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 Full text 
Tuesday, 15 November 2011 - Strasbourg Revised edition

European platform against poverty and social exclusion (debate)

  Ivo Belet (PPE), in writing. (NL) The European platform against poverty and social exclusion is one of the flagships of the EU 2020 strategy. Combating poverty is quite rightly moving to the fore as a major priority and challenge for the EU: it is our ambition to lift 20 million people out of poverty by 2020. In the past 10 years, the poverty level in the EU has increased or, in the best-case scenario, remained constant. In most countries, the lowest level of benefits and the last safety net has decreased to below the subsistence minimum or minimum wage. We cannot and should not tolerate this: families cannot make ends meet and they live in poverty. I hope that the European platform against poverty and social exclusion will provide an effective platform in our common fight against poverty in the EU. Finally, I would like to turn to the European food programme for the most deprived. Yesterday, a political agreement was reached for the years 2012 and 2013. I think this sends an important signal: after all, the programme is indispensable for around 18 million Europeans whom it supports every year. However, we should certainly not leave it at that: we should also seek to secure proper funding for the post-2013 period so the programme can continue.

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