2023
Langue
Anglais

Reaching the European 2030 poverty target: The imperative for balancing the EU Social Agenda

Reaching the three targets of the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR) Action Plan is the litmus test for effective EPSR implementation. While the EPSR puts forward a prima facie balance between employment, equal opportunities and social protection, two important questions arise: 1) whether and to what extent the available resources at EU level are sufficiently balanced across the different dimensions of the EPSR and 2) which implications this may have for achieving the 2030 poverty target. Analysing the three domains of the EPSR, its Action Plan and the wider EU legal framework of the principles in the EPSR, the paper argues that abundant EU resources are available for the areas of equality and employment while this is less the case for social inclusion. The empirical evidence on poverty trends over the past decades, however, points to important successes in terms of employment and (gender) equality, but not in terms of social inclusion: a significant increase in employment and defeminization of poverty were accompanied by a marked precarisation of low- skilled men and women. Particularly striking is the rise in the risk of poverty among jobless households linked with the weakening of the poverty-reducing capacity of social protection for this group. Meeting the European social inclusion targets will thus require policies that duly focus on strengthening the framework for social inclusion and social protection.