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Europe 2020

The Government has just published the National Reform Programme 2012 Update for Ireland which contains, amongst other information a revised poverty target under Ireland’s commitments to the Europe 2020 Strategy.

Government is failing to reach the key targets it set itself as part of the Europe 2020 Strategy immediately after it came to power in 2011.  A new study from Social Justice Ireland published today, January 30th, 2012 shows that many of Ireland's major indicators on poverty and social inclusion are moving in the wrong direction.  Poverty has increased by almost 60,000.  Unemployment is not falling and the numbers employed are not increasing.

The following report was compiled by Social Justice Ireland in the context of the Europe 2020 
Strategy and of Ireland’s National Reform Programme which sets out Ireland’s contribution to 
achieving the overarching targets of the Europe 2020 Strategy. 
 
The report covers three of the five headline targets established in the Irish National Reform 
Programme, namely, education, employment and ‘poverty and social exclusion’. On each of 

The recent spring European Council (i.e. heads of Government in the EU) gave the final go-ahead for a comprehensive package of measures to preserve the financial stability of the eurozone and to strengthen economic governance. Both of these initiatives have implications for Ireland and raise serious questions concerning the real commitments of the European Council and the EU generally to proceed in a balanced and inclusive manner.

The European heads of government have produced a strategy for the next ten years that is underwhelming to say the least. The development model on which it is built is lop-sided.

POVERTY is something we cannot afford, according to the European Commissioner for employment, social affairs and inclusion.

In a presentation to the Oireachtas Committee today, March 25, 2010, Social Justice Ireland has called on the Taoiseach and the Irish Government to ensure that the European Council adopts a target of reducing poverty by 25% in the EU by 2020 and adopts social cohesion and social inclusion as explicit objectives of the European Strategy for 2020. The Council is set to meet today and tomorrow, March 25 and 26, 2010.

Following the EU Summit it is hard do work out what was decided or what the response of the Heads of Government will be to the huge response of the Social and Environmental organisations who challenged the European Commiossion's claim that they broadly supported the Commission's proposals for Strategy 2020.

Social and environmental organisations have reacted angrily to claims by the European Commission that they "broadly support" draft plans for the EU's Strategy 2020.  This overview misrepresents the views of major networks of organisations working with those who are poor and excluded across the EU.

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