European Parliament AGS report echoes CESI priorities on public social investments

On Tuesday this week, the European Parliament plenary adopted a report on employment and social aspects in the 2018 Annual Growth Survey (AGS), issued by the European Commission last November. CESI Secretary General welcomed the report which echoes long-standing priorities of CESI on the need for more public social investments in the Member States.

n particular, the report calls:

• for a “stronger commitment … for social investments to be boosted, in view of their economic returns and social benefits.”

• on the Member States and the European Commission, “within the existing rules of the Stability and Growth Pact, to allow room for public social investment and … for greater investment in social infrastructure and support for those hit hardest in order to properly address inequalities, in particular through social protection systems that provide adequate and well-targeted income support.”

• calls on the European Commission “to carry out, where relevant, a more in-depth assessment of which types of spending can definitely be considered as social investment.”

CESI Secretary General Klaus Heeger said: “I am glad that the full European Parliament endorsed what have been long-standing key advocacy priorities of CESI. Together with partners from the civil society, CESI has for long contributed to drive the Brussels EU policy agenda to promote more public social investments in the Member States. Key demands have related to recognising also the economic returns of social investments and indeed, in this regard, classifying certain social expenditure as investments. There is clear evidence that spending in early childhood education and care, primary and secondary education, and training and active labour market policies yields important social and economic returns in the long term. ”

Since 2016, CESI together with Social Platform and Eurodiaconia has campaigned for more social investments in the EU, including through high level meetings with representatives from the EU institutions prior to the publication of the AGS. CESI has also cooperated on a research project with the European Policy Centre (EPC) on ways to enable an institutional architecture of the EU that is more friendly to social investments. In March 2017 this led to a noted study entitled ‘Social investment first! A precondition for a modern social Europe’.

Klaus Heeger added: “We at CESI are encouraged by the clear stand of the European Parliament and will continue to drive the debate in Brussels and the national capitals of the Member States together with our partners.”

The full text, as adopted by the European Parliament plenary, is available online here.

Picture: CESI Secretary General Klaus Heeger © CESI 2018