Combating poverty and social exclusion: the Commission's approach
The financial crisis has become a crisis of confidence with a profound impact in the European economy, society and citizens. Speaking yesterday at the Convention of the European Platform against Poverty & Social Exclusion, in Brussels, President Barroso stressed that breaking out of this cycle requires fiscal consolidation, deep reforms and targeted investment, but without forgetting social inclusion.
"Across Europe, for the first time in half a century, many of our citizens look at the future not with the expectation of a better life but with uncertainty and even fear", the President said. "Over 1 in 5 Europeans live under the threat of poverty, including more than 25 million children".
"The root cause of the current situation is economic and we will not be able to face the social challenge unless we also overcome the economic challenge. We must get the fundaments right and work towards growth, growth that should be sustainable and inclusive, that is necessary for the development of our social model", Barroso said.
Last week the Commission adopted its Annual Growth Survey (AGS), which makes as a priority tackling unemployment and the social consequences of the crisis. The AGS puts an emphasis on the need to protect the most vulnerable and outlines the measures to prepare for a job-rich recovery, to improve employability levels and to promote social inclusion.
In the context of the current financial negotiations, the Commission continues to make the case for more instruments for sustainable, inclusive growth and job creation, for instance, for more support to the Globalisation Adjustment Fund and the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived, two instruments specifically designed to foster social inclusion.
"We need to ensure that Europe has the instruments that it needs in the future to ensure that growth is not just sustainable but is truly inclusive, to show that indeed the social market economy, our European social model is not dead", the President concluded.