EU PROTECTS > Our Society

Our Society

What would happen to you if your bank collapsed? Or if the businesses in your local area could no longer afford to trade? How can we help people living in poverty and integrate those that make Europe their new home? 

As a society, we should promote solidarity. The EU seeks to redress social inequality, fight poverty and establish a level playing field. This means supporting people in need, ensuring that large companies pay their share of tax and preserving our environmental and social standards when trading with the rest of the world. Across the EU, there are many ordinary heroes helping to do just that. With the EU’s support, they protect our livelihoods, our businesses and our society. Find out who they are, and how they do it.  

Truck cartels

“We just didn’t have the time or the means to fight unfair pricing on our own.”

Antonio Marco Riquelme

Holding no truck: How the EU is clamping down on unfair business practices

Europe's transport companies stock our supermarkets with the freshest produce, equip our homes with the best appliances and keep our lives and businesses ticking. They simply don’t have the time, or the means, to worry about whether the truck manufacturers are playing fair. Read on to discover how the EU steps in to make sure European companies are protected against illegal business practices.

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"When I lost my job of 17 years, I didn’t know how I’d find another one."

Ourania Koutrouvi

Making the transition: How the EU is helping workers learn skills for a changing economy

Globalisation brings many opportunities. Yet it can also lead to wage cuts and job losses. This is why the EU is working with European countries to help workers learn new skills and find employment in a changing world.

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Combating poverty

“We now have a warm home for our growing family and we’re no longer restricted by extremely high energy bills. This was possible thanks to renovations funded by the EU.”

Robertas Marcinkevičius

Escaping energy poverty: How the EU is making sure families aren’t left out in the cold

Across the EU, many families are struggling with energy costs. Some are unable to heat their homes adequately, which affects their health, well-being, and ability to work. EU funds projects that are helping to fight energy poverty – as experienced by one family in Lithuania.

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Protecting jobs

“When you consider the full production chain, at least 100,000 jobs were at risk.”

Alfonso Panzani

European mosaic: How EU trade investigators protected jobs against unfair competition

Artisans and small businesses can easily find themselves defenceless against unfair trading practices. When European ceramics manufacturers were undercut by massive imports of Chinese ceramics sold at artificially low prices, jobs and livelihoods were on the line. 

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“Unfair competition would put our small town on the verge of an economic crisis.”

Monika Božíková

An equal footing: How the EU keeps the wheels of fair trade turning

Europe is open for business, but everyone must play fair. EU trade rules stop artificially cheap imports from flooding the EU market and pushing European companies out of business. When European bicycle manufacturers suspected that some of these rules had been broken, EU trade investigators and customs officers jumped into gear to protect the future of a whole sector.

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Refugee integration

“The war changed everything in Aleppo. I left, not knowing when my family would be reunited.”

Zakaria Alo

From war-stricken Syria to safety: How the EU helped a refugee build a new life in the Netherlands

Refugees fleeing war zones and persecution cannot usually return home and are in need of protection. For one young Syrian, finding a temporary home in Europe depended on the shared effort of EU asylum services, Greek authorities and local volunteers. Follow Zakaria’s journey from Syria, via Greece, to the Netherlands.

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Combating poverty

“Now that I have a job and my own flat, I can finally make plans for the future.”

Jaroslav Reiber

Building Foundations: How the EU is helping to break the cycle of poverty

Unemployment, malnutrition, homelessness – poverty in its different forms affects many families across generations. The EU is going local to bolster the work of national services, social workers and volunteers, with the aim of combatting poverty and social exclusion throughout Europe.

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Did you know?


of the total EU population currently cannot afford a one-week annual holiday away from home.


has been allocated to projects outside of the EU to help ease the root causes of migration, including €1 billion for a facility for refugees in Turkey and €3.5 billion for humanitarian aid within affected regions.


of all European enterprises are micro-businesses (meaning that they have fewer than 10 employees).


Society relies on people working together for the good of all. But who are the local heroes doing this in your region?