Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have become essential actors in the social field, particularly in the fight against poverty and social exclusion. They engage in regular dialogue with public authorities with a view to ensuring better implementation of EU initiatives and policies in the EU countries.
The Europe 2020 Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth sets up a new partnership between the EU institutions, national and regional governments and European stakeholders. The Commission has made it a priority to strengthen these partnerships at European level.
The EU Stakeholder Dialogue taking place in the framework of the European Platform against Poverty and Social Exclusion is vital to this partnership as it brings together:
- EU-level NGOs and social partners in the fields of employment, social affairs and inclusion
- representatives of EU Institutions and other international organisations
- representatives of national, regional and local authorities
- think-tanks and foundations for issues relating to social inclusion.
Through the PROGRESS programme, the Commission helps to increase the involvement of several European umbrella NGO networks in the following fields:
Promoting social inclusion:
- Caritas Europa
- COFACE (Confederation of family organisations in the European Union)
- Dynamo International-Street Workers Network
- EAPN (European Anti Poverty Network)
- EMN (European Microfinance Network)
- ENSIE (European Network for Social Integration Enterprises)
- ESN (European Social Network)
- FEANTSA (European Federation of national organisations working with the homeless)
- MHE (Mental Health Europe)
- PICUM (Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants)
Promoting gender equality:
Representing and defending the rights of people exposed to discrimination:
- AGE Platform Europe
- ENAR (European Network Against Racism)
- EDF (European Disability Forum)
- ILGA Europe (International Lesbian and Gay Association – Europe)
- ERIO (European Roma Information Office)
The Commission also financially supports smaller networks on the social integration of disabled people.