Launch of EU Year 2010 against Poverty and Social Exclusion

 A European conference on “Poverty: Perceptions and Reality - The Communication Challenge” will take place in Brussels on 28-29 October to launch the 2010 European Year. The conference is targeted at journalists, policy-makers, NGOs and researchers from all over Europe.  

 2010 European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion is coming. On the first day (28 October), a seminar for journalists working on social issues will take place in the framework of the European conference on "Poverty: perceptions and reality: the communication challenge" .The programme for the day includes a presentation of the communication efforts for the European Year; a meeting with Commissioner Vladimír Špidla and the possibility to visit grassroots projects to combat poverty in Brussels. On 29 October, the conference will also be broadcast live on the web

On the second day (29 October), the results of a Eurobarometer survey on the multi-faceted aspects of poverty, and the first wave of a tracking Eurobarometer survey on Europeans' perception of the social impact of the crisis will be presented to the 400 participants. This Eurobarometer, which was also presented by a press release, reveals that 89% of Europeans want urgent action by their government to tackle the poverty problem. The issues of how European media treat poverty and exclusion issues and the importance of public communication for effective social inclusion policies will be addressed at the conference.

The background

Almost 80 million people are currently living in poverty in the EU. Despite an improvement in overall living standards in Europe over the past decade, poverty and social exclusion remain major issues in most countries, although with substantial differences across the EU. Poverty rates, based on per capita income, range from 10% in the Czech Republic and the Netherlands to more than 20% in Bulgaria, Latvia and Romania.

The 2010 European Year for combating poverty and social exclusion aims to promote solidarity, equality and tolerance while combating stereotypes and stigmatisation. In the 27 Member States, Norway and Iceland, hundreds of events will contribute to the European-wide campaign. The purpose of a European Year is to raise public awareness of and draw national governments' attention to a specific issue. It comes after the European Year for Creativity and Innovation.