Failing to see reality or deceiving the masses? The EU about poverty and social exclusion

Neven Mimica, Member of the EU Commission in charge of International Cooperation and Development (first from left, facing the camera, speaking) participatedin the 70th plenary session of the United Nations General Assembly. In this context, he took part in a conference entitled "Tackling inequalities, empowering women and girls and leaving no one behind - Interactive dialogue 2". Obviously not the EU nor the UN have managed to arrest the recent trends for more poverty in the entire world. (Date: 28/09/2015, Location: New York. © European Union , 2015/ Source: EC - Audiovisual Service/Photo: Johanna Leguerre).

Neven Mimica, Member of the EU Commission in charge of International Cooperation and Development (first from left in the panel facing the camera, speaking) participated in the 70th plenary session of the United Nations General Assembly. In this context, he took part in a conference entitled “Tackling inequalities, empowering women and girls and leaving no one behind – Interactive dialogue 2”. Obviously neither the EU or the UN have managed to arrest the recent trends of more poverty in the entire world. (Date: 28/09/2015, Location: New York. © European Union , 2015/ Source: EC – Audiovisual Service/Photo: Johanna Leguerre).

Some six years ago the European Union set targets for an ambitious project called “The Europe 2020 Strategy”. Amongst other equally fallacious if not deceitful objectives, the leaders of the 28 EU member states undersigned the Commission’s proposal to “lift 20 million people out of poverty and social exclusion by 2020”. No need to say that in 2013 a good 4.8 million more Europeans were living in poverty or social exclusion than in 2008.

On top of that, statistical figures show that in 18 out of the 28 EU member states children of up to 18 years of age are at a much greater risk of poverty and social exclusion than the overall population. It was not like that some years ago. However, it’s not only the overall picture that has darkened during the last six years. The same sources reveal that the divergence between the member states has also grown in the same time interval.

The usual suspects: the poor

Of course it’s the usual differentiation between the wealthy and the poor countries that has also grown lately. “More specifically, the proportion of children living in a household at risk of poverty or social exclusion ranges from around 15% in the Nordic countries to 35% or more in Lithuania, Greece, Latvia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria.”

Most of the above mentioned data come from a landmark report entitled “Families in the economic crisis: Changes in policy measures in the EU”. The study is conducted and published by the Eurofound, which is a European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. This is a tripartite EU agency, whose role is to provide knowledge in the area of social and work-related policies.

The irrefutable statistics

Understandably, the basic data with which the Eurofound researchers worked on the study mentioned above come from Eurostat, the EU statistical service. Last October this newspaper presented detailed Eurostat research, a real almanac on poverty and social exclusion in the EU. The study was published by the EU Commission on 17 October, the ‘International Day for the Eradication of Poverty’. Regrettably, the Eurostat data supported exactly the opposite conclusion to the message of the day.

On the base of the above mentioned statistical ‘directory’ on poverty and social exclusion, the European Sting of 22nd October concluded that, “Unfortunately, the highly advertised recovery of the EU economy after the second quarter of 2013 didn’t change that”. It was more disturbing to find out that the percentage of population at risk of poverty or social exclusion was in 2014 above the 2008 levels even in affluent countries like Germany.

Of course, to a larger degree the same is true for the entire EU. The 2014 overall figure remained well above the 2008 levels, despite the ‘mild recovery’ of the EU economy, after the second quarter of 2013. The diversification between the affluent and the poorer member states is striking in this case also. In three southeastern countries, Romania, Bulgaria and Greece more than one third of the entire population in 2014 was at risk of poverty and social exclusion.

The hardest hit

However, the Eurofound study came up with something more. The researchers concluded that the single parent and large families are generally more at risk of poverty and social exclusion. They once more came upon the fact of the striking divergence between poor and wealthy EU nations. For example a Bulgarian large family is more than thirteen times at risk of poverty and social exclusion than its Finnish counterpart. These findings are a not at all an encouraging development. The differences become growingly intolerable.

The single parent, usually single mother families are a rising part of the European population. Let alone the socio-economic reasons driving this phenomenon, its socio-economic repercussions are of equal importance. For one thing, single parent families are more prone to destabilization in a worsening economic environment and tend to rely more on social security benefits than a two parent household.

There are also consequences on the children who have lived at least a part of their childhood in a lone parent family. All that demands more attention from decision makers, not only on humanitarian grounds but mainly for the overall effectiveness and productivity of the economy-society. Judging from real facts, this attention so far was not at all effective, to say the least.

Who is paying the dearest price?

There is no doubt that the impact of the 2008-2010 financial crisis was quite severe on that part of society which is close or within the circle of poverty and social exclusion. Actually, it’s this part of the European society which paid the dearest price. Certainly the well to do percentage of people, being that in Bulgaria or in Belgium, paid their share of the crisis cost, but this didn’t touch their living conditions.

This is an unquestionable and dreadful deduction about the effects of the last financial crisis. Shamefully, those who are responsible for the economic calamities, in the business and government constellations, are very well aware of this fact. The quickly progressing income inequality attests to the fact that the welfare of the well off depends on the misery of the others.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

New chapters in EU-China trade disputes

3 ways to fix the way we fund humanitarian relief

Draghi’s 2018 compromise: enough money printing to revive inflation and check euro ascent

‘We are nowhere closer’ to Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, than a year ago, Security Council hears

G20 LIVE: G20 Antalya Summit in Numbers, 15-16 November 2015

Fashion has a huge waste problem. Here’s how it can change

The way to entrepreneurship in the developing world

10 cities are predicted to gain megacity status by 2030

MWC 2016 LIVE: Getty chief says one in four new images from phones

‘Open, cordial, and frank discussions’ held over future Somalia-UN relationship

EU Ombudsman investigates the European Commission

ECB money bonanza not enough to revive euro area, Germany longs to rule with stagnation

How ‘small’ is Europe in Big Data?

As the Universal Declaration of Human Rights turns 70 – is it time for a new approach?

China will be the world’s top tourist destination by 2030

UN chief hears ‘heartbreaking accounts’ of suffering from Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh; urges international community to ‘step up support’

The EU Parliament slams Commission on economic governance

A day in the life of a Rohingya refugee

What the global Internet’s stakeholders can learn from Europe’s new data law

The US is withdrawing from a 144-year-old treaty. Here’s the context

A Sting Exclusive: “The competitiveness of Europe depends on a digital single market”, EPP President Joseph Daul highlights live from European Business Summit 2015

Eurozone dignitaries play with people’s life savings

Tackling water scarcity: 4 ways to pull H20 out of thin air

WHO and IFMSA as transcendent pillars for world improvement

Managers’ pay under fire

Europe’s far-right launches attacks on neighboring nations

Here are 5 of the biggest threats to our oceans, and how we can solve them

New phenomena in the EU labour market

This 12-year-old built an underwater robot to fight plastic pollution

Two States ‘side-by-side’ is the ‘peaceful and just solution’ for Israel-Palestine conflict: Guterres

Imported and EU fisheries products should be treated equally

FROM THE FIELD: Persons with disabilities bike towards sustainability

Rights defenders jailed in Bahrain and UAE should be released unconditionally, UN urges

ECB again to subsidize euro area banks with more than one trillion euro

Technology is a force for peace and prosperity. Don’t let its challenges obscure this

168 hours left for MEPs – ECOFIN Council to deliver a Banking Union

Banks promise easing of credit conditions in support of the real economy

Use “blockchain” model to cut small firms’ costs and empower citizens, urge MEPs

Climate change will force us to redefine economic growth

Human rights champions from across the world receive top UN prize

UN refugee agency ‘deeply shocked’ at stabbing death of ‘deeply courageous’ Polish mayor

Davos participants call for digital trade deal

Violence against women a ‘mark of shame’ on our societies, says UN chief on World Day

ECB will be the catalyst of Eurozone’s reunification

Member States and Commission to work together to boost artificial intelligence “made in Europe”

Cameron postpones speech in Holland

How the gender commuting gap could be harming women’s careers

Syrians ‘exposed to brutality every day’ as thousands continue fleeing ISIL’s last stand

ECB: Reaching the limits of its mandate to revive the Eurozone economy

How blockchain can cut the cost of new medicine

Security Council should ‘nurture’ Colombian consensus against return to violence, top UN official urges

Donald Trump’s victory is a great opening for global EU leadership on the sustainability agenda

Clean energy will do to gas what gas has done to coal

Guatemala Dos Erres massacre conviction welcomed by UN human rights office

Can free trade deliver cheaper renewable energy? Ask Mexico

The costs of corruption: values, economic development under assault, trillions lost, says Guterres

EU to finance new investment projects with extra borrowing; French and Italian deficits to be tolerated

How blockchain can manage the future electricity grid

Eritrea sanctions lifted amid growing rapprochement with Ethiopia: Security Council

Spirit unlimited

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s