SOCIAL COHESION AND ERADICATION OF POVERTY COMMITTEE
Strasbourg, 28 October 2010
1. Agenda of the meeting [CONF/SOC(2010)OJ4]: adopted.
2. Synopsis of the meeting held on 21 June 2010 [CONF/SOC(2010)SYN3]: adopted
3. Presentation of the forthcoming conference on Violence within the Family, under the patronage of Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, Deputy Secretary General, 22-23 November 2010, Strasbourg
René Vogel spoke about the work of the NGO Regain with perpetrators and victims of violence within the family as well as with their children. Regain was organising this conference in order to exchange ideas and good practice with other NGO’s working in this field. Members of the Committee were warmly invited to attend. Several members of the Committee spoke about the work of their organisations in this field.
4. Update on the work of the Ad Hoc Committee on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence
The Committee was informed that drafting of this new instrument was well advanced and it was hoped that it would be adopted in 2011.
5. Update on the work of the Health Working Group and on the outcome of the UN Summit in New York on the Review of the Millennium Development Goals
a) Health Working Group
Guy Schlaeder reported that the Working Group’s report on health prevention had been annexed to the Parliamentary Assembly’s report on the subject (doc 12219). The Group was now planning to examine the social aspects of health prevention (as related to poverty, unemployment, prison, etc). Mr Schlaeder added that Working Group would be pleased to receive contributions from anyone having relevant information or experience.
b) Millennium Development Goals
Irene Donadio (Chair) said that the Summit had been rather a disappointment, especially as far as the role of civil society was concerned, although there were some positive points such as a strong commitment to reducing maternal mortality.
6. Exchange of views on the preparation for the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, 17 October 2010
This item was not dealt with.
7. Exchange of views with Luca Volontè (Chair of the Social, Health and Family Affairs Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly, President of the EPP/CD Group)
Urgent Assembly business unfortunately prevented Mr Volontè from taking part in the meeting. The Chair emphasised Mr Volontè’s willingness to co-operate with the Committee. NGO’s would be interested to know that he was currently acting as rapporteur on the topic of volunteering (see document AS/Soc (2010) 26 rev). Moreover he had tabled an excellent Motion on combating poverty (Document 12145) and, in connection with this, the Committee had been invited to a hearing in Paris on 15 November 2010.
8. Update on the monitoring of the implementation of the Social Charter
Marie-José Schmitt informed the Committee that this year’s monitoring concerned the articles dealing with protection of children, family protection, migrant workers, workers with family responsibilities, and housing. The European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR) would welcome input from NGO’s as to whether the rights enshrined in law were actually applied in practice. The questionnaire sent to Contracting Parties would be scanned and inserted as a link in the Committee’s agenda on the website. Committee members were invited to contact their national NGO members with a view to obtaining precise details of specific cases where the Charter appeared to be being violated. Such information should be sent to Marie-José by 15 December 2010 so that she could convey it to the ECSR at its meeting on 11 January 2011.
9. Cooperation with the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe: the way forward
This item was not dealt with.
10. Intervention of Gilda Farrell, Head of Social Cohesion Development Division, on the launch of the Plan of Action on Social Cohesion
Ms Farrell reported that on 7 July 2010, the Committee of Ministers had approved the New Strategy for Social Cohesion and the Plan of Action. The two documents were based on the four “pillars” identified by the High Level Taskforce on Social Cohesion, namely:
Reinvesting in social rights
Shared social responsibilities
Social and civic dialogue
Building a reliable future for everyone
The Plan of Action would be launched on 28-29 October in Skopje (Antonina Dashkina will represent the INGO committee on this occasion). The Plan aimed at putting the four pillars into practice, in particular by working with citizens and other stakeholders at the local level.
Annelise Oeschger congratulated the Secretariat on the many years of patient work which had now achieved this very promising result. The active involvement of NGO’s should, in particular, be warmly welcomed.