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We all know that population ageing, combined with the impact of the financial crisis, poses a challenge for our pension systems, and one to which we must respond. We must respond to ensure our pension systems remain adequate, sustainable and safe.
This Round Table meeting has brought together European and national policy-makers, NGOs and other stakeholders to discuss the problem of poverty in Europe. Today Europe is one of the richest regions in the world. Yet, 84 million European still live at risk of poverty. This is not acceptable.
Social inclusion is all the more crucial as the situation is dramatic. In today’s European Union, 84 million people are at risk of poverty. That is 16 per cent of the population. And 10 million of them are children. That is simply unacceptable in 21st century Europe!
Recent events have shown that the situation of many Roma people needs to be addressed urgently. In order to overcome exclusion, we must tackle ignorance, prejudice, racism and violence. I am fully committed to the fight for equality and economic and social opportunity for all Roma people.