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Considering the findings from the report 2012 on the evolution of the social situation and employment in Europe, this one shows an increasing rate of unemployment, a significant risk of poverty and social exclusion rising for European citizens and a decline of household incomes. Socially, Europe is going wrong!

This report is accompanied by other annoying other news such as the term in late 2013 of the European food aid program for the most vulnerable whose number is still increasing!

This observation shared by all European members should not leave us unresponsive, or let us sink into moroseness and inaction. On the contrary, it should encourage, at the eve of 2013, to move from political will in to action!

If these elements actually reflect a continuation of the crisis and its social and economical impact, the fact remains that proposals are emerging and need to be taken up and defended.

We will particularly highlight the important role that will have to play local authorities in their respective member states regarding the coming implementation of cohesion policy and its programming period 2014-2020! The Europe 2020 objectives require a mobilization to have social inclusion and fight against poverty and exclusion omnipresent and to better answer the needs of the population in term of accessibility to rights and social services, to trainings and so on.

The announcement by Lazlo Andor, European commissioner of the creation of a European fund for the most vulnerable, shows the willingness of the European commission not to definitively bury the the aid provided since the 80's, but to make it  reborn in another format, with several priorities, with another budget format, with new conditions for granting and so on. Of course it is a step forward, but stakeholders, including local authorities, needs to be mobilized to have the aid provided (116 millions of European citizens at risk of poverty), in the best conditions!

Social innovation and experimentation will also be at the heart of the programs after 2013. They should permit to promote exchange of experiences but also to gather together stakeholders on the territories to develop local social action concerted.

New working opportunities are now opened to reinforce the European social pillar and to answer the challenges faced by our societies.

Patrick Kanner
Vice-president of ELISAN
President of UNCCAS

* http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=738&langId=framp;pubId=7315