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Brussels, 17 October 2014
International Day for the Eradication of Poverty - statement by Commissioner László Andor
Today, on the occasion of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, I would like to express my solidarity with all those around the world that are exposed to poverty and social exclusion. In the EU an estimated 124 million people are currently at risk of poverty or social exclusion. This is another clear indication why the EU must find new ways to resolve the eurozone crisis on a sustainable basis. In 2010, as part of the Europe 2020 strategy, the EU’s Member States committed themselves to lift at least 20 million people out of poverty by 2020. However, Europe has moved away from this target, with seven and a half million more people living in poverty or social exclusion across Europe since the adoption of the strategy. Worryingly, it is the living conditions of children and young people that have deteriorated the most, which puts their future in jeopardy and risks perpetuating a cycle of poverty between generations. This is unacceptable in European societies, and demands vigorous action to better ensure decent living standards for everyone in the EU.
The EU has been working hard to support Member States in their fight against poverty. The Social Investment Package, adopted last year, provides social policy guidance and urges Member States to step up adequate income support. Together with activating and enabling benefits and services, these measures can help people get back to work and integrate into society, as well as to break the cycle of poverty. These priorities have been reflected in the Country-Specific Recommendations for those Member States facing the most serious social challenges. Financial support is also available through the European Social Fund and the new Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived. We need to ensure that all relevant actors are aware of the guidance and resources available, and jointly commit to implementing social investment strategies.
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