The fourth Annual Convention of the European Platform against Poverty and Social Exclusion took place in Brussels on 20-21 November 2014.
This year the focus was on social innovation and how new creative ideas can contribute to address social needs and to improve people's lives.
The President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, addressed the opening ceremony (read his speech), together with the new Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills & Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen (read her speech).
Bringing together more than 700 participants, the conference highlighted the role of social innovation to create private-public partnerships, promote social entrepreneurship and make a better use of available resources to give support according to each individual needs.
The first day plenary sessions took stock of action at national and European level and explored ways of investing in Europe’s social dimension.
The day continued with a number of workshops on:
- Participating in the European Semester
- Strengthening housing security through preventing evictions
- Integrated social services and benefits
- Social protection for long-term care
- Closing the gender employment, pay and pensions gaps
- Energy poverty
- Evidence for social investment
- Financial inclusion
The first day programme also included side events organised by stakeholders to exchange ideas and best practice.
The second day was devoted to the way ahead for policy implementation, building on the main outcomes of discussion at the Convention. Given the importance of regional and local administrations in the formulation and implementation of social policies, a special session was devoted to a debate with a selected number of Mayors of cities that excel in the social innovation.
The fight against poverty and social exclusion needs all the insights it can get and the Convention did not just focus on what it is going on within the EU. Participants were able to learn from examples from India, South Africa and Paraguay (watch a video on this session).
The Convention is the European Platform against Poverty and Social Exclusion's annual event for taking stock of progress made towards meeting the Europe 2020 headline target for lifting at least 20 million people out of poverty and social exclusion by 2020, and for discussing how to take this forward.