“We are pleased to have such a range of choice of candidates who support a social Europe where people and peoples’ need are at the center. But we are also painfully aware that Europe today does not inspire people to vote. On the contrary, many people are turning away from Europe foregoing this important choice. Reality is that 80% of national legislation is guided by EU so it is in everyone’s interest to vote.” added Sérgio Aires.
“The levels of poverty, social exclusion and inequalities have reached peaks that had never been seen before. The austerity measures have been dismantling welfare states and making people pay for a crisis they did not create. With civil society being largely excluded from the decision-making processes, we understand that people lose faith in the European institutions. And that’s precisely why it is more than ever important to elect people who will make the difference, when the EU is failing on its founding principles of democracy and solidarity that ensured peace and well-being,” said Barbara Helfferich, Director of EAPN.
Despite the European Target on poverty set by the Europe 2020 Strategy to lift 20 million people out of poverty by 2020, statistics show dreadful 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. Since 2010, 6 million more people are living in or at risk of poverty in the EU.
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 organizations) representing hundreds of organizations on the ground working with thousands of European citizens, notably people experiencing poverty, as well as other partners supporting a social Europe.
The key demands of the campaign are:
√ 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
NOTE TO THE EDITOR:
- See EP candidates’ commitments visible on the CAMPAIGN’S BLOG http://Electingchampionsin2014.net
- EAPN and its members’ MANIFESTO for the 2014 European Elections
- See what’s happening at NATIONAL LEVEL on the blog
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)
Established in 1990, 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.