eapn unemployment

Employment is a key policy area for EAPN, given its inextricable link to poverty and social exclusion.

EAPN believes that employment does not automatically provide a route out of poverty, as one third of people currently experiencing poverty do hold a job. Quality of work (of a particular job) and of employment (the engagement with the labour market through one’s lifetime) are crucial issues for EAPN.

EAPN has been closely monitoring Employment policies since 1990, following the European Employment Strategy since 1997, as part of the Lisbon Strategy through the 2000s, and equally as part of the Europe 2020 Strategy as of 2010.


EAPN supports Inclusive Labour Markets, in line with the Active Inclusion strategy of the European Commission, and believs in supporting people, through personalised approaches and counseling, into quality and sustainable jobs. EAPN advocates for public investment in job creation, especially in sustainable, quality jobs that are accessible to people experiencing poverty.

We denounce the increased pressure put on the unemployed, through reduced coverage, duration and level of benefits, tightened eligibility, and punitive approaches using sanctions and conditionality, in an environment where jobs are lacking.

We equally denounce the downward pressure on job quality, including wages, duration of contracts, employment protection, social security, and the weakening of collective bargaining, brought about by the economic crisis and the austerity measures.


EAPN believes in tailored approaches to the labour market, that start from the individual and their specific needs and characteristics, and that lead those who can work towards decent jobs, offering real protection against poverty, as part of integrated, comprehensive pathways to broader social inclusion.

  • For an overview of EAPN’s main concerns regarding employment and its links to poverty, please click here.
  • For an overview of EAPN’s engagement with employment policies over the past two decades, please click here.