Sources of information
- DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion
- Social Protection Committee
- European Social Policy Network
- European Networks
The main source for comparable annual data on the level and composition of poverty and inequality in the EU is Community Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC). This has replaced the European Community Household Panel. The results can be found on the Eurostat web site.
Eurostat is the official statistical data office of the EU and in addition to EU-SILC has a lot of relevant data pertaining to issues of poverty and inequality.
In addition Eurostat produces a number of relevant publications such as the Statistics in Focus bulletin, the annual Social Situation in the European Union and various sectoral publications.
The DG produces valuable analyses of data on poverty and social exclusion as part of the EU social inclusion process. In particular Commission Staff Working Documents produced as supporting documents for the annual Joint Report on Social Protection and Social Inclusion contain important analyses and accompanying tables. These can be found on the DG’s web site.
Also on this web site one can find important research reports on different aspects of poverty and social exclusion in the EU. These include studies commissioned by the European Commission and reports prepared by the network of independent experts on social inclusion who advise the European Commission.
The Social Protection Committee (SPC) is an EU advisory policy committee for Employment and Social Affairs Ministers in the Employment and Social Affairs Council (EPSCO), established by the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (article 160)
- Access the SPC webpage here
- (2013) Social Europe – Many ways, one objective - Report of the Social Protection Committee (19/03/2014)
The European Social Policy Network (ESPN) was established in 2014 to provide the Commission with independent information, analysis and expertise on social policies.
In particular, the ESPN supports the Commission in monitoring progress towards the EU social protection and social inclusion objectives set out in the Europe 2020 strategy, including lifting at least 20 million people out of poverty and social exclusion, and in the European Semester.
- See the ESPN webpage here.
The ESPN replaced the Network of Independent Experts on Social Inclusion (2003-2014), which assisted the European Commission in monitoring and evaluating the situation with regard to poverty and social exclusion and the relevant policies in 34 European countries: the 28 EU Member States and six non-EU countries (the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Serbia, and Turkey).
- See the Network of Independent Experts on Social Inclusion webpage here
- (2013) Investing in children: breaking the cycle of disadvantage (an analysis by the European Network of Independent Experts on Social Inclusion)
EAPN of course produces regular reports, briefings and tool kits on poverty and social exclusion EU, reflecting the work carried out by its national networks.
Other key European-level networks of organisations involved in the fight against poverty and social exclusion prepare important reports and information briefings on particular aspects of poverty and social exclusion. These include:
- AGE Platform Europe (a European network of and for people aged 50+ representing directly over 30 million older people in Europe)
- CARITAS EUROPA (a network of Catholic relief, development and social service organisations)
- EUROCHILD (a network of organisations and individuals working in and across Europe to improve the quality of life of children and young people)
- FEANTSA (the European Federation of National Organisations working with the Homeless)
- ATD QUART MONDE (International Movement ATD Fourth World).
The European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions is an EU body that conducts a number of surveys on employment and social conditions in EU countries. Among its regular surveys are the European Quality of Life Survey, the European Working Conditions Survey and the European Survey on Working Time and Work-Life Balance.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development provides important comparative statistics and reports on social protection and related matters.
The UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre in Florence produces important reports on child poverty including its recent report An overview of child well-being in rich countries.
The United Nations Development Programme publishes an annual Human Development Report which produces a Human Development Index, a composite index of quality of life and standard of living indicators.
The UNDP’s regional office for Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States also produces important statistics and reports on poverty in its region.
Important information and the result of discussions on indicators to measure poverty and social exclusion can be found on the web site of the Indicator’s Sub Group of the EU’s Social Protection Committee.
Another very detailed and useful discussion on indicators and statistics in the EU’s social inclusion process can be found in The EU and Social Inclusion: Facing the challenges by E. Marlier et al (The Policy Press, 2007).