On the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, 17 October, Caritas Europa urges the 2019 candidates to the European Parliament to prioritise in their campaigns the fight against poverty, inequalities and social exclusion. The future Parliament should make every effort to rapidly implement the Agenda 2030 and to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) by 2030. In particular, we ask that it takes the appropriate measures to achieve SDG 1: end poverty. The EU can and must show its added value when it comes to protecting the social rights of all residents.
When children grow up in poor families, they are likely to stay in poverty for the rest of their lives. Children who experience poverty at an early age are often marked for life by this experience. Since the financial and economic crisis of 2008, austerity policies have put national social protection systems under pressure, further undermining the capacity of the state to protect people against poverty. Europeans deserve such protection, since it contributes to reducing inequalities and to improving social cohesion.
A young single parent, who relies on the help of Caritas in Belgium to cover basic needs, explains: “The most I suffer from are all the small things that I can’t give to my children or that we can’t do together. You know, like going to a film with popcorn, a trip to the zoo or spending an afternoon in a swimming pool.”
“The EU can do more against poverty! Job creation for the disadvantaged, more family support and better social protection are needed. Citizens can support this approach with their vote in the upcoming European elections,” says Jorge Nuño Mayer, Secretary General of Caritas Europa.
Let’s ensure that by 2030 we no longer have to mark the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty but that poverty will have been eradicated in Europe by then!