‘Serious failure’ of Europe 2020 over anti-poverty strategies

The Europe 2020 project has so far failed to promote coherent anti-poverty strategies, campaigners say. And the UK is ranked below the average on its approach to most poverty and social exclusion issues.

The European Anti-Poverty Network has looked at all the available reports submitted by member countries on progress towards the Europe 2020 goals (to reduce poverty and/or social exclusion by at least 20 million by 2020). They then rank countries on issues such as the effectiveness of policies to tackle child poverty, and measures to ensure an adequate minimum income and social protection.

Key points

  • In the EU overall, poverty targets ‘continue to lack ambition’.
  • The choice of poverty indicators, including the UK’s, does not accurately reflect the reality of poverty or track real trends.
  • Most countries have made no progress on setting poverty reduction targets – while the number of people in poverty has actually increased (including in the UK).
  • Most of the policies proposed to tackle poverty are evaluated as ‘very inadequate’ (including the UK’s).
  • Only a minority of countries identify child poverty and social exclusion as an important issue. The UK is one that does, but its approach is concerned with life chances for individual children rather than with lifting children and their families above the poverty line.

Source: Sian Jones, Amana Ferro, Vincent Caron and Tanya Basarab, An EU Worth Defending: Beyond Austerity to Social Investment and Inclusive Growth, European Anti-Poverty Network
Links: Report | EAPN press release

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