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Striving towards an equitable, democratic and sustainable society

The European Bureau of Library, Information and Documentation Associations is an independent umbrella association of library, information and documentation associations and institutions in Europe.

Goal 10: 1. EU Programmes likely to be relevant for libraries (a selection)

Active inclusion

Active inclusion means enabling every citizen, notably the most disadvantaged, to fully participate in society, including having a job. The Social Investment Package (SIP) stresses the importance of activating and enabling services: a) Job training and search assistance; b) access to basic bank accounts; c) Energy inclusion; d) Adequate income support.The European Social Fund provides support for implementing active inclusion strategies to tackle poverty and social exclusion at national level.

New Cohesion policy (2021-2027) - also see the EBLIDA report

The European Structural and Investment Funds 2021-2027: Funding Opportunities for Libraries The European Structural and Investment Funds 2021-2027 report

European Social Fund

The ESF is Europe’s main tool for promoting employment and social inclusion – helping people get a job (or a better job), integrating disadvantaged people into society and ensuring fairer life opportunities for all. It does this by investing in Europe’s people and their skills – employed and jobless, young and old. Every year, the Fund helps some 10 million people into work, or to improve their skills to find work in future. In the short term ESF helps mitigate the consequences of the current economic crisis, especially the rise in unemployment and poverty levels; in the longer term it is part of Europe’s strategy to remodel its economy, creating not just jobs, but an inclusive society.

An EU High Level Group on combating racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance

Every day across Europe, many people are harassed, threatened or assaulted verbally or physically, or are victims of crime because of who they are, be it on grounds of their ethnic origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, disabilities, social status or other characteristics. Hate speech and incitement to hatred and intolerance is also widespread in the public debate, including on online platforms, social media and chats. The High Level Group is intended as a platform to support EU and national efforts in ensuring effective implementation of relevant rules and in setting up effective policies to prevent and combat hate crime and hate speech. This is done by fostering thematic discussions on gaps, challenges and responses, promoting best practice exchange, developing guidance and strengthening cooperation and synergies between key stakeholders.

Economic. Social and cultural rights

The indivisibility of civil and political rights and economic, social and cultural rights is a fundamental tenet of international human rights law, as illustrated by the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights(link is external) (1948).

While the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights(link is external) provides a comprehensive overview of the various economic, social and cultural rights, it is important to note that these rights are also further described in other conventions such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms against Discrimination against Women(link is external), the Convention on the Rights of the Child(link is external) and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities(link is external), to cite only a few.

The European Union uses a broad set of financial instruments (Global Public Goods and Challengescivil society organisations and local authoritiesEuropean Instrument for  Democracy and Human Right etc.) in partnership with Member States and many other donors to support actions and projects aimed at promoting and reinforcing economic social and cultural rights worldwide.

EU framework for national Roma integration strategies

The Roma are Europe’s largest ethnic minority. Out of an estimated 10-12 million in total in Europe, some 6 million live in the EU, and most of them hold the citizenship of an EU country. Many Roma in the EU are victims of prejudice and social exclusion, despite the fact that EU countries have banned discrimination.

EU programme for employment and social innovation (EaSI)

The  (EaSI) programme is a financing instrument at EU level to promote a high level of quality and sustainable employment, guaranteeing adequate and decent social protection, combating social exclusion and poverty and improving working conditions. EaSI is managed directly by the European Commission. It supports: a) the modernisation of employment and social policies with the PROGRESS axis; b) job mobility with the EURES axis; c) access to micro-finance and social entrepreneurship with the Microfinance and Social Entrepreneurship axis.

European Agenda on Migration

The European Agenda on Migration has guided the EU's response to immediate challenges. Our work now focusses on long-term solutions to equip Europe with future-proof means of managing migration responsibly and fairly.

Measures to combat any form of Intolerance (Racism and Xenophobia)

People across the EU continue to be targeted by racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance just because of their race, colour, religion, descent or national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation or gender identity, disability, social status or other characteristics.

The EU rejects and condemns all forms of racism and intolerance, as they are incompatible with the values and principles upon which the EU is founded.

A broad set of rules exist at the EU level which contribute better tackling different forms and manifestations of racism and intolerance, in particular the Framework Decision on combating certain forms of expressions of racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law.

Fight against all discriminations – International cooperation and development

As part of its development cooperation, the EU supports the action of anti-discrimination movements, namely the ones focusing on the rights of women, children, LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) people and other minorities. It also supports initiatives defending the rights of indigenous peoples.

Rights at work

Every EU worker has certain minimum rights relating to:

  • health and safety at work: general rights and obligations, workplaces, work equipment, specific risks and vulnerable workers
  • equal opportunities for women and men: equal treatment at work, pregnancy, maternity leave, parental leave
  • protection against discrimination based on sex, race, religion, age, disability and sexual orientation
  • labour law: part-time work, fixed-term contracts, working hours, employment of young people, informing and consulting employees

Tackling discrimination at work

Laws for equal rights between women and men have existed since the very early days of the European Community.  Since the 1970s a total of 13 pieces of legislation have been adopted with the aim of ensuring that women and men get fair and equal treatment at work.  

These laws cover a range of areas including equal treatment when apply for a job, equal treatment at work, protection of pregnant workers and breastfeeding mothers, and rights to maternity leave and parental leave. Millions of women and men across Europe enjoy these rights every day – but few of them know that the European Union is behind these laws!

Entry and residence of non-EU nationals for highly qualified employment

Labour immigration has a key role to play in driving economic development in the long term and in addressing current and future demographic challenges in the EU. The EU is therefore working on a number of interconnected measures which, together, aim to produce flexible admission systems, responsive to the priorities of each EU State, while enabling migrant workers to make full use of their skills. These measures cover the conditions of entry and residence for certain categories of immigrants such as highly qualified workers, seasonal workers and intra-corporate transferees, as well as the establishment of a single work and residence permit.

Europe for Citizens Programme

Europe for Citizens is the EU’s programme for funding projects that: a) help the public understand the EU's history, values and diversity; b) encourage citizens to participate and engage in democracy at the EU level. Europe for Citizens includes two Strands: 1.    European remembrance — the EU as a peace project (Initiatives, commemorations); 2. Democratic engagement & civic participation — getting citizens involved (Town twinning, Networks of towns, Civil society projects).

Protection of a non-EU national or stateless person

Every single asylum application lodged within EU territory needs to be examined - each EU country must be able to determine if and when it is responsible for handling an asylum claim. The objective of the Dublin Regulation is to ensure quick access to asylum procedures and the examination of an application on the merits by a single, clearly determined Member State.

Standards for the reception of applicants for international protection:

Asylum seekers waiting for a decision on their application must be provided with certain necessities that guarantee them an adequate standard of living. The Reception Conditions Directive aims at ensuring better as well as more harmonized standards of reception conditions throughout the Union. It ensures that applicants have access to housing, food, clothing, health care, education for minors and access to employment under certain conditions.

Family reunification

The Directive on the right to family reunification establishes common rules for exercising the right to family reunification in 25 EU Member States (excluding the United Kingdom, Ireland and Denmark). It determines the conditions under which family reunification is granted, establishes procedural guarantees and provides rights for the family members concerned.

Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund

Although the movements of persons into, out of and within each EU State vary, our societies share similar migration opportunities and challenges. Adequate, flexible and coherent financial resources are essential for strengthening the area of freedom, security and justice and for developing the common Union policy on asylum and immigration based on solidarity between EU States and towards non-EU countries. In order to promote the efficient management of migration flows and the implementation, strengthening and development of a common Union approach to asylum and immigration, the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) has been set up for the period 2014-20, with a total of EUR 3.1 billion for the seven years.

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