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EU President Van Rompuy and Cardinal Rodríguez Maradiaga, President of Caritas Internationalis, met to share the objective of Zero Poverty


14 Oct 2010


Social Europe & Jobs

Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga met Mr. Van Rompuy today to convey the political proposal to fight poverty designed by Caritas organizations in Europe in the framework of the Zero Poverty campaign.

During the meeting Cardinal Rodríguez Maradiaga presented Caritas as the best partner for the EU to effectively combat poverty. The network is present from field projects with the people living in poverty to high-level advocacy spheres. This is possible thanks the thousands of volunteers and Caritas staff working together against poverty in the world.

Mr. Van Rompuy was invited to be a part of the Zero Poverty movement, as well as his peers at the top of the EU. Cardinal Rodríguez Maradiaga shared his view that zeroing Poverty is not only Caritas’ business, but everyone’s and, thus, should be a top priority for the EU.

“Zero Poverty is not a wishful thinking but a real and achievable political objective,” says Fr. Erny Gillen, President of Caritas Europa, who also attended the meeting with Mr. Van Rompuy.

On the 11th of November, 2008 former Commissioner Almunia informed the participants of the 2nd Brussels’ International Economic Forum that the EU had prepared a € 20 billion rescue package to provide financial assistance to Member States struggling with the credit-crunch that was sweeping across the world.

In comparison, two weeks ago, on the 27th of September 2010, the European Commission proposed a budget of € 500 million a year to put in place a charity food programme within the EU.

The figures are self-explanatory and reflect where the priorities currently lay. This meeting has been a demand to the politicians in the European Union for a serious and stronger commitment against poverty.

Background information:
      Speech of Former Commissioner Almunia at the 2nd Brussels’ International Economic Forum,  11 November 2008
      Food help to the needy
      Caritas political proposals to European decision makers     
      Joint Caritas Europa, COMECE, CEC CSC, and Eurodiaconia joint report: "Do not Deny Justice to your Poor People"

For more information contact:

Alain Rodriguez

Caritas Europa
Tel : +32 (0)2 235 26 54
Mob : +32 (0)478 58 54 37
Email :


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