Dutch Presidency disappoints social NGOs

The Dutch “failed to anchor issues such as the fight against
poverty, non-discrimination and social inclusion to a clear human
rights agenda”, claim NGOs.

The Platform of European Social NGOs has given a
damning judgment on the Dutch achievements on social
policy. The platform says that the Presidency has
done “more to worsen EU social policies than follow its own
slogan ‘Let’s Deliver!’ on a social Europe”. 

The Commission aims to set a new social policy agenda in
2005. The Dutch Presidency’s main social ambition during its
presidency was to engage the other member states in a dialogue
about the possible contents and provide the basis
for this new agenda. The conference ”  A Social Europe: Let’s Deliver“, the Presidency’s main event on
social policy, was meant to play a key role
in defining the new agenda over the coming
years. 

The Dutch Presidency’s own records on employment and social
policies emphasise that, under its leadership, “the EU has outlined
the new agenda so as to give priority to helping people find
work and to making labour markets more flexible”. The
Presidency’s records also highlight agreements reached “on the
directive on the equal treatment of men and women by insurance
companies in respect of premiums and payments” and “on the
directive protecting employees against the harmful effects of
radiation”. 

Luxembourg has said that it will focus on all three dimensions
of the Lisbon strategy: competitiveness and economic growth, social
cohesion and sustainable development. The Social Platform has layed
down its expections on the Luxembourg Presidency and defined ” nine tests to judge the Luxembourg Presidency on its social commitment“.

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