At the 10th meeting of people experiencing poverty today, Commissioner László Andor congratulated the EU countries for having set up national targets to reduce poverty as part of the Europe 2020 strategy and stressed the need to "establish real partnerships with national parliaments and stakeholders to support their national reform programmes" and address challenges like combating child poverty and the inclusion of Roma.
Jointly organised by the Hungarian presidency of the EU, the European Commission and the European Anti-Poverty Network, the meeting focused on the situation of people experiencing poverty and employment.
Commissioner Andor took the opportunity to encourage all EU countries to "underpin their national targets with the relevant policy measures" and underlined some of the actions within the Platform against Poverty and Social Exclusion – the EU's contribution to reach the target of reducing poverty and social exclusion by at least 20 million by 2020 – but also New Skills and Jobs and Youth on the Move : "all three initiatives contribute to reducing poverty mainly by helping people get back into work as the best safeguard against poverty ", Mr Andor explained.
One of the specific actions aimed to fight exclusion among the most vulnerable is the new EU framework for Roma integration strategies , presented in April – "it is a guide for national action and I expect EU countries to draft ambitious national strategy documents and to submit them to the Commission before the end of 2011", the Commissioner stated. As for combating child poverty, which is also to remain a top priority, Mr Andor will propose a recommendation in 2012.
The active inclusion of people furthest from the labour market is also a key priority for the EU and its countries: 8% of the working population are now at risk of poverty. "In 2012 the Commission will report on the implementation of the common principles of active inclusion: well-designed income support schemes, inclusive labour markets and adequate social services, and make proposals action", the Commissioner explained.