“How do we put the fight against poverty at the centre of the campaign for the European elections in May?” asks Fernando, from Lisbon in Portugal.
Answering is Sérgio Aires, President of the European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN):
“We believe that the fight against poverty must be the center of attention in the next European elections for several reasons.
First because the European Parliament as the home of the European democracy, should be the first authority to worry about poverty and social exclusion which in recent years have increased and especially have become more visible.
This is why the next European elections are a great opportunity for us as European citizens. What we ask all candidates for the coming 2014 election to the European Parliament is to commit themselves to fight against poverty. And they can do so in 3 ways.
– Firstly, they must establish a social pact for a social Europe. Because if we impose numerous austerity measures to counter the crisis, we must also re-balance the system and understand that social cohesion depends on social protection.
– Secondly, we must establish a European strategy favouring cooperation between member states to fight poverty. We’ve been asking for this for a long time now and it would be a great opportunity to see it happen.
– And last but not least, we must strengthen democracy. We must return to a Europe in which all citizens participate. We must make them believe again in the European dream. The European Union must once again become the area of peace and cooperation it was originally when created.”
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