To mark the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit gave a statement on behalf of the European Commission at the European Parliament plenary on 17 October. The Commissioner emphasised that to fight poverty effectively, a strong commitment and a coordinated approach are needed. He described the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine are having on poverty levels in Europe and what policy measures are imperative to protect the most vulnerable. According to the latest figures, in 2021, over one in five people in the EU – or 95.4 million people – was at risk of poverty or social exclusion. The Commission takes the fight against poverty very seriously and is committed to supporting Member States in fighting poverty by addressing its root causes. Commissioner Schmit stated what actions the Commission and the Member States have already taken to reduce the risk of people falling into poverty – including energy poverty – or social exclusion and stress the need to ensure people’s dignity. All Member States have committed to reducing the number of people in the EU at risk of poverty by at least 15 million, of which at least five million should be children, in line with the EU 2030 social targets.
Commissioner Schmit’s statement is available here.