Numbers and figures are, often, not enough to describe the living situations of those affected. However, the figure of 78 million people, who live in poverty within the European Union, remains constant and prompt us, as Christian-social oriented workers’ organisations, to act.
Prompted by the initial effects of the financial and economic crises on the European jobs markets, we decided, motivated by the various projects, which our member centres had instigated in accordance with these themes, to make “Social Inclusion” and More and Better Jobs” (Contributions to the Social Dialogue, No. 9) one of the key themes of the two project coordinations.
The publication you have in your hands assesses the results and experiences of seven projects within the theme of “Social Inclusion”. The increase in abnormal employment relations and short-term contracts, the expansion of the low-wage sector, savings in the social security sector as the increasingly difficult situation of families typify the situation of many workers in Europe. Within the projects, the problems of creating workplaces in the non-profit sector, the promotion of business with a social profile, its cultivation as a core element for integration into the employment sector and a fair wage as a precondition for tackling poverty, in addition to the motivation needs and targets of groups, are some of the major problems in terms of the jobs sector. The latter also include young and older people as well as single women, migrants, asylum seekers and the homeless.
The social inclusion projects were also designed to help member centres pave the way for the 2010 European Year for Poverty and Social Inclusion. How important the theme is to the European Union is clearly shown by the fact that reducing the number of those threatened by poverty to 20 million is one of the five core targets for the new strategy, Europe 2020.
The brochure has been published in German, English, Spanish and Dutch and Romanian and can be requested from EZA.