Combating poverty not only by words, but by action

Combating poverty not only by words, but by action

2010. 06. 24.

Járóka welcomed the initiative to dedicate the year 2010 to the problems of Europe’s poor, and she reminded that the Lisbon Summit in 2000 defined the issue of combating poverty and social exclusion as one of the fundamental aims of the EU.

She emphasized that stepping up against poverty could only be successful through the combination of the present initiatives and through the cooperation of local, regional, national and community levels. She also expressed her hope that a well-prepared program would draw the attention of national and international decision-makers to the problem and could provide momentum for launching a complex action plan. “2010 can thus be the year of combating poverty and social exclusion not only in words but in acts” – she said. Járóka also recommended the application of the “Laeken Indicators” adopted by the European Council in 2001 which define poverty not merely by the median income, but they give a complex and realistic view of social exclusion based on a variety of aspects, such as health, education and training, employment rates, inequalities in income-distribution, extent of regional cohesion etc.

“Taking into consideration the strong territorial aspect of poverty, this data collection must also cover the smallest administrative units, because intra-regional disparities are in many cases higher than those between the regions.  The polarization is deepening too, since economic and social interventions are concentrated in the dynamic centres causing the further decline of the excluded periphery” – she said. Járóka also emphasized that the above described territorial exclusion was “invisible” for European statistics as well as for policy objectives and instruments, since the scope of analysis, decision making and planning was too wide to locate these regions. Járóka therefore urged the development of an all-European crisis-map, which measures and surveys those micro-regions within the EU where communities are hardest hit by poverty and social exclusion.