Correspondent's Choice

This story about EU poverty targets was published by EurActiv on 4th June 2010.

After months of controversy between Eastern and Western EU countries, it appears increasingly likely that EU leaders will lower their ambitions on poverty reduction during a summit in Brussels on 17 June, diplomats said.

EU employment and social affairs ministers will meet in Luxembourg next week (7 June) in an attempt to cobble together a deal on poverty indicators, a subject that has provoked widespread disagreement among member states in recent months (see ‘Background’).

The discussions come after 2010 was designated the European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion.

The main sticking point is the inability of member states to agree on how precisely poverty should be measured.

Indicators vary widely between countries, with some like France having long-standing binding commitments to reduce poverty (EurActiv 26/04/10) and others like Romania having none at all (EurActiv 22/04/10).

As a compromise, the Spanish EU Presidency decided to drop the Commission’s proposal to have one unifying “at-risk-of-poverty” measurement, and instead offered three alternative yardsticks.

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