The EU has identified restoring economic growth and providing more and better jobs as key factors in fighting poverty. In order to help achieve this, the European Commission proposes establishing a European Platform against Poverty and Social Exclusion. This Communication sets out the challenges presented by poverty and exclusion and outlines the contribution of different policies to reducing poverty and increasing inclusion. It goes on to identify a number of associated actions and to explain the design and the content of the Platform. This publication is available in printed format in all EU official languages.
What defines poverty? The EU-level policy standard is that people are at risk of poverty if they have an income of 60 % or less than the national median household income. Poverty means a daily struggle to buy food and clothes. It means living in substandard housing or not even having a roof over one’s head.
Europe is one of the world’s richest regions with a diverse and sophisticated economy that provides a high standard of living. The wealth Europe has generated allows many of its citizens to enjoy good quality healthcare, education and social assistance. Nevertheless, a huge number of people are not able to share the fruits of this success. It is estimated that the European Union is home to about 84 million people who are at risk of poverty and social exclusion.
Issue 24 of Social Agenda focuses on the situation of Roma in the EU and on the most effective ways to promote their inclusion in society. It also examines the need to improve and adapt the skills of Europe’s workforce to respond to future job market demands. The issue looks at the social costs of the economic crisis and introduces the European Progress Microfinance Facility, aimed at those who wish to start or expand a small business. The magazine also reports on European citizens' perceptions of gender equality and on the achievements of the European social dialogue. It is available in English, French and German.
Solidarity is one of the guiding principles of the European Union, meaning that all citizens should be able to share in the benefits of prosperous times, while also sharing the burden of times of difficulty. Yet nearly 80 million Europeans live below the poverty line, and many face serious obstacles in accessing employment, education, housing, social and financial services.