Comment: Another Agenda is Possible
SOLIDAR, like other civil society networks in Europe and worldwide, are contributing to policy change. In times of crisis and in the face of the challenges stemming from fiscal and financial orthodoxy, we have been tirelessly calling for another strategy and have found good arguments in the devastating social consequences of austerity policies to show that poverty is increasing, social justice is lacking and we are getting further away from our objectives of equality and social cohesion in the EU and the achievement of the Europe 2020 Strategy's social objectives.
At the international level, the ILO, World Bank, UN agencies and NGOs have started to work together to enhance interagency coordination and cooperation on social protection issues and support those countries in the global South who understand that introducing social protection schemes is not only a fundamental pillar of the Decent Work Agenda, but necessary for economic growth and a human right.
Evidence exists which demonstrates that social protection schemes do not need huge financial investments. ILO studies have found that it is possible to finance Social Protection Floors even in low-income countries; in Juan Somavia's words: "The world does not lack the resources to eradicate poverty, it lacks the right priorities." In the meanwhile in Europe, we are observing the weakening of safety nets and the question marks being put forward by neoliberal forces on the sustainability of our social protection schemes.
As SOLIDAR, we believe that there no good reason to deny people access to social protection and are proud of being able to be part of and contribute to the Social Protection Interagency Board which met this week at the UN in New York - established by the G20 to support countries willing to introduce social protection schemes. We are mobilised to promote this agenda now both in Europe and worldwide. This agenda is possible! We stand for it! We campaign for it!
Conny Reuter, Secretary General