About one in four Europeans – about 120 million people – are at risk of poverty and social exclusion, six million more than at the beginning of the crisis in 2008. Some 16% of the population, including 20 million children and nearly 10% of the working population, live on less than 60% of their country’s average household income. These figures have increased with the economic crisis and vary significantly between Member States and regions. EU regional and local governments are responsible for about one fifth of total government expenditure for social protection and services and therefore play an important role in this policy area.
The Committee of the Regions' conference "Poverty and social exclusion: What role for regions and cities?" was the fourth in a series of seven events covering the Europe 2020 strategy flagship initiatives.
In addition to the opening and closing sessions, three workshops focused on the following themes:
- Social investment: Active inclusion policies at regional and local level;
- Going local: Community development of deprived urban neighbourhoods and rural areas;
- Crossing borders: Trans-national cooperation between regions and cities on social inclusion.
This event was aimed at policy makers and senior experts of national, regional and local public administrations, networks, social and charity associations and academia. Conclusions of the conference will feed into the CoR's contribution to the mid-term evaluation of the Europe 2020 strategy to be presented during the European Summit of Regions and Cities in March 2014.
Conference speeches and presentations:
Opening speech by Ms Gillham
Presentation by Ms Lieve Fransen
Presentation by Mr Vandenbroucke
Ms Doreen Huddart
Mr Nicholas Costello
Ms Sian Jones
Mr Stephen Barnett
Ms Annette Pardaens
Mr Bart Vanhercke
Mr Michael Ralph
Ms Anne Degrand-Guillaud
Ms Sabine Weck
Mr Ronald De Greef
Mr Stefan Schulz-Trieglaff
Mr José Antonio Ruiz de Casas
Mr Freek Spinnewijn
Ms Eliza Poplawska-Jodko