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2010: EU Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion

by Stephanie Prouvost last modified 2010-03-05 15:04
 
Each year since 1983, Europe has initiated a "European Year" awareness campaign designed to inform the citizens of Europe and dialogue with them to work for change in mentalities and behaviour. These European years also provide opportunities for drawing the attention of national governments to societal themes. In 2008, the Union celebrated the the European Year of multicultural dialogue, in 2007 equality of opportunity was to the fore and in 2006, workers' mobility.

2010 is the European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion.

Combating poverty and social exclusion ranks among the main objectives of the European Union and its Member States.
In March 2000, at the launching of the Lisbon strategy, the Heads of State and Government pledged themselves to "making a decisive impact on the eradication of poverty" by the year 2010. Despite the efforts deployed, a significant proportion of the European population still lives in destitution and has no access to basic services such as health care. 79 million people live below the poverty line (set at 60% of their country's median income). That represents 16% of Europe's population.
This state of affairs conflicts with the European Union's common values of solidarity and social justice.
Poverty and exclusion do not only strike at the well-being of individuals, their ability to take an active part in the life of society; they also impair economic development. The Union wishes to reaffirm the importance of collective responsibility in combating poverty; this doubtless involves the decision-makers, but it also calls for a response from the actors in the public and private sectors. Among its aims, the European Year will seek to give a voice to those who daily experience poverty and social exclusion.


The Year is based on 4 key principles:

  • Recognition: recognise the fundamental right of persons experiencing poverty and social exclusion to live in dignity and to take an active part in society;
  • Shared responsibility and participation: promote public support for social inclusion policies, emphasising collective and individual responsibility in combating poverty and social exclusion, and fostering commitment by all public and private actors;
  • Cohesion: promote a more cohesive society, where no one doubts that society as a whole benefits from the eradication of poverty;
  • Commitment and practical action: renew the pledge of the EU and its Member States to combat poverty and social exclusion, and involve all levels of authority in the pursuit of that aim.

 

National and local events will take place in every EU Member State. Activities will include awareness raising campaigns, workshops and information seminars in schools. Films, magazines and other information material will be produced to help people understand how poverty and social exclusion affect their communities, and for those directly affected, increase awareness of their rights.


More Information: EY2010 website

 

 

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