The aim of the European Union’s social policy is to promote employment, improve living and working conditions, provide an appropriate level of social protection and develop measures to combat exclusion.
In June 2010, the European Council adopted Europe 2020: A strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, which sets out the 10-year vision for Europe. The Strategy contains five headline targets on employment; research and development; climate change and energy efficiency; education; and poverty reduction.
The Europe 2020 poverty target is to lift 20 million people out of the risk of poverty or social exclusion by 2020. Member States were required to set national poverty targets to contribute to the overall Europe 2020 poverty target.