted with rising extremism, radicalism and inequalities.
    

Read our full joint statement here