European Year for combating poverty spurred mobilisation and commitment: focus must now shift to delivery
The report describes the range of activities developed as part of the campaign in 29 countries and at European level. Most of them were geared towards information and awareness-raising (including a pan European campaign coordinated by the European Commission), direct support to those at risk, research and policy initiatives. In total, around 900 activities were directly co-funded across the EU, with an additional 1800 framed within the campaign but without direct financial support. The active involvement of 164 ambassadors helped involve a wider audience.
The European Year has spurred a large mobilisation and has contributed to putting poverty and social exclusion at the centre of the Europe 2020. It allowed active participation by those experiencing poverty, led to new partnerships and stressed the need to build more bridges between key actors, such as NGOs, business, media, or public authorities beyond social inclusion services. However, the crisis raised significant obstacles for the campaign to deliver its full impact, by hitting both people at risk of poverty and those working with them on a daily basis.
The report presents follow-up actions to take place after the EY2010. In particular, Member States have defined specific national targets for reducing poverty or social exclusion as part of the Europe 2020 strategy and progress is monitored through the European semester. The Flagship Initiative “A European Platform against Poverty and Social Exclusions” highlights the Commission’s agenda through concrete actions in diverse fields such as the fight against child poverty, financial exclusion or social innovation. The legislative package tabled in October 2011 for Cohesion Policy 2014-20 entails a significantly stronger focus on the issue, including a 20% earmarking of the European Social Fund‘s activities towards social inclusion measures.
- 1985-2012 Poverty in Europe (marcusampe.wordpress.com)
- Bristol Child Poverty Strategy 2011-2020 Published (bristolchildren.wordpress.com)
Bristol is pleased to publish its first Child Poverty Strategy, which is based on an extensive needs assessment and citywide consultation.
- Ageing and Solidarity between generations (marcusampe.wordpress.com)
Today Europe is like other continents confronted with the ageing population. Facing the problem of an intense growing older and non-working population the European Commission called for a year of reflection on this problem and instigated the “2012 – European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations”.
- To Work Longer or Die Younger (marcusampe.wordpress.com)
2012: European Year for Active Ageing … and Solidarity between Generations
- Poor People in Rich Nations: The Causes For Rising Poverty In The Western World (europeancourage.wordpress.com)
Poverty rates are on the rise in the Western world, as recession, rising fuel costs and austerity cuts to social welfare benefits, take their toll on the most vulnerable people. But rather than trying to alleviate the problem, most continue to perpetuate the cycle even further.
The European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN) has warned that the austerity packages introduced by European governments desperate to reduce their deficits are responsible for rising levels of poverty and social exclusion.
The biggest cause of rising poverty, however, remains cuts in welfare spending as a result of austerity packages, which are biting in all the major European economies. Fintan Farrell, the director of EAPN, said austerity measures were driving more and more EU citizens into precarious financial situations.
The severity of the experience of poverty in the Western world is often underestimated because it is perceived that there are adequate safety nets, but the system does not always function as it should.
- The Causes of Poverty (56): A Lack of Social Mobility (filipspagnoli.wordpress.com)
Is a lack of, or a low level of social mobility a human rights violations? No, of course not. There is no right to be socially mobile or to end up in a different – preferably higher – social class than your parents. However, indirectly there is a link between social mobility and human rights.
Hereditary poverty is just another word for lack of social mobility. If there is no or little social mobility in your society, if rules, institutions and mentalities make it hard for people to escape the social class of their parents, then this not only reduces fairness, just reward and opportunity, but it also determines the kind of poverty in society: poverty becomes something like a hereditary disease, the poor become a permanent underclass, and society no longer helps people to break the vicious cycle of hereditary poverty and to enjoy fair and equal opportunities.
- Alberta and NFLD, and the difference between material and social well-being (cutandplante.wordpress.com)
Implicit in all poverty work is the suggestion that there exists some poverty threshold, such that if people’s well-being falls below this threshold, they are much worse off than if their well-being had been sustained above it. In the developing world we talk about this threshold existing somewhere at, or near to, basic sustenance: if you can’t eat and keep warm and dry, you can’t do much else. In the developed world we take a social exclusion approach to well-being. We argue that in order to fully participate in rich consumption driven societies, people don’t need to just be able to stay alive, but also dress relatively well, keep clean, and have access to a phone or email. This may sound extravagant to the most heartless among us, but imagine trying to get even a bad job without these things.
- Hungary urges EU members to present Roma plans (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
A Hungarian official who oversees programs to aid the country’s Roma population is urging other European nations to fulfill earlier pledges to present strategies for integrating the minority group.
Hungary’s Roma population is estimated at between 500,000 and 800,000 of its 10 million people. While Roma, like all Hungarians, were guaranteed jobs under communism, the Roma unemployment rate today is several times the national average of roughly 11 percent. Many Roma depend on state welfare as their main source of income.
The Roma also are often used as scapegoats for Hungary’s social problems.