EU - Poverty & Social Exclusion for Women in the EU - Indicators - Formal Structures vs. Gender Realities
“Women were worse off in all EU countries except Spain, where men were at higher risk of poverty or social exclusion, and Poland, where the risk was the same for women and men. In 2014, the gender gaps were highest in the Baltic States, the Czech Republic, and Austria (3.8 percentage points in Latvia, 3.3 percentage points in Lithuania, 3.0 percentage points in the Czech Republic and 2.8 percentage points in Estonia, Cyprus, and Austria). Poland was the most egalitarian country in terms of poverty rates, with no gender gap, followed by Denmark with a gender gap of 0.5 percentage points. The gender gap narrowed in most EU countries between 2008 and 2014, except for the Netherlands and Sweden, where it increased by 0.2 percentage points each.”
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Europe 2020 Indicators - Poverty & Social Exclusion
Data from March 2016. Most recent data: Further Eurostat information, Main tables. Planned article update: May 2017.
The Europe 2020 strategy is the EU’s agenda for growth and jobs for the current decade. It emphasises smart, sustainable and inclusive growth as a way to overcome the structural weakness in Europe’s economy, to improve its competitiveness and productivity, and to underpin a sustainable social market economy.
Poverty reduction is a key policy component of the Europe 2020 strategy. By setting a poverty target, the EU put social concerns on equal footing with economic objectives. Achieving the target to reduce the number of people at risk of poverty and social exclusion will depend on the successful implementation of other priorities of the Europe 2020 strategy, such as providing better opportunities for employment and education.
Europe 2020 strategy target on the risk of poverty and social exclusion
The analysis in this article focuses on the headline indicator ‘people at risk of poverty or social exclusion’, consisting of the three sub-indicators: monetary poverty, severe material deprivation, and very low work intensity. Additional contextual indicators present a broader picture and show the drivers behind changes, providing a breakdown by sex, age, labour status, household type, educational level and parents’ educational level, country of birth, and degree of urbanisation of residential municipality. This allows the most-at-risk groups to be identified. Factors reducing or increasing the risk of poverty such as social transfers are also discussed.
- Almost every fourth person in the EU was still at risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2014.
- More than 30 % of young people aged 18 to 24 and 27.8 % of children aged less than 18 were at risk in 2014. At 17.8 %, this rate was considerably lower among the elderly aged 65 or over.
- Of all groups examined, the unemployed faced the greatest risk of poverty or social exclusion, at 66.7 % in 2014.
- Almost 50% of all single parents were at risk in 2014. This was double the average and higher than for any other household type analysed.
- 35 % of adults with at most lower secondary educational attainment were at risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2014. 63.8 % of children of parents with pre-primary and lower secondary education were at risk as well.
- In 2014, 40.1 % of adults born in a country outside the EU-28 and 24.8 % of those born in a different EU-28 country than the reporting one were at risk of poverty or social exclusion. For native citizens, however, only 22.5 % of the population was at this risk.
- EU-28 citizens in rural areas were on average more likely to live in poverty or social exclusion than those living in urban areas (27.2 % compared with 24.3 %) in 2014.
- Monetary poverty was the most widespread form of poverty with 17.2 % of EU citizens affected in 2014. Next were severe material deprivation and very low work intensity, affecting 9 % and 11.2 % of EU citizens respectively.
- Overall, 9.5 % of the working EU population was at risk of poverty in 2014.
European Parliamentary Research Service Blog
by Ask EP
European citizens regularly contact the European Parliament on the subject of poverty and social exclusion in Europe, calling for more to be done to help poor people to escape their predicament. So what is the EU doing about it?
Measures against poverty and social exclusion are among the specific objectives of the Union and its Member States in the field of social policy, as stipulated by Article 19 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and Title X of the same treaty, concerning social policy.
These measures are based on the Europe 2020 Strategy and accompanied by a series of reforms and initiatives, such as the European Platform against poverty and social exclusion and the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived.
Europe 2020 strategy
This strategy, ‘Europe 2020 - A strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth’, which was launched by the European Commission in 2010, is intended to enable the European Union to achieve smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.
In particular, it established the goal of reducing by 25% the number of people in Europe living below the national poverty line and to take more than 20 million people out of poverty.
European Platform against poverty and social exclusion
This European Commission initiative was launched in 2010 to attain the poverty reduction goal presented in the Europe 2020 Strategy. The purpose is to bring together the various stakeholders in society to create a partnership between national governments, European institutions, local and regional authorities, nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) and individuals themselves who are affected by poverty.
Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived
This fund, established by Regulation (EU) No 223/2014, enables the European Union to support policies and measures pursued by the Member States to reduce poverty. It replaces the EU food aid programme. This material assistance takes the form of non-financial assistance and permits the distribution of food and materials and financing of inclusion policies. The budget for 2014-2020 was initially set at EUR 3.5 billion.
Role of the European Parliament
Numerous European Parliament resolutions bear witness to Parliament’s strong and determined commitment to combating poverty and social exclusion in Europe.
The European Parliament has decided to increase by EUR 2 million the payment appropriations for the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived, as mentioned in its resolution of 26 October 2016 on the general budget of the European Union.
In its resolution of 14 April 2016 entitled ‘Meeting the antipoverty target in the light of increasing household costs’, the European Parliament ‘calls on the Commission and the Member States to invest fully in the fight against poverty and social exclusion and to adopt an integrated strategy to combat its various forms by means of a holistic approach linking economic, education, employment, energy transport and social policies on the basis of best practices’.
In addition, Parliament ‘calls on the Commission to study the possibility of extending the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived beyond the programming period 2014-2020, together with better coordination with other European funds, in particular the European Social Fund (ESF), and active employment policies, to facilitate the entry of the most deprived into the employment market and to evaluate the extent to which the most deprived and vulnerable groups, such as younger women, single-parent families, the disabled and elderly women have benefited from the programme’.
The European Parliament’s research service has published an analysis of ‘Poverty in the European Union – the crisis and its aftermath’, which in particular presents recent developments in European policies on reducing poverty.
The EU fact sheet on combating poverty, social exclusion and discrimination and European Parliament news: social policy may likewise be of interest.
The European Commission’s portal Social protection and social inclusion also presents the support that it provides for the policies conducted by the Member States in the fields of social inclusion and protection.
The website which affords access to the law of the European Union (EUR-Lex) also contains summaries of the European Union law on the subject:
Извор: WUNRN - 30.03.2017