Third Annual Convention of the Platform against Poverty and Social Exclusion
This week between 26- 27 November takes place the 3rd Annual Convention of the European Platform against Poverty and Social Exclusion. At the opening of the platform were present also ERGO Network members together with other Roma NGOs and interested actors in fighting poverty and social exclusion.
The platform was opened by Mr José Manuel Barroso, the President of the European Commission and Mr Herman Van Rompuy, the President of the European Council. In their opening remarks the presidents presented what has been done until now since the last Convention and what are the forward steps.
Recent studies are warning that a third of the European population faces the threat of poverty, Roma people presenting the highest percentage. Mr. Barroso emphasized in his speech the fact that there is a need for “Solidarity at all levels” and that the most effective way for tackling poverty is the work at local and regional level with the help of civil society organizations who can supplement authorities in providing services to the population in need.
Present at the meeting was also Mr. George Soros, the well known philanthropist, in his speech argued that “there is a Roma problem and is getting worse”, and that “We have to get started and we cannot wait until the effects of the crises are off”. He also argued for the fact that there is a need for incorporating the Roma working class into the mainstream one, since they represent around 20% of it at the European level. Soros also claimed that there is a need for specific measure to include the young Roma in the existing youth programs at the national and European level but also for developing on the job training and internships which will help young Roma to get more easily employed.
The platform will be running also today, 27 November and it will address issues such as social policies to reduce poverty, investment instruments in the education, health and housing sector but also specific instruments and indicators to implement and monitor poverty reduction.