About the Year

Europe joins forces to fight poverty and social exclusion

Almost 84 million Europeans live at risk of poverty, which means they face insecurity, and go without what most people often take for granted.

Living in poverty may result in a variety of problems, from not having enough money to spend on food and clothes to suffering poor housing conditions and even homelessness. Poverty also means having to cope with limited lifestyle choices that may lead to social exclusion.

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 key objectives are to raise public awareness about these issues and renew the political commitment of the EU and its Member States to combat poverty and social exclusion.

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.

Two European-level conferences will take place in January and December; an art initiative will build a bridge between people experiencing poverty and social exclusion and the creative world; while special training days will give the media and decision-makers fresh insight into these complex subjects.

National and local events will take place in every EU Member State, plus Norway and Iceland. Activities will include awareness raising campaigns, workshops and information seminars in schools. Films, magazines and other information material will be produced to help people understand how poverty and social exclusion affect their communities, and for those directly affected, increase awareness of their rights.

Along with public figures, people who have experienced poverty will act as campaign ambassadors, which will help to raise visibility and credibility for the Year’s activities and invite others to get involved.

Legal framework of the European Year 2010

Background information

Figures on poverty and social exclusion in the European Union

Take Action

You want to actively participate in the fight against poverty and social exclusion and take part in a European campaign?


Tackling Poverty and Exclusion

Everybody can, at some time in his or her life experience poverty. However, some categories are more at risk of poverty than others.


Voices against poverty and exclusion

Here you will find quotes from ambassadors, civil society and people experiencing poverty.


Participating Countries

Here you will find information about the countries participating in the European Year. There are 29 countries: the 27 Member States plus Iceland and Norway. They will be instrumental in implementing the Year at national level.