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Social affairs
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Poverty is still a reality in Europe

Almost 80 million people, of which 19 million are children, live below the poverty line in the EU. Despite an improvement in overall living standards over the past decade, poverty and social exclusion remain major issues in most countries, with substantial differences across the EU.


Four people show us their stories of poverty. They belong to the ethnic minorities, single parent families or the immigrant population from Hungary, Spain and Belgium and give us a tangible insight into their daily reality.


The current financial and economic crisis has had unprecedented social consequences, with numerous job losses, increased over-indebtedness, financial exclusion and in-work poverty across the European Union. Poverty rates range from 10 % in the Czech Republic and the Netherlands to more than 20 % in Bulgaria, Latvia and Romania.


The EU wants to raise public awareness about poverty in Europe and to prompt national governments, civil society and citizens to join forces to build a more equal society. To this end, 2010 is the European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion.

Contact persons:

Spanish Presidency:

Sonia Ruth Arias Valtuille: +34 620 21 33 08, email:

National Implementing Body, Coordinator for the EY2010,

Mostra Communication:
Ann Vaessen at +32 2 333 59 56 or

European Commission:
Giles Goodall, Press and Media Officer,

Original location: Belgium, Hungary, Spain

Format available:
ES (español)
DE (Deutsch)
FR (Français)
EN (English)
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PR contact:
Tel: +32 2 537 44 00