The European Council and the European Commission have designated 2010 as the European Year for combating poverty and social exclusion. The proposal to designate 2010 as the European Year for combating poverty and social exclusion is intended to reaffirm and strengthen the initial political commitment of the EU at the start of the Lisbon strategy, March 2000, to making “a decisive impact on the eradication of poverty”
Four main objectives lie at the heart of the European Year
Recognition of the right of people in poverty and social exclusion to live in dignity and to play a full part in society
- An increase in the
public ownership of social inclusion policies, emphasising everyone’s responsibility in tackling poverty and marginalisation
- A more
cohesive society, where no one doubts that society as a whole benefits from the eradication of poverty
Commitment of all actors, because real progress requires a long-term effort that involves all levels of governance.
The European Year should raise public awareness of poverty and social exclusion in Europe and convey the message that poverty and exclusion are obstacles to social and economic development. It should help challenge the vision that the fight against poverty is a cost for society and reaffirm the importance of collective responsibility, involving not only decision makers but also public and private actors. The European Year should also contribute by giving voice to people experiencing poverty and social exclusion, for example by strengthening the organisations in which they participate and involving them in activities designed to make a decisive impact on the eradication of poverty.
The Social Inclusion Division in the Department of Social and family Affairs has been designated as the National Implementing Body for the Irish National Progamme for the EU Year.
Ireland’s National Programme
The broad structure of the Irish National Programme to support the implementation of the EU Year involves:
Cross cutting themes reflecting the priorities for social inclusion set down in the National Strategy for Social Protection and Social Inclusion (NSSPSI) Report for the EU namely: Child Poverty, Access to quality work and learning opportunities, access to services for Older People and People with Disabilities. This element of the programme may include a combination of regional seminars and national conferences, with one international conference. Each theme will be lead by a Project Team comprising key organisations both statutory and community with a particular expertise in the particular cross cutting theme.
Specific themes relating to marginalised groups and areas such as urban and rural disadvantage, migration and ethnic minorities, Travellers and homelessness and on technical themes related to monitoring and evaluating processes including Poverty Impact Assessment, measuring poverty, Indicators and data availability and research. This part of the programme will be addressed through once off seminars/roundtable discussions.
Locally based activities which will mainly take place during specially designated “Social Inclusion Weeks” in May and October and will be organised primarily by Local Authorities.
Non-funded events in which various stakeholders including employer organisations, trade unions and sporting and cultural organisations will be encouraged to organise events during the year on poverty and social inclusion related themes.
National Advisory Body
A National Advisory Body with representatives of all the main stakeholders advises the NIB on all aspects of the programme for the year and its implementation. The NAC comprises representatives of Government Departments, NGOs, trade unions, employer and farming bodies, independent funders, European Commission and statutory bodies.