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EU poverty conference held in Brussels

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A conference to discuss the status of poverty in the European Union has been held in the Belgian capital Brussels, Press TV reports.

The conference gathered over 700 politicians, academics and rights campaigners to discuss the EU’s ongoing economic crisis focusing on unemployment and social exclusion.

EU governments, institutions and structures were criticized during the conference over their failure to protect citizens since the economic crash in 2008.

Addressing the conference, Italian Member of Parliament Sandro Gozi cited “25 million unemployed woman and men, of which five million younger than 25-years-old” and “nearly a quarter of euro population at risk of poverty and social exclusion with a 6.5 million… increase between 2008 to 2012,” as some of problems the eurozone countries are facing.

During the conference participants noted that the quality of life in eurozone countries has been radically driven down by factors such as unemployment, forced migration to seek work, wage cuts, mortgage debt, failing health systems and poverty.

EU policy-makers admitted that it will be impossible to meet all of the targets that have been agreed by member states due to the scale of the current problems, even though billions of euros have been set aside to try and improve the lives of EU citizens between now and 2020.

“Public debt has increased dramatically, income has declined for many people across the union and unemployment is higher than (the last) twenty years,” said EU Regional Policy Commissioner Johannes Hahn during the conference.


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