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Policy issues concerning European Union

Austerity policies in the EU have contributed to intense economic suffering, particularly for young people and other vulnerable social groups, a new report has found. 123 million EU citizens – one in every four – are at risk of poverty or social exclusion – an increase of 7 million in the six years up to 2013.  An extra 8.4 million people became unemployed in the same period and almost one quarter of economically active young people in the EU are unemployed.  Young people constitute the largest group in the EU that is underemployed and feels discouraged in looking for work.

Thomas Fazi's presentation at the Social Policy Conference 2014 is available to view.  Click the 'read more' link below to watch a larger video or to download the full text of the presentation.

The full text of the Briefing provided by Social Justice Ireland to the European Parliament's Economic and Monetary Committee on January 17, 2014 Can be accessed here

More than 285,000 people call on EU to consider Basic Income

285,042 EU citizens have called on the European Commission to consider a Universal Basic Income (UBI) as a fairer and simpler social security system.  Each of these citizens signed The European Citizens Initiative (ECI)1 for Unconditional Basic Income (UBI).2 The collection of signatures officially ended on Tuesday January 14th 23.59pm.  

Professor Seán Ó Rian presented a paper at Social Justice Ireland's 2013 Social Policy Conference entitled 'Economic Foundations of Social Progress - Ireland through a Nordic Lens'.  The paper examines social protection, employment, finance and institutional transformation from an Irish and a European perspective.

The paper is available here.

The presentation and Q & A session are available to view below.

Ireland needs a combination of vision and pragmatic policies that can truly move the country towards a desirable and sustainable future.  We also need to focus on evidence rather than on the endless assertions we hear communicated each day seeking to defend dubious policy developments.

These were two of the points made by Sean Healy, Brigid Reynolds and Michelle Murphy at Social Justice Ireland's Policy Conference on 'A Future Worth Living For'.

The WHO Regional Office for Europe  has just published the Review of social determinants and the health divide in the WHO European Region, coordinated by University College London’s Institute of Health Equity. 

The employment and social situation in the EU remained critical in the fourth quarter of 2012 with employment receding overall and unemployment rising further, while households' financial situation remained serious according to the European Commission's latest Employment and Social Situation Quarterly Review. The adverse effects of public budget cuts and tax increases on employment and living standards are increasingly apparent in certain Member States.

A new Caritas Europa study, reveals disturbing levels of poverty and deprivation in the five EU countries worst hit by the economic crisis; Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain.  It also finds that the prioritisation by the EU and its Member States of economic policies at the expense of social policies during the current crisis is having a devastating impact on people - especially in the five countrie

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