Eu's 2010 objective: a year for combating poverty and social exclusion

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European Economic and Social Comittee
For immediate release
Strasbourg, 24th February 2010

EU’s 2010 objective: a year for combating poverty and social exclusion

The European Parliament andthe Council of European Union have officially announced that the year 2010 shall be designated as the “European Year for combating poverty and social exclusion”.

Despite significant achievementsin the past years, the Joint Report on Social Protection and Social Inclusion 2008 highlights the fact that 78 million people in the EU live at risk of poverty.
In addition, there is a groing dangerof new cleavages in society emerging between those who have access to lifelong learning to enhance their employability and adaptability, and those who remain excluded and face various forms ofdiscrimination (low paid jobs, unemployment, difficulties to enter the labour market and to find a quality job).

This is why the EU decided to boost active inclusion policies as a mean of preventingpoverty and social exclusion. It has been officially decided that the main objectives of the “European Year” shall be:

Recognition of Rights: recognishing the fundamental right of people in asituation of poverty and social exclusion to live in dignity and to play a full part in society
Promoting and supporting voluntary activities (especially for people with direct or indirect experience ofpoverty)
Promoting a more cohesive society by raising public awareness of the benefits for all of a society where poverty is eradicated

To achieve these goals, this is vital to enforce cooperationbetween the Member States. Each Member State shall appoint a National Implementing Body, responsible for defining strategy and priorities for the European Year and taking the concrete measures.Financial provisions and budget have been decided as well: the financial enveloppe for the implementation of the actions will be 17 000 000 EUR.

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