EAPN 2015 Annual Policy Conference | Can the Semester deliver on poverty and participation?

Publish Date: 
Thursday, October 1, 2015

On Friday 9th October, EAPN will hold its annual policy conference where it will present its Assessment of the 2015 National Reform Programmes (NRPs) and European Semester, and debate together with 150 stakeholders including 80 EAPN national members, decision-makers and other stakeholders key questions: What needs to be done to ensure that the European Semester deliver on its Europe 2020 commitments to reduce poverty and promote participation? How can we help the EU move forward on a social, sustainable and democratic strategy that could give hope and restore faith in the EU?

Key speakers confirmed include Commissioner Thyssen, Outi Slotboom, DG ECFIN, Raquel Lucas, Cabinet of Commissioner Dombrovskis, Sergio Prieto, MEP & Tom Dominique, Chair of the SPC. The conference will open with a video by Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament.

Members of the EP, EESC, ETUC, and other civil society actors including people with direct experience of poverty will be present. The event is hosted by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) /SOC Section. 


In 2010, the Europe 2020 Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth set a target to reduce poverty by at least 20 million by 2020, delivered through the coordination cycle of the European Semester. The strategy and process have strikingly failed to deliver so far, with 1 in 4 people now in poverty and social exclusion, an increase of 5 million since 2008.

Although the Semester was expected to engage stakeholders in the process at national and EU level, the experience of participation has been generally low quality, undermining support for the EU amongst civil society, as well as the development of sustainable solutions.

The conference will review the performance of the European Semester on the poverty target of Europe 2020 and assess its progress in promoting effective participation with civil society. It comes at a timely moment when revisions to the European Semester are being considered, in the light of the 5 President’s report and worries about whether Europe 2020 will be side-lined, putting the poverty and social targets at risk, following the delays to the Mid-Term Review.

The recent orientation debates held by the College of Commissioners led by Commissioner Thyssen and Vice-President Dombrovskis have raised expectations of a new priority to put economic and social goals on a par, strengthening the social dimension and commitment to engage more effectively with civil society.

Venue & Programme

The seminar will take place at: European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), Room VMA3 | Rue Van Maerlant 2, 1040 Brussels

From 9.00am to 1.00pm.

Please see draft programme of the conference here.


The seminar is free and open to any EU or national stakeholder. No costs can be covered except for the EAPN members who will participate from the national level, including people with direct experience of poverty. Coffee and refreshments will be available.


To register, please do so through this link by 25 September.  Note, If you have already registered by an email to Rebecca Lee, there is no need to fill in the form in the link.


For more information on the programme, please contact Sian Jones, EAPN Policy Coordinator sian.jones@eapn.eu .

If you have any question on registration, please contact Rebecca Lee, EAPN Information and Events Officer Rebecca.lee@eapn.eu   | Tel: + 32 2 226 58 50

Social Media

Follow the conference on Twitter #2015EAPN