Caritas Europa has assessed the implementation of the Country Specific Recommendations (CSRs) of 16 EU Member States as they relate to poverty reduction and employment growth, and which were endorsed in July 2015. This evidence-based assessment comes from the expertise of Caritas members working with the most vulnerable populations in the 16 EU Member States reviewed. Our members report on the implementation of the European Social Fund 20% earmarking for social inclusion and poverty reduction. They also provide specific feedback on the positive or negative impact of the CSRs on the situation of vulnerable groups.
Despite progress made in implementing the CSRs, Caritas members find that there is not enough focus on the social and poverty targets. Job losses persist and people are experiencing more precarious working conditions and lower wages. Exclusion from the labour market and long-term unemployment are still sources of suffering to many. Social protection systems are unable to alleviate this situation due to continuous cutbacks.
This assessment complements Caritas Europa’s monitoring of poverty. Our latest European Caritas CARES report and the 20 national reports confirm these trends, presenting the social reality Caritas staff and volunteers face across Europe.