The fight against poverty is at the heart of the economic, employment and social agenda - the Europe 2020 strategy. Heads of State and Governments have agreed on a common target: the EU should lift at least 20 million people out of poverty and social exclusion by 2020.
Almost 84 million Europeans live at risk of poverty, which means they face insecurity, and go without what most people often take for granted. This is unacceptable in 21st Century Europe. Combating social exclusion, promoting social justice and fundamental rights have long been core objectives of the EU. But more has to be done to help our most vulnerable citizens.
Inspired by its founding principle of solidarity, the EU made 2010 the European Year For Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion, which has contributed to give a stronger voice to the excluded. It has helped to shed light on a reality often underestimated or misunderstood in one of the richest regions in the world.