The Annual Convention for Inclusive Growth (ACIG) is an action-oriented platform bringing together civil society organisations and policymakers to discuss how to achieve truly inclusive growth. Its fourth edition took place in Brussels on 20 May 2019, with different COFACE speakers on the programme. The Convention has been a successful opportunity to come together and reflect on how to build a stronger Social Europe, by fighting poverty, increasing employment, and strengthening social cohesion and inclusion for all. The Convention was born out of our commitment to European and national policymakers with the expertise and work of civil society organisations from across the EU. The ultimate aim remains to bring Europe closer to its citizens, and to ensure that EU actions deliver tangible results and real impact on the ground. This year, the Convention focused on “Inclusive Growth post 2020: looking at the future of Social Europe”, and the day was split between plenary talks, workshops and interactive sessions to exchange ideas and best practices on how to conceive together Social Europe in the years ahead.
As part of the conference, COFACE co-hosted a side event with Finance Watch and AGE Platform Europe giving lightning talks on access to financial services for all, in order to bridge the social policy and finance worlds. Three complementary lightning talks were given, followed by discussions and reactions from participants in order to further their knowledge on this important policy field which affects the social systems they work in. COFACE advocates for more responsible lending and borrowing via for example thorough credit worthiness checks and access to better information and independent quality financial guidance for families. We also defend the right to the access of a basic bank account for all EU citizens without any form of discrimination. Finally, COFACE underlines the necessity for all families to have access to certain financial products such as mortgage credit, pensions and saving products to ensure that they can make long-term life investments which are essential for their family life.
In one of the ECIG workshops, COFACE presented an advisory paper “Equality, Justice, Inclusion and Decent work” of the SDG multi-stakeholder platform, of which COFACE is a member. This paper adopted in 2018 and entitled: “How can the European Pillar of Social Rights support the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals?” looks at synergies between the European Pillar of Social Rights and the Sustainable Development Goals. It also makes general recommendations to ensure optimal conditions for the European Pillar of Social Rights to be a transformative eco-system for the implementation of the SDGs: Take legislative action to implement the Social Pillar; Improve citizen participation (transparent, inclusive, participatory); Invest in social policies: place the Social Pillar at the heart of the future EU budget; Involve regions and cities to drive innovation locally; EU leadership through the European Semester.
More information about the ACIG 2019 can be found here.