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The 2014-2020 EU-budget must include right steps and fundings to reach poverty goal of Europe 2020 strategy


21 Nov 2012


EU Priorities 2020
Social Europe & Jobs

Caritas Europa calls on member states not to overlook goal of lifting 20 million people out of poverty by 2020 and thus proposes 4 points to better link the 2014-2020 budget for Structural Funds to the poverty targets of the Europe 2020 strategy.

Brussels, 21 November 2012 - The European Union must do its utmost to reach the poverty target of the Europe 2020 Strategy (bringing 20 million out of poverty). Therefore, Caritas Europa calls on all Governments of the EU Member States to ensure that the budget for 2014-2020 will include clear steps and funding to reach these objectives.

In light of European Council’s meeting next week, Caritas Europa has sent a letter to Prime Ministers of all EU Member States, reminding them to respect their political commitments to reduce poverty by 2020.

“We regret to see the last proposal of the Cohesion Policy budget of €326.5 billion which is almost €10 billion less than the original Commission’s proposal. There are no doubts that agreeing on such cut would significantly diminish the potential for future European Social Fund (ESF) to support fighting poverty and social exclusion. As a result, this may put into question the potential contribution of Structural Funds to achieving the Europe 2020 poverty reduction target of lifting 20 million people out of poverty,” the letter says.

“We are therefore writing to you today to ask for your support for better linking the 2014-2020 Structural Funds with the poverty reduction target of Europe 2020 and to enable them to respond to the worsening social situation of many Europeans.

Thus we are asking you to:

  • Support the 336 billion euro for cohesion policy to respond to current and future needs
  • Ensure the minimum allocation of 25% of the cohesion policy funds to the European Social Fund (ESF)
  • Earmark 20% of the ESF to social inclusion and the fight against poverty
  • Support the budget proposed by the Commission for the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived of €2,5 billion as a separate budget within the Cohesion Policy’s budget.”

Member States must not abandon the political commitments they made when agreeing the poverty reduction target and during the last June Council, during which the ESF’s role in mitigating the social consequences of the crisis was clearly endorsed."

A petition and a joint letter from 20 NGSs

Caritas Europa has also supported ‘EU Money for Poverty Reduction, NOW!’ - a campaign of 20 Social NGOs coordinated by the European Anti-Poverty Network - to push Member States to defend the minimum shares for the European Social Fund (ESF) as proposed in the draft regulation by the European Commission.

On the eve of the General Affairs Council, Caritas Europa was among the Social NGOs that presented petition supported by over 11,500 signatures to Mr. Adonis Constantinides from the Cypriot Presidency, that the new round of the European Social Fund must include the commitment to ring fence 20% for the addressing poverty and social inclusion.

Read the full letter and petition here.

Sign the petition on our website.

For more information contact:

Thorfinnur Ómarsson Communication Officer Tel: +32 2 235 03 94 Mob: +32 473 341393