What are the steps to eradicate poverty

EU poverty policy

The A. includes goals, strategies and measures that are based on Europ. Level should be developed in order to promote the fight against poverty and social exclusion in the Member States of the EU. The priorities are: combating child poverty, active integration into the labor market, creating adequate housing, overcoming discrimination and reducing debt. At the EU level, A. played a subordinate role for a long time, since A., as part of social policy, is a core area of ​​national policy. The first approaches of a europ. A. go back to the 1970s, when the European Commission put the problem of poverty at the center of an action program. With this program, the EC began to study the poverty situation in the Member States. By the 1990s, three further action programs to combat poverty followed, but their effectiveness was limited. The EU summit in Amsterdam (1997) represents an expansion of A., where Art. 137 of the EC Treaty stipulates that the EU supports and supplements activities in the "fight against social exclusion" (Art. 137 EGV ). By using the term social exclusion (or exclusion), the term poverty was expanded and, in addition to a lack of (financial) resources, problems such as a lack of opportunities for integration and participation were also taken into account. Another step was the so-called Lisbon strategy, in which the europ. Heads of State and Government committed in 2000 to support the fight against poverty and social exclusion in the Member States through the Open Method of Coordination (OMC). Common goals and indicators were set to enable comparisons between states and measure progress. Despite these efforts, analyzes of the poverty situation in the Member States showed little improvement. In 2008, 116 million people in the EU were affected by poverty or social exclusion. In order to cope with the growing challenges (including the financial crisis), the Lisbon strategy was replaced by the »Europe 2020« strategy in June 2010. In it, it was set as a leading indicator that by 2020 the number of people at risk of poverty should be reduced by at least 20 million (mainly through economic efforts). As a central contribution of the member states, »National Reform Programs« (NRP) were decided, in which the states list their national goals and programs and measures for implementation every year. There is still a lack of legally binding, legislative regulations by the EU to effectively oblige states to take measures to reduce poverty. In 2010 the EU proclaimed the »European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion« to draw attention to the topic A. in Europe. In 2017, 112.8 million people in the EU were affected by poverty or social exclusion.


  • Eurostat: press release on income and living conditions in Europe, 13/10/2010.

from: Große Hüttmann / Wehling, Das Europalexikon (3rd edition), Bonn 2020, Verlag J. H. W. Dietz Nachf. GmbH. Author of the article: L. Damaschke-Deitrick