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BUILDING SOCIAL EUROPE: People-centred economy and participation are key to social progress in Europe


19 Sep 2019


“Decision-makers need to look at the impact of laws and policies on people’s lives and develop an economic model inclusive of all”, concluded participants at Social Platform’s ‘Building Social Europe’ Flagship Conference in Helsinki.
At the three-day gathering, key influencers insisted on setting up a structured dialogue between European Union institutions and civil society organisations, as a vital element of an economy that puts people and planet, not profit, at its core. To support the launch of this new economic model, Social Platform calls for:
1.    Enhancing policies, legislation and the European economic governance system to promote equality and fight poverty in Europe. The path of the European Pillar of Social Rights should be paved with effective investment in people.
2.    The meaningful involvement of civil society in all stages of the EU decision-making process – including the design, implementation and monitoring of policies and legislation – in order to shape decisions based on experiences on the ground.
3.    The establishment of an annual Social Summit, bringing together Heads of State and Government, EU institutions, civil society organisations and other stakeholders, to take stock of social developments and monitor the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights and the Agenda 2030.
Piotr Sadowski, President of Social Platform, said:
“Integration of economic and social policies is essential to achieve an economic model that is socially inclusive and sustainable. This cannot be done without the participation of civil society organisations. They are the most connected to the people who feel the daily impact of laws made in Brussels and are best placed to tell decision-makers what works and what doesn’t. To this end, we insist that the Executive Vice-President for an Economy that Works for People goes beyond engaging only in social dialogue and establishes a structured relationship with civil society organisations to ensure that all decisions and policies fully consider their impact on people’s lives”.
Kélig Puyet, Director of Social Platform said:
“If the EU is serious about achieving an economy that works for people, it’s high time to stop sacrificing social goals in the pursuit of economic gains. Social justice cannot be achieved through social policies alone – it requires a fundamental shift in the functioning of the EU’s economic model and fiscal policies, with support from the highest political level. An annual Social Summit would be the perfect forum to fine-tune a social, sustainable and inclusive future of Europe.”
Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, President of Eurochild, said:
“I would like to commend the Finnish Presidency of the Council of the European Union for putting social wellbeing at par with the economic progress, and for putting, once again, a focus on children, which is evident in the Presidency’s theme - Sustainable Europe, Sustainable Future,” adding that “to truly and effectively build a social Europe, civil society needs to be an intrinsic partner at all times; involved, consulted, but also engaged in the implementation of policies. Civil society organisations are efficient operators and can relay what would be happening in our streets, in our communities and in our countries. Civil society is all about active citizenship, and it creates change at grass-root level and subsequently brings about change via a bottom-up approach.” Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca also referred to the importance of child participation at all levels of decision-making processes, as this would ensure that the future of our European Project would truly be sustainable, as the theme of the Finnish Presidency states.
Note to Editors
Consisting of 49 pan-European networks of NGOs, Social Platform campaigns to ensure that EU policies are developed in partnership with the people they affect, respecting fundamental rights, promoting solidarity and improving lives. Further information is available at