Dáil Éireann - Volume 569 - 26 June, 2003
Written Answers. - Social Inclusion.
Mr. Howlin Mr. Howlin
27. Mr. Howlin asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs the situation regarding the National Action Plan Against Poverty and Social Exclusion 2003-2005; the number of submissions sought and received to date; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [17907/03]
Mary Coughlan Mary Coughlan
Minister for Social and Family Affairs (Mary Coughlan): The office for social inclusion in my Department is currently engaged in co-ordinating the preparation of Ireland's National Action Plan Against Poverty and Social Exclusion, 2003-2005. All member states of the European Union are required to submit their national action plans to the EU Commission by 31 July 2003.
The plans must be prepared in line with the four key objectives agreed at the EU Council in Copenhagen in December 2002: to facilitate participation in employment and access by all to resources, rights, goods and services; to prevent the risks of exclusion; to help the most vulnerable and to mobilise all relevant bodies.
The preparation of the plan for the period 2003-05 is now well advanced and has involved a very extensive process of consultation, organised in conjunction with the Combat Poverty Agency. This consultation process has included four regional and three national seminars as well as a public invitation for written submissions. Some 67 written submissions were received. These, together with the outcomes of the wider public consultation, are now being examined and assessed. They will be taken into account in the context of the preparation of the national action plan which is on course for submission to the European Commission by 31 July deadline.
Dáil Éireann 569 Written Answers. Social Inclusion.