In spite of the overall wealth of the European Union (EU) poverty, nearly 1 in 7 people are at risk of poverty. However, poverty is not well understood, either by policy makers or the general public.
People often think of poverty as something that only exists in developing countries. But the reality of poverty in the EU is a very real problem which brings misery to the lives of many people. It is a direct attack on people’s fundamental rights, limits their opportunities to achieve full potential, brings high costs to society and hampers sustainable economic growth. Poverty can also not be analysed separately from Wealth. The real challenge is not so much to “help the poor” but to make a new commitment to reduce inequalities and finance effective redistribution.
EAPN is working to raise awareness of the reality of poverty, the different concepts and implications at national and EU level and to highlight the link with wealth and inequality.
Our key actions:
- Many national EAPN networks are delivering national awareness-raising programmes on poverty and the national action plans funded by the Commission (PROGRESS). Several members have also presented proposals for the new round of programmes.
- EAPN is developing EU Poverty Information tools – including a Poverty Explainer (see section on Poverty in the EU: the facts) and will produce a Wealth Explainer by the end of 2008.
- In 2009 and 10 EAPN will be developing a poverty tool kit, highlighting perceptions, causes and impact of poverty and inequality on people experiencing poverty.