[Brussels, 26 November 2013] Why is poverty a national, subsidiary issue when economic governance is tackled at the EU level? This valid question raised by Sergio Aires, president of the European Anti Poverty Network (EAPN) opened the second day of theConvention of the European Platform against Poverty and Social Exclusion (EPAP). The third annual convention provides a valuable opportunity for dialogue between policy makers, key stakeholders and people who have experienced poverty.
While last year debates were still out concerning the causes of poverty, this year there is a strong consensus : poverty and social exclusion is on the rise and getting worse. The crisis, while an important factor in the rising poverty rates (Eurostat estimates 1 in 4 people are at risk) the consequences are structural and as such will affect future generations, Aires warned. Strong political will is needed to achieve social impact as well active citizenship. The EAPN on behalf of their national networks and European membership called for an integrated European strategy on poverty with clear objectives, priorities and monitoring, while structural funds, rather than being a National activity should remain an EU level project. You can read more about the EPAP here
According to the report from Eurostat Smarter, greener, more inclusive? the number of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion climbed to almost 120 million in 2011. This means that almost every fourth person in the EU was at risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2011. Compared with the EU average, some groups are at a higher risk of poverty and social exclusion. The most affected are women, young people, people living in single-parent households, lower educated people and migrants.
The European Women’s Lobby continues to attend such events to learn from other stakeholders and policy makers and strives to ensure that the voice of European women is heard where it matters! To read more about how austerity is affecting women, be sure to consult our report on the Price of Austerity, and stay tuned for updates next month!
Picture - EC - Lieve Fransen, Director at the DG "Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion" of the EC