Combating poverty and social exclusion and promoting social justice and fundamental rights have long been core objectives of the EU. In 2010, EU Heads of State and Government agreed that the EU should lift at least 20 million people out of poverty and social exclusion by 2020 - one of the targets of the Europe 2020 strategy.
And yet poverty is rising in Europe. Austerity measures are having a strong social impact, with the youth unemployment rate reaching 24% and 24% of the EU population facing the risk of poverty or exclusion. 5.2% live in severe housing deprivation and there is evidence of increasing levels of homelessness in at least 15 Member States. Everyone has the right to live a life free from poverty and the EU needs to do more to keep its promises on poverty reduction.
The EESC on poverty
The opinions issued by the EESC on poverty and social exclusion (on the working poor, homelessness, energy poverty, social protection, social services, social aid, minimum income, etc.) recommend important means and measures to fight disadvantage and discrimination. They are well worth reading.
All events and opinions on poverty can be accessed through the red and green boxes on this page.