Member States urged to prove serious about poverty reduction and social inclusion
Published: 24 July 2012
Many people in Europe have little money to live of.
This often happens to people with intellectual disabilities.
The European Union has money to help these people live better.
The European Union now has to decide
Nearly 1 in 4 persons in Europe are experiencing poverty and/or social exclusion. Some groups such as people with intellectual disabilities are especially vulnerable. EU strategy to promote smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, commonly known as Europe 2020, sets out an ambitious goal to lift 20 million Europeans out of poverty or exclusion by the year 2020.
The ongoing negotiations on the next Multiannual Financial Framework, the EU budget for years 2014-2020, and parallel discussions on the future of EU Cohesion Policy in said years, are thus crucial for the achievement of the 2020 poverty reduction and inclusion targets.
The regional policy of the EU aims to promote a balanced growth and development throughout the EU. The funding is channelled through three different funds: the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund and the Cohesion Fund.
In autumn, the European Commission presented first ideas on the future of the EU Cohesion Policy for the next programming period 2014-2020 and proposed to allocate at least 25% of the Cohesion Policy budget to the European Social Fund (ESF), saving 20% of the social fund envelope for poverty reduction and social inclusion.
After most of the member states seemed reluctant to back the intention, a group of European social NGOs led by the European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN) has launched a campaign to get signatures in support of the Commission’s proposal.
The campaign called EU Money for Poverty Reduction NOW! will run until the end of the year. The petition can be signed online. As part of this campaign, the EAPN and the other NGOs also sent a joint letter to Prime Ministers ahead of their General Affairs Council meeting on June 26, urging them to back the Commission’s proposal.
The associations taking part in the campaign to support the European Commission’s proposal are the European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless (FEANTSA), Caritas Europa, the European Network Against Racism (ENAR), Eurochild, Eurodiaconia, AGE Platform, Salvation Army, Mental Health Social Exclusion Europa (SMES Europa), International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) Europe, as well as the Platform of European Social NGOs (Social Platform), Solidar, the European Women's Lobby, the European Disability Forum (EDF), the European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD), the International Council on Social Welfare (ICSW) Europe, Mental Health Europe and Workability Europe.