Politics and Society/Social Inclusion

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[edit] The Social Situation in the European Union

Although there have been efforts in recent years to eradicate poverty and social deprivation, there are still marginalised groups being socially and economically excluded in all EU Member States. In general, the economic situation has a strong impact on the social situation in Europe and the European Employment Strategy is closely related to social policy approaches. Gender equality issues as well as gender mainstreaming as a strategy is given increased attention within the European Social Agenda 2005-2010 . The National Action Plans against poverty and social exclusion resulting from the European Social Inclusion Process imply gender mainstraming as a transversal principle.

According to Article 143 of the Treaty on the European Union, the European Commission has to provide an annual report on progress in achieving the objectives of Article 136, including the demographic situation in the Community. These objectives are "the promotion of employment, improved living and working conditions, so as to make possible their harmonisation while the improvement is being maintained, proper social protection, dialogue between management and labour, the development of human resources with a view to lasting high employment and the combating of exclusion."

The report on is published annually by the Directorate General of Employment and Social Affairs and EUROSTAT. It deals with the quality of life of people living in Europe and provides a holistic view of the population and its social conditions as a background to social policy development. It also provides a review of population trends, living conditions and social cohesion in the European Union, focusing on a policy relevant theme each year.

[edit] The European Social Inclusion Process

The European Social Inclusion Process is closely related to Articles 136 and 136 of the Amsterdam Treaty explicitely countering social exclusion and poverty, which became the most important goals of the European social policy. The eradication of poverty in the European Union by 2010 is on of the main objectives of the EU. Resulting from the Lisbon Strategy and based on the Open Method of Coordination, Member States should co-ordinate their policies for combating poverty and social exclusion on the basis of a process of policy exchanges and mutual learning.

[edit] National Reports on Strategies for Social Protection

Based on the Open Method of Coordination approach, each Member State is obliged to transfer the EU objectives into national/regional policies on the basis of National Reports on Strategies for Social Protection and Social Inclusion. These reports cover developments regarding key points of national social policy and provide information on family politics, poverty, pension insurance, social assistance, unemployment insurance schemes and many others issues. They have to be regularly submitted to the European Commission.

[edit] European Social Agenda 2005-2010

The European Commission has launched its new Social Agenda for modernising Europe's social model under the revamped Lisbon Strategy for growth and jobs. The Social Agenda 2005-2010 focuses on providing jobs and equal opportunities for all and ensuring that the benefits of the EU's growth and jobs drive reach everyone in society. By modernising labour markets and social protection systems, it will help people seize the opportunities created by international competition, technological advances and changing population patterns while protecting the most vulnerable in society.

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