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EU launches 2010 European Year: Stop poverty now!

EU launches 2010 European Year: Stop poverty now!

2010. 01. 21.

Vladimír Špidla, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities said: “One in six people in Europe face a daily struggle to make ends meet, but poverty can also affect the rest of us – and our societies as a whole. While most of the tools for tackling poverty are at national level, three quarters of Europeans also expect the EU to help. The European Year puts this issue at the top of the agenda so that Europe as a whole can join forces to fight poverty and social exclusion.”

Almost 84 million Europeans – or 17% of people across the EU – currently live below the poverty threshold. The 2010 European Year aims to raise greater awareness of the causes and consequences of poverty in Europe, both among key players such as governments and social partners and among the public at large. It also aims to mobilise these different partners in the fight against poverty; promote social integration and inclusion; and encourage clear commitments on drawing up EU and national policies to tackle poverty and social exclusion.

The Year’s activities will be largely decentralised, with national programmes drawn up by each of the 29 countries taking part (the 27 EU countries plus Norway and Iceland). A €17 million budget will support awareness-raising campaigns at European and national levels and hundreds of national projects linked to the different national priorities.

At European level, the Year will include a journalists’ competition, an art initiative and two ‘focus weeks’, when various national events around the EU will be concentrated over two weeks in May and in October. The Year will end with a closing conference on 17 December in Brussels, under the Belgian Presidency of the EU.