quarta-feira, 4 de julho de 2007

The “EDUCON”, “Education to consumption” project

Seguidamente apresenta-se a descrçião do EDUCON Project, no qual a Ágora Bracarense poderá participar:

Open Call for Proposals VP/2007/012 “Mutual Learning on Social Inclusion and Social Protection”
Key policy issue: Preventing and tackling over-indebtedness and financial exclusion

Introduction and Context:

In the last few years we have been noticed that the indebtedness of the european families has been increased. This phenomenon has been facilitated by an easier access to the credit financial instruments which, recently, have been changed and increased mainly in their characteristics and in the conditions of disbursement; on the other hand, by the radical change of the attitude of the families towards the indebtedness through credit that has become a normal way of payment and not, as it used to be, to face an emergency or special expense, even for the purchase of luxury goods and immediate consumption. The use of these instruments is not to be considered “a priori” negative in itself only because they are functional to the modern economic system and to the planning of future business and/or family development.
The problem arises when debt from physiological becomes pathological and leads to over-indebtedness.
The result of this condition of over-indebtedness often leads a great part of the families under the minimal threshold of survival and, in some cases, to a most serious plague, usury.
Fairly young in Italy, this phenomenon has been involving other European countries even from the Sixties with a clear reference to the north American philosophy of “open credit society”. Starting from the early 80s new laws on the subject have been created order to reduce the consequences of over-indebtedness: Denmark 1984, United Kingdom 1985, France, Neiertz law in 1989 and 2003, Germany, Insolvenzordnung, 1994). Finally, in 1998 and 2002, they all have been accomplished by european legislative acts (“directives”).
The main solidarity model in the modern legislations in object focuses on society as the only responsible to have pushed people/families to get debts. That’s why our society/government must contribute to find the best procedures to face this phenomenon aiming to cancel family debts.
This way of thinking lacks of those necessary precautionary measures to allow:

- consumers to get an aware and consistent (compatible) use of their own financial resources and having a more concrete/real opportunity/chance to credit access;
- financial institutions a more careful credit disbursement able to evaluate the reliability of consumers asking for credit;
- public administrations the put up a local planning including the economic requests of their weaker citizens;
- the education system to plan an awakening path for youngsters in their school age.


The actions of the project should be divided as follows:

a) study and evaluation of laws regarding the fight against over-indebtedness through the analysis and the comparison of different European countries and the monitoring of the social inclusion policies related in those countries;
b) development of local strategies in order to hinder over-indebtedness with the involvement of private and public actors through the analysis and the comparison of best practices of any single territory;
c) comparison of the activities and exchange of best practices related to the fight against usury and debt insolvency for those so called subjects "not bankable" ;
d) establish awakening paths and comparisons within educational institutions (primary and secondary schools) for teachers and pupils (6 to 18 years old) in order to inform them about different financial instruments;
e) establish awakening paths and comparisons about policies on social inclusion for adults and their families about regarding the various types of credit financing;
f) involvement of financial institutions in re-settling of credit disbursement through the creation of transversal working groups, regarding topic as credit and debt, with the public and private institutions, universities and consumers associations.

Expected outcome

to improve the coordination of protection/support and social inclusion policies and the involvement of government at all levels and all the subjects interested in the definition, realization and monitoring of such policies;
to develop regional and local strategies on protection/support and social inclusion;
to increase the participation of the persons who find themselves in poverty conditions, of the social parties, the suppliers of services and other subjects related;
to improve the quality and the updating of data and to guarantee the elaboration and the use of indicators that explain better the different types of poverty, social exclusion and the real situation of life of the poor; to improve the evaluation and the monitoring of poverty related policies and their impact on society.

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