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The European Commission this week published the 2015 EU Youth Report. With regard to Ireland, the report reveals that Ireland recorded the highest fall in percentage points in its youth population since 2010 (-4 pp.). Ireland also recorded one of the largest proportions of young citizens leaving the country to settle in another EU Member State, although this trend is declining.

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.

'Poverty and Inequalities on the Rise - Just Social Models needed as the solution' is the third in a series of annual research reports prepared by Social Justice Ireland for Caritas Europa documenting the human and social impact of austerity policies adopted by the European Union and its member states with a particular focus on Cyprus, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Romania and Spain.

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.

A new study produced by Social Justice Ireland for Caritas Europa reveals disturbing levels of poverty and deprivation in the seven EU countries worst affected by the economic crisis: Cyprus, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Romania and Spain.

New 7-country study shows EU policies continue to produce rising poverty and unemployment.

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 seven countries worst hit.

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'.

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