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Which issue retained for the 2010 European Year ?

Anne DEGRAND GUILLAUD, DG for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities Head of Unit – Coordinator of European Year 2010 for combating poverty and social exclusion

Could you please present what are the missions of the DG Employment, Social Affairs and Equal opportunities? What are your fields of action?

The DG for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities of the European Commission fulfils three main missions that are simultaneously political, legislative and financial. It is in charge, among others, of the employment, social inclusion and social protection policies, but also of social dialogue, fight against discriminations and gender equality. It has a legislative power that allows it to issue directives. As such, it notably supervises the work legislation (work time, workers’ health and security etc.) or the legislation related to gender equality. Recently, a European directive has been worked out for a better protection of temporary workers. Lire_La_Suite

Could you please present what are the missions of the DG Employment, Social Affairs and Equal opportunities? What are your fields of action?

The DG for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities of the European Commission fulfils three main missions that are simultaneously political, legislative and financial. It is in charge, among others, of the employment, social inclusion and social protection policies, but also of social dialogue, fight against discriminations and gender equality. It has a legislative power that allows it to issue directives. As such, it notably supervises the work legislation (work time, workers’ health and security etc.) or the legislation related to gender equality. Recently, a European directive has been worked out for a better protection of temporary workers.

From a financial aspect, it is led to manage the European Social Fund (ESF) which is a main component of the structural funds representing about 10 billion euro per year. This fund is co-managed by the Member States through the sectoral or regionalized national programmes and aims at supporting job creation, lifelong learning and social inclusion.
For any further information on the DG’s action, you can visit the Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities website: http://ec.europa.eu/social/.




2010 has been chosen as Year of the fight against poverty and social exclusion. What were the reason(s) of this choice and what kind of objective(s) did it express?




Historically, the Council of Lisbon that was held in 2000 highlighted the scope of poverty and social exclusion in Europe. Thus, it has been decided to, I quote, “take some measures to impulse the eradication of poverty by 2010” (extract from the Council). Therefore an open coordination method in the social protection and social inclusion areas has been set up.
The Social Agenda 2005-2010 has then been a key element because it suggests making this year 2010 “the Year of the fight against poverty and social exclusion”.
Finally, the official decision has been taken at the highest level by the European Parliament and the Council, on the 22nd of October 2008.



This year mainly shows 4 objectives that are based on the following points:
- To recognize the right of people in a situation of poverty to live with dignity and to take an active part in society
- To increase public adherence to social inclusion policies and to raise awareness of the everyone\\\'s responsibility in the fight against poverty
- To promote a higher cohesion in the society
- To encourage the involvement of everyone in the fight against poverty


It is mainly about communicating on these objectives, and increasing awareness.



For further information on this Year 2010, you can consult the 2010 link
http://ec.europa.eu/employment_social/emplweb/news/news_fr.cfm?id=326.


http://2010againstpoverty.europa.eu



This initiative has been allocated a 17 million euro budget. To which type of actions is this budget dedicated?




This budget of 17 million euro is split into 2 levels:
- 8 million are managed at a European level to organize the European communication campaign, the launch and closing conferences for example
- 9 million are managed by the Member States through national executive organisations for the national awareness campaign ( Ministry of Social Affairs for example)



The competent territorial authorities will give value to innovative projects likely to mobilize our societies. Among the topics on which the projects will be dedicated, we can quote the poverty of children, or else the prevention from intergenerational transfer of poverty; the inclusion of people distant from the labour market, the promotion of immigrants, the access to base services etc. Each Member State defines its own work programme in relation with NGOs, in direct reference to the national strategy of social inclusion. Each national programme will set up a list of priorities and will be likely to value a topic more than another.





Funds will be available for these actions through national tenders. What advice would you give to a project leader that would like to apply for it?




In fact, it is important to remind that there won’t be any European call for proposals but some tenders or calls for proposals that will be launched at a national level.
Each Member State will add the same amount as the community contribution, i.e. 50% of additional capital, which makes the global budget managed by Member States amount to 18 million euro. Project leaders should contact the national executive organism that will have been chosen for their State as of spring 2009, and also the Department of the Ministry in charge of the fight against poverty. This period is indeed a critical moment to submit them ideas, because the different suggestions will be possibly considered in the operational programme. This programme notably gathers the call’s objectives, the actions that will be financed, the eligible candidates. Once the operational programme is validated, the calls will be published. It is essential to make a strict application and to provide all the relevant elements. Be innovative and your projects will be valued!





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