EU poverty reduction targets could be missed

Anti-poverty campaigners in Europe have raised concerns over whether national governments are planning to ignore poverty reduction targets when they take decisions on the next round of EU Structural Funds (2014–2020).

The European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN) has written to all 26 Prime Ministers in advance of the General Affairs Council meeting on 24 April 2012. The letter makes the following demands:

  • Ministers should support an increased budget for the European Social Fund (ESF), and should back the Commission’s proposal for a minimum share for the ESF of at least 25 per cent of the overall cohesion policy budget. It says that this is a prerequisite for ensuring that the ESF plays a powerful role in delivering poverty reduction and other social targets in an even manner in all EU regions.
  • Ministers should back the proposal to allocate a minimum of 20 per cent of the ESF budget for measures to tackle social inclusion and poverty – compared with 12 per cent currently.

The full text of the EAPN letter and a press release are available on the EAPN website.