Wednesday

8th Jul 2020

Poverty on the rise in EU

  • Almost 120,000 people in the EU face some form of poverty (Photo: .craig)

Europe’s economic crisis is pushing more people to the brink of poverty and social exclusion.

According to figures released on Monday (3 December) by the EU’s statistical office, Eurostat, over 24 percent of the EU population in 2011 was either struggling with low income or have extremely poor living conditions.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

“More than 27 percent of children are now at risk of poverty or social exclusion in the EU, that is much more than the overall population,” said EU employment commissioner Laszlo Andor said in a speech in November

At the bottom of the scale is Bulgaria where nearly half the population is suffering from some form of poverty.

Most of Bulgaria’s poor is concentrated in rural areas where agriculture generates about half of total household incomes.

Low birth rates, migration, and increased infant mortality have widened the poverty disparity gap with its cities. Poverty is now four times higher in villages when compared Sofia.

The country is followed by Romania and Latvia at 40 percent, Lithuania at 33 percent and Greece at 31 percent. In Germany, the figure is nearly 20 percent.

The EU average represents nearly a one percent increase compared to 2010 when it had launched its ‘European year of combating poverty and social exclusion’.

The anti-poverty year, budgeted at €26 million, was aimed at renewing political commitments of member states to help reverse the trend.

The European Commission, for its part, allocated €500 million in November in its annual programme for 2013 to help feed Europe’s hungry. The fund is estimated to benefit some 18 million people.

It wants to extend the programme and requested some €2.5 billion, allocated from the European Social Fund, in the EU’s next 7-year budget cycle. Member states would pay 15 percent of the costs in their respective national programmes with the EU fund covering the rest.

The Brussels-executive also plans on adopting a recommendation for child poverty early next year.

The proposal will put forward ideas on how to ease parent access to the labour market, provide income support, and provide early childhood education and health care.

Red Cross to feed hungry Spanish people

The Spanish Red Cross has turned its focus away from war-ravaged conflict zones to help the destitute in Spain hard hit by troika imposed austerity measures.

Student unrest over Romania gender-studies ban

The amendment to the education law, approved by the Romanian parliament, is pushing the country closer to the authoritarian policies found in neighbouring Hungary and Poland, critics say.

Black MEP: 'I have been a victim of police violence'

MEPs urged an end to structural racism and discrimination in Europe and the US, following the brutal killing of black American George Floyd by US police. Socialists and Green MEPs stressed the need to unblock the anti-discrimination directive.

News in Brief

  1. France and Germany warn Israel on annexation 'consequences'
  2. Shipping firms to face EU carbon regime
  3. EU to mediate between Greece, Cyprus, and Turkey
  4. EU to unveil arms-trafficking and drug proposals
  5. EU to discuss people-smuggling with African states
  6. 'Torture chamber' found in Dutch sea containers
  7. Commissioner backs under-attack Hungarian news site
  8. New French government tilts to right

Black MEP: 'I have been a victim of police violence'

MEPs urged an end to structural racism and discrimination in Europe and the US, following the brutal killing of black American George Floyd by US police. Socialists and Green MEPs stressed the need to unblock the anti-discrimination directive.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDANext generation Europe should be green and circular
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNEW REPORT: Eight in ten people are concerned about climate change
  3. UNESDAHow reducing sugar and calories in soft drinks makes the healthier choice the easy choice
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersGreen energy to power Nordic start after Covid-19
  5. European Sustainable Energy WeekThis year’s EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) will be held digitally!
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic states are fighting to protect gender equality during corona crisis

Latest News

  1. The opportunistic peace
  2. EU mulls new system to check illegal pushbacks of migrants
  3. EU forecasts deeper recession, amid recovery funds row
  4. Revealed: fossil-fuel lobbying behind EU hydrogen strategy
  5. Commission chief under fire for Croatia campaign video
  6. Parliament vaping booths 'too confidential' to discuss
  7. Belarus: Inside Lukashenko’s crackdown on independent voices
  8. The rationale behind US troop withdrawals from Germany

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us