From 30/09 to 02/10
Inspired by its founding principle of solidarity, the European Union has joined forces with its Member States to make 2010 the European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion.
The official documentation claims: "The guiding principle of the 2010 Year is to give voice to the concerns of people who have to live with poverty and social exclusion, and to inspire every European citizen and other stakeholders to engage with these important issues. This Year also aims to challenge stereotypes and collective perceptions of poverty. By harnessing the EU’s principles of solidarity and partnership, 2010 represents a clarion call to tackle the causes of poverty head-on in a bid to ensure everyone can play a full and active role in society. Civil society organisations and social partners will join participating countries and the European Commission to run a series of activities throughout 2010."
In view of the systemic and global crisis and its widespread consequences, poverty and exclusion have become a multi-polar hot spot in European and international politics, as well as in the development of societies. It is an especially explosive subject, and as such deserves professional consideration in which themes and not borders are at stake.
The academic world is not unprepared. Top-ranking experts and academics are engaged in research projects dealing with "exclusion", the "precariate", the "underclass" – to name only a few terms. Debates on causes, effects and consequences show very clearly that treatment of the subject, methodology and approaches to possible resolutions can on the one hand only be understood in a cultural, historical und national context. On the other hand, people are affected by the consequences of a changing world irrespective of their own ideology, religion and citizenship. Poverty has the capacity to change the heart of the European system and challenge existing social standards, progressive welfare for all, and last but not least, peace in the house of Europe.
Social exclusion breeds riots, boosts crime and drug abuse, worsens recruitment options on the labour market and – in combination with demographic change – has a negative impact on the governmental budget.
The Lisbon Treaty has provided a framework that focuses on responsibility and solidarity. Despite all its regulatory requirements, these are the soft skills that appear to be crucial to combat poverty and social exclusion.
A three-day, international European conference
Objectives of this conference