“A Europe which is more relevant to its citizens, with solidarity and social cohesion” is among the four priorities of the Cyprus Presidency. Under this heading, the Cyprus Presidency will work towards bringing Europe closer to its citizens and give emphasis to youth employment, in view of the rising unemployment rates in the Union. Furthermore, one of the most important objectives of the Presidency is the establishment of the Common European Asylum System by the end of 2012, focusing on building up practical cooperation between Member States in protecting the rights of those in need of international protection.

The Presidency will also deal with issues related to the European Year of Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations and issues related to health and children’s wellbeing, such as the prevention of diseases, the promotion of healthy lifestyle, as well as the prevention and combating of child poverty. Issues related to education and culture will be highlighted as well, such as the promotion of literacy and the provision of more qualitative education and training, in order to meet the needs of the job market.

It will place emphasis on the further participation and involvement of social partners, NGOs and local authorities in the formulation and implementation of the Europe 2020 Strategy, something that ESN strongly supports.

A number of conferences on social policy issues are foreseen:

ESN intends to be involved with the conferences on child poverty, poverty and social exclusion and active ageing.