The Poverty Alliance is an active member EAPN UK, which is part of the European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN). EAPN is an independent network of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and groups involved in the fight against poverty and social exclusion in the Member States of the European Union. There are 29 networks across Europe that are part of EAPN. EAPN in the UK is made up of three anti-poverty networks:
Northern Ireland Anti Poverty Network; and
The Poverty Alliance
We coordinate activity through UK Liaison Group (UKLG) which is made up of representatives of each of the networks. The UKLG forms the link back to the work of EAPN in Brussels. The Poverty Alliance currently provides the secretariat for the UKLG.
With the important elections to the European Parliament only a few days away more candidates are signing up to the EAPN pledge. By signing the candidates are commiting to ensure that they will make poverty and inequality a priority in the Parliament. To find out who has signed click here
As part of a European wide day of action organised by EAPN, the Poverty Alliance has organised a hustings meeting to hear the views of candidates at the forthcoming European elections. The hustings meeting will be focused around issues of poverty and inequality. more>
The European Anti-Poverty Network has began preparations for the vital upcoming European elections in May. As part of a range of campaigning tools the Network has launched a new blog that will keep members and other campaigners up to date on the latest issues in the campaign. The full campaign will be launched on 4 March in Brussels, and will be calling on prospective MEPs to become champions for social Europe.
To view the new blog click here
For more details on the EAPN election campaign click here
EAPN UK has called on the UK Government to reverse its decision not to accept money that could help food banks in the UK. The UK Government has rejected up to £22M from the European Aid for the Most Deprived fund. This money could have been used to support food banks in the UK.
As many campaigners in the UK focus their attention on the need for a living wage, EAPN has released a new position paper on the problem of in-work poverty across Europe. The paper was coordinated by the Poverty Alliance on behalf of EAPN UK, and looks at issues of definitions, the scale of the problem, and solutions both at the European and national levels. EAPN has recently launched a new Task Force to look at the question of low pay and living wage. It will report in 2014.
In June 2013 people with experience of poverty from across Europe met in Brussels to share their experience, knowledge, and sometimes anger, about the reality of poverty with policy makers and politicians in Brussels. The delegation from the Uk was coordinated by EAPN England members Migrant Voice. The report from the meeting has now been released. To read the report click here
25 million children in the European Union (EU) are at risk of poverty or social exclusion – that is one child in every four. Most of these children grow up in poor families, who are increasingly struggling to provide them with a decent life. In April 2013 EAPN and Eurochild launched a new 'explainer' on child poverty. The publication is designed to be used by campaigners to highlight the arguments against child poverty, and covers the cause of poverty, the real impact on childrens lives, and key policy asks. It also contains an extensive myth buster. The explainer was produced by a Task Force of representatives from EAPN and Eurochild, whcih included Dr John McKendrick from Glasgow Caledonian University.
To download the explainer visit the EAPN website
On the 21st November 2011 the European Parliament Office in Scotland and the Poverty Alliance organised a conference looking at the future for Social Europe following the current current crisis. The conference heard from a number of speakers about the importance of Europe's 'social dimension' and the need to re-establish its importance if the European project is to remain relevant to Europe's citizens. A short conference report will be available soon.
To view Professor Laura Cram's presentation click here
To view Katherine Duffy's from the European Anti-Poverty Network's presentation click here
To read Mike Allen from the Poor Can't Pay Campaign in Ireland speech click here
Following the conference a motion was submitted in the Scottish Parliament supporting the outcome of the discussion at the conference by SNP MSP Colin Keir. To view the motion click here
EAPN in the UK have called on the Prime Minister to support the the inclusion of robust poverty targets in the new Europe 2020 stratgey. Twenty-six organsiations signed a joint letter to David Cameron ahead of the meeting of the Council of Ministers in June 2010. To view the letter click here. Since writing to the PM, the new target has been agreed. A compromise was agreed, and the new target to reduce poverty by 25% over the next 10 years willbe measured by member states using one of three indicators: the 'at risk of poverty' measure (60% of median household income), material deprivation; and jobless households. For more information visit theEAPN website.
Members of EAPN in the UK have used the Coalition Government's emergency budget on the 22 of June 2010 as an opportunity to highlight the need for adequate minimum incomes. Members of EAPN have directed people living on low incomes to write to the Chancellor asking exactly how they should cut their already inadequate budgets. This action was part of EAPN Europe wide campaign for adequate minimum income schemes. For more on the campaign visitwww.adequateincome.eu. Follow the link to view the press releasefor the campaign and download two of the letters sent as part of the campaign. Letter one, letter two.
The European Commission and European Parliament have designated 2010 as the European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion. One of the key aims of the European Year in 2010 is to raise public awareness of the importance of combating poverty and social exclusion for personal, social and economic development.
Over the coming year the Poverty Alliance will be working with a range of organisations to ensure that the European Year has a lasting legacy in Scotland and the UK. We will be working alongside our partners across Europe through the European Anti-Poverty Networkto ensure that we create a renewed vision for a genuinely social Europe with addressing poverty at its heart.
The UK Government is supporting activities that contribute to one or more of the following objectives:
1. Raise awareness of the causes, prevalence and consequences of poverty and social exclusion, and of UK and European strategies and policies that aim to tackle these issues.
2. Promote and facilitate the engagement and participation of a broad range of actors who have a role to play in developing and delivering solutions to tackle poverty and social exclusion, including people experiencing poverty.
3. Ensure a lasting legacy from the Year, including the identification and sharing of good practice and knowledge, and the development of effective structures that facilitate ongoing dialogue between relevant actors.
September saw a great deal of activity for the Poverty Alliance around the European agenda. As well as hosting the European Anti-Poverty Network for their Executive Committee meeting, we also hosted two half day seminars on European issues and held a Parliamentary recepetion on the evening of the 24th of September. Further details on these events are below. We would like to thank all the speakers and participants, especially those who had travelled from across Europe to attend.
This seminar heard from a number of speakers looking at what smaller countries can do to address poverty. Ann Thompson from the Scottish Government outlined the approach that has been adopted to address poverty here, including the challenging targets to address income inequality.
Download Ann Thompson's presentation.
The second session focused on the need to address inequalities as part of the fight against poverty in Europe. We heard from Dr Linda Lane from the University of Gothenburgh, who spoke about the Swedish approach to addressing inequalities and the particualrly impact on women. . Professor Adrian Sinfield presented the case for a focus on tackling income inequalities in the fight against poverty.
Download Linda Lane's presentation
Download Adrian Sinfield's presentation.
The next session looked at issues related to work and welfare. Dr Elke Heins from the University gave a presentation on her research into 'flexicurity' in Denmark. Sian Jones from EAPN spoke about the potential contribution that 'Active Inclusion' can make to providing decent work, adequate incomes and quality services.
Download Elke Hein's presentation.
Download Sian Jone's presentation
The final session looked at the role of services to address poverty. Ken Shaw from Eurocities and Edinburgh City Council gave an overview of the work of Eurocities and the important contribution that local authorities make to combating poverty. Anna Visser, Director of EAPN, provided an update from Ireland where services to address poverty are under significant pressure due to the economic crisis. .
Download Ken Shaw's presentation.
Download Anna Visser's presentation
Lobbying: Central to our work over the last 10 years was focused on following the development of the National Action Plans on Social Inclusion in the UK and seeking to influence their development. EAPN UK took the lead in establishing the Social Policy Task Force (SPTF) which met regularly with the UK Government over the development of the NAP. Since the completetion our lobbying work has focused on the development of the UK's National Reform Programme and the implementation of the the Europe 2020 Strategy in the UK. EAPN UK is in regular contact with MEP’s and have lobbied them on a range of issues from fuel poverty to the Services Directive. Members of EAPN UK have also been active in lobbying around Structural Funds, ensuring that new programmes in the UK address poverty and social exclusion.
Participation: EAPN UK has sought to have greater involvement of people with experience of poverty in getting their voices heard at both the UK and EU levels. We supported delegations to the annual people experience poverty conference in Brussels and have taken the lead in organising similar events in the UK.
Visit the EAPN website at www.eapn.eu
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