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Monday 26th of October 2020

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2010 improving social inclusion for young people at risk - EY2010

2010: European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion

Why a European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion?

Because poverty and exclusion affects not only to the welfare of individuals and their abilities to participate in the life of society, but also to the economic development. The Member States of the European Union declared 2010 as "The European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion", which aims to promote awareness of the fundamental problem of poverty and social exclusion in Europe.

17 million Euros have been allocated for this year, is the largest budget ever allocated to a European Year. It finances activities in all Member States: communication campaigns, the fight against prejudice and discrimination, conferences, action by public authorities, private initiatives...

Because the international economic and financial crisis may have implications for the future growth and employment in the European Union, and that vulnerable people in our society could be the ones who suffer the hardest, the European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion focuses on social exclusion and encourages the active inclusion of vulnerable groups, such as the disabled, immigrants, ethnic minorities, the homeless, former prisoners, drug addicts, alcoholics, people living alone and children.

What are the goals?

Four goals are at the centre of this European Year:

  • Recognition: recognize the right of people in poverty and social exclusion to live with dignity and to play an active role in society and to participate in the policies undertaken.
  • Sharing responsibility: promote social support to the social inclusion policies, emphasizing the collective and individual responsibility and encouraging the commitment of all actors in the fight against social exclusion.
  • Cohesion: work towards a more cohesive and caring society in which nobody doubts about the benefits it brings, for all, the eradication of poverty in the context of a sustainable development.
  • Commitment and action: renew the commitment of the European Union and its Member States with respect to the fight against poverty and social exclusion and involve all political levels to achieve poverty eradication, promoting further the action of Member States and the EU in this field.

And then?

In this context, the European Commission recently launched the "Strategy 2020" its aim is to "make of Europe a prosperous area to ensure a better social inclusion of its citizens in a context of economic crisis and large budgetary pressures".

During the last biennial conference of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), the last May 20th, 21st and 22nd in Florence in Italy, the Committee called for a plan of investment in the education sector to implement a real European common policy to fight against social exclusion.

During these three days of debate, Mr. Barroso, President of the European Commission, presented in his speech on May 22nd, 2010 the objectives of the "Strategy 2020", insisting mainly on education in the sense of social integration.

"One of the driving dynamics of competitiveness and equity that we launch is education. [...]

Education, at last, is a very effective social commitment. All the studies prove it: a good education is the best starting point in life and the best passport to a better social inclusion. The more educated a person is, the higher is his salary and his chances to have a good access to housing, to health care and information, and the more he will live in a long good health. On the contrary, the lower educated a person is, the stronger are the odds of living in poverty and that is the reason why a person without a diploma is three times more likely to be unemployed than a qualified person.

The failure, in some cases, of our educational systems has a direct translation in social inequalities, poverty and social exclusion. It is measured with a feeling of injustice, incivility and violence. The social and financial cost of school failure is very important as regards health, social assistance, security or justice also.

So we have to do as much as possible for education to play its equity factor role against the exclusion and the social raise.

To get the best results, especially in disadvantaged groups, we have to invest in education and take care of children from their youngest age. And also provide education for all. Whatever their situation is, everyone in Europe should be able to acquire and develop the necessary knowledge and key skills during their life for their opportunity to be employed, for being an active citizenship and for an intercultural dialogue."

Council conclusions on the European Platform against Poverty and Social Exclusion: A European framework for social and territorial cohesion

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