Combating poverty and social exclusion rank among the main objectives of the European Union and its Member States. At the Lisbon European Council (March 2000) heads of state and government pledged themselves to making a decisive impact on the eradication of poverty by the year 2010.
The recent economic crisis has had a huge effect on millions of European citizens with many people losing their jobs, household incomes decreasing and consequently the risk of being affected by poverty increasing. In order to avoid further economic and social decline in Europe, social exclusion and poverty have been given particular attention in the Europe 2020 Strategy that outlines the way forward to smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.
For social exclusion, not only a clear definition seems to be lacking, but also there doesn’t seem to be a systematic application of the concept in research.
A new Europe 2020 indicator should serve to monitor progress in the attempts to lift at least 20 million people out of the risk of poverty and exclusion.
Another aspect is the integration of migrants from outside the EU which have recently been the main source of population growth in EU regions.
This project shall serve the need to better understand the territorial pattern of poverty and social exclusion in European regions as well as its development over time.