European Bishops call for an integrated approach to combat poverty
119 million Europeans are at risk of poverty and social exclusion. Among them, children and families are still the most affected. The Catholic Church in Europe is particularly involved in the fight against this plague. Convinced of the urgent need for an integrated approach at European level, COMECE puts forward a series of proposals.
As the European Commission develops a European Pillar of social rights, COMECE Bishops publish a Statement on Poverty and Social Exclusion in Europe. In line with the social market economy promoted by Pope Francis, the Bishops present 6 policy recommendations addressed to the EU and its Member States.
In order to eliminate the structural causes of poverty, COMECE recommends that the EU puts the fight against poverty and social exclusion at the core of its policies “especially within the framework of the European Semester and with regard to fair taxation”. COMECE calls on the EU and its Member States to move towards a greater convergence by adopting common adequate social standards: ensure decent wage conditions for workers, improve access to education for disadvantaged children and support single parents.
The Bishops of the 28 EU Member States elaborated this declaration during their plenary assembly on 26-28 October 2016 dedicated to “The plight of Europe’s poor and EU strategies to eradicate poverty”.
The statement is addressed in particular to the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, to the EU Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs, Marianne Thyssen, to the Members of the European Parliament and to the incoming Maltese Presidency of the EU Council.
In the framework of its open, transparent and regular dialogue with the EU, COMECE hopes to see its proposals taken up by European decision makers in the coming months.