Fintan Farell - Poverty Trust and Democracy

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					Poverty, Trust and Democracy

Input by

Fintan Farrell, Director, EAPN

Slovakia: 9 and 10 November 2009
              EAPN Origins

Established in 1990

A network of independent NGOs involved in
 the fight against poverty and social exclusion
 (within EU countries, mostly)

To defend the interest of people experiencing
 poverty and scocial exclusion in the
 development of EU policies and programmes
  EAPN Membership and Financing

26 National Networks

23 European Organisations

Recieves financial support from the
 European Commission
           EAPN some achievements

 Sustained and Growing Network
 New Articles in the EU Treaties
 EU Social Inclusion Strategy (OMC on Social Proection
  and Social Inclusion
 EU Programme to support the strategy (PROGRESS)
 EU Recommendation on Active Inclusion (Adequacy of
  Income, Access to Services, Support for access to
 Partnership Principle in Structural Funds
 EU Meetings of People Experiencing Poverty
 2010 EU Year Against Poverty and Social Exclusion
        Poverty in the EU (2007)

60% of median equivalised income

   EU Average 17% (79 million people)
  25% Romania (83? Euro)
  10% Netherlands (910 Euro) 10 % Czech
   Republic (271Euro)
  11% Slovakia (198 Euro)
            In Work Poverty

In work poverty rate

   EU Average 8% of working population
   (18 million people approx)
   14% Greece (510 Euro)
   3% Czech Republic (271 Euro)
   5% Slovakia (198 Euro)
       Material Deprivation in the EU

EU Average 17%
    45% Latvia (Romania and Bulgaria higher)
    3% Luxembourg 6% Sweeden and
    30% Slovakia

40% below poverty line but 13% above the
 poverty line
  Significant damp problems in housing

EU Average: 18%

   37% Poland
   5 % Malta and Finland
   6% Slovakia
Lack of indoor flushing toilet for sole use of

EU Average: 4% (18.5 million people)

    44 % Romania, 34% Bulgaria,
    1% EU 15
    3% Slovakia
        People Experiencing Poverty

‘I am undocumented, so for you I don’t exist’
‘waking up in bad housing conditions which
 saps the will to do anything’
‘being paid regularly, but my debts still
 mounting up anyway’
‘hard to talk about, but when I did start to talk
 to others I felt no different from them and I
 wasn’t embarrassed’
           EAPN Moto

‘You can’t speak about the fight
  against poverty and remain silent
  about wealth’

More Equal Societies work better for

The Spirit Level by Richard Wilson and
 Kate Pickett (Equality Trust)
Trends in Inequality UK
Trends in Inequality USA
          Trends in Inequality EU

Inequality of Income distribution 1997-

    EU 15: 4.7 to 4.9
    UK: 4.7 to 5.5
    EU 2007 5
       Unhelpful ‘common sense’

"We have to accept that inequality is
  a way of achieving greater
  opportunity and prosperity for all."

                            Lord Brian Griffiths
            (Vice Chairman of Goldman Sachs)
  Building Trust: The role of Democracy

The rich developed societies have
 reached a turning point in human
Politics should now be about the
 quality of social relations and how we
 can develop harmonious and
 sustainable societies
           Enhancing Democracy

The need for well functioning Representative
 Democracy (at all levels)

Participative democracy (investment to
 ensure that people experiencing poverty and
 social exclusion can participate)

Synergies between the levels (Local, National,
 EU, Global)
        What does it mean for the EU?

 EU 2020 Strategy : Must be a more balanced
  social and sustainable strategy (replacing the
  existing focus on competitivity and growth) –
  Measures beyond GDP

 EU Inclusion Strategy must be central to EU
  Agenda (Targets, linked to national and local
  policy making, delivery on content and

 EU Financial Perspective must reflect a more
  social and sustainable strategy
 2010 EU Year against Poverty and Social

Political declaration and commitment on the
 fight against poverty and social exclusion

Concrete steps forward: (eg: EU Framework
 Directive on the Adequacy of Minimum
 Income Schemes.

A chance to build a new common sense:
 Equality is better for everybody

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