That's the priority of the European Year 2010, and of the Parliament. Millions of Europeans can't afford housing, food, care or clothing. Children are affected the most. Blink met Pervenche Berès to talk about it.
Hi! Welcome to Backstage. 2010 is the European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion. Millions of Europeans can't afford housing, food, care or clothing. Children are affected the most. In the EU two children in 10 are at risk of poverty. In 2000 the countries of Europe gave themselves 10 years to act, but in spite of efforts many people still live below the poverty line. So where have we got to? What is the Parliament doing to fight against poverty? I asked Pervenche Berès. This MEP belongs to a working group on social affairs and another on the crisis. She's a specialist in the area. Let's join her. Hello! This is the Year against Poverty. What are the European Parliament's priorities? The European Parliament thinks that it's not acceptable for there to be so many poor people in a Europe with so much wealth. What are the most urgent and sensitive issues? When someone is poor, the first thing that counts for them is to have somewhere to live, to be able to... Teaching, because the children of poor people are entitled to school, but it's not always easy for them to go to school. We have to know that all children are entitled to go to school, all children are entitled to a level of health that's the same for everyone. It's not always obvious and the European Parliament must fight so that Member States, even if they're in the crisis and things are difficult, continue to maintain these priorities. What is the Parliament doing to combat poverty? There's a lot of talk about this question of public services - the right to housing, the right to health, to education, to culture. But there's also another component which is the way that taxes are redistributed. How can we make it so that poor people can get out of poverty, thanks to training, thanks to education, and have an income? So the debate is to see if we can, at European level, ask that in every Member State a minimum income should be defined. Do you think we can? - I think we must do it. It will be a big battle. Not every Member State or MEP will agree, but I'm fighting for my conviction. I think Europe absolutely has to do it if it really wants to reduce this unacceptable poverty. Thank you very much! To find out more about the Year, go to this website. You'll find all the action and events to combat poverty in your country. Bye!