“We are very proud of this campaign’s results, which give us hope, in a rather pessimistic context of low turn-out and rise in extreme-right, anti-democratic and euro-skeptical parties. With 10% of all MEPs committed for working against poverty, exclusion, inequalities and discrimination, this is a very positive step forward”, said Sérgio Aires, President of EAPN.
“The low turn-out and rise in extreme-right parties are worrying trends though not surprising. We’ve been defending a clear shift in EU politics for several years now, and little has happened. Policies are still prioritizing macro-economic goals and austerity measures, regardless of their consequences for people, including rising poverty and inequality rates, with civil-society kept away from most decision-making processes. That attitude and the loss of democracy and transparency, is the most worrying, not to say dangerous, thing happening. EU leaders have been given, once again, a strong signal that they have to restore trust and humanity, democracy, solidarity and dignity to the EU, in fact its founding principles. If they don’t recognize this and act accordingly, we are afraid democracy will not survive”, Sérgio Aires added.
79 out of 751 MEPs, i.e. over 10%, have taken EAPN’s pledge (that number might increase once the list of newly elected MEPs from Bulgaria and Italy has been confirmed).
26 MEPs are affiliated to S&D Group; 17 to Greens/EFA; 14 to GUE/NGL; 12 to EPP; 3 to ALDE; 5 are members of national political parties not affiliated to any EP Group; 2 are independent candidates.
The European Anti-Poverty Network launched the Electing Champions for a Social Europe campaign around the European elections, in a context of dreadful increases in poverty, social exclusion and inequality rates, and policies focused on austerity and macro-economic performances while dismantling the EU welfare states. Despite the EU target on poverty set by the Europe 2020 Strategy to lift 20 million people out of poverty by 2020, statistics show the following increases in poverty rates:
Between 2010 and 2011, the number of people at-risk-of-poverty or social exclusion in the EU increased by 3.7 million (+0.7%), reaching the number of 121.2 million people in 2011 (24.3 % of the entire population). In 2012, 124.5 million people (24.8 %) at risk of poverty or social exclusion.
2012 124.5 million people. Since 2010, 6 million more people are living in or at risk of poverty in the EU.
NOTE TO THE EDITOR:
- See List of committed MEPs http://electingchampionsin2014.net/candidates/
- EAPN and its members’ MANIFESTO for the 2014 European Elections
Electing Champions for a Social Europe is a pan-European campaign carried out by the European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN) and its members (29 national networks and 18 European organisations) representing hundreds of organisations on the ground working with thousands of European citizens as well as other partners supporting a social Europe.
The key demands of the campaign:
√ A Social Pact for a Social Europe
√ An effective EU Strategy to fight poverty, social exclusion, inequalities and discrimination
√ Strengthened democracy and civil-society participation
√ An annual Hearing with People experiencing poverty in the European Parliament
For further information, contact Barbara Helfferich (Director), firstname.lastname@example.org (Tel. +32 2 226 58 50 – fax. +32 2 226 58 69) – or Nellie Epinat (Communications officer), email@example.com (Tel. +32 498 44 13 66)
The European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN) is the largest European network of national, regional and local networks, involving anti-poverty NGOs and grassroots groups as well as European Organisations, active in the fight against poverty and social exclusion. It was established in 1990.