On July 2009, ECAS held its first conference revolving around a vital topic in our society: the relationship between Employment and Citizenship. During the two-day conference, 400 people gathered to discuss how intellectual theory can be put into daily practice by professionals of employability programmes. The meeting was attended by many experts in the employment and citizenship relationships, and became a starting point of a relation and collaboration network that keeps bearing fruit.
At the conclusion of the conference, the final manifesto was read and the Advisory Committee –a vital element in the conference made up of representatives of the different social entities involved in the third sector, Administration, labor unions, companies, academic fields…- elaborated a Common Commitment, with the explicit and decisive intention to overcome the crisis that is destroying employment and specially affecting groups in risk of social exclusion. The writing declares:
- The right to work is a key element to ensure social cohesion and access to citizenship, as it is expressed and recognized within the frame of the Constitution
- The crisis and the destruction of employment has left many people in a situation of utmost vulnerability, increasing the groups that need the assistance of social entities
- Social disintegration effects have been produced and jeopardize the access to a full citizenship, where people may share a safe space and a common social project
- To create the necessary conditions for all citizens to have access to employment is a matter of responsibility and social justice
- We are united by the interest and concern to provide with elements for reflection and discussion, make proposals regarding policies and actions to create employment, particularly for those groups suffering more difficulties to enter the labour market
Through this document, the undersigned institutions and social agents committed to develop proposals that make for the compatibility of the improvement of employment, productivity and social cohesion, as well as contribute with the needed resources to develop actions in this direction.
Throughout 2010, ECAS published three notebooks that gave continuity to the discussion started at the Employment and Citizenship Conference.