European sector leaders lend weight to reform treaty

Third sector leaders across Europe will be lobbying for the ratification of the new European Reform Treaty because it promotes the aims of the sector.

The European network of third sector leaders, Euclid, has joined forces with chief executives body Acevo and its European counterparts to drum up support for the much-criticised treaty.

“Not only does the treaty have at its heart global challenges such as climate change and eradicating poverty through development, it also protects and promotes equal rights and enshrines the rights of children,” said Filippo Addarii, director of Euclid.

The treaty was signed yesterday by European heads of states and foreign ministers at a ceremony in Lisbon. All member-state parliaments will now have to ratify it, with a view to start enforcing reforms in 2009.

Article 3 of the treaty sets out a range of social policy objectives that are relevant to those working in the third sector. It includes combating social exclusion and discrimination, promoting a competitive social market economy and equality between men and women. Article 8 promotes civil society and citizen engagement for the first time.

Stephen Bubb, chief executive of Acevo, said: “It’s important that the sector’s leaders across Europe are aware of the positive impact the treaty could have. It is good for the EU’s role in aid and development: 55 per cent of all global aid comes from the EU and the treaty will ensure it is used more coherently and effectively.”

Umbrella organisation the NCVO said it was particularly interested in encouraging charities to lobby at a European level and would push for a European charter similar to the Compact in the UK.

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