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Macerata Lectures on European Economic Policy. Poverty and the EU: the New Decade

  • Anthony Barnes Atkinson

    (Nuffield College, Oxford and the London School of Economics)

The EU is currently drawing up its agenda EU2020 for the next decade. In doing so, account must be taken of the successes and limitations of the Lisbon Agenda 2000-2009, notably the failure to achieve a decisive impact on the eradication of poverty and social exclusion. From the experience of the Lisbon Agenda, we learn that social policy and economic policy have to be designed together, in such a way that their actions are complementary rather than in conflict. If real progress is to be made in reducing poverty in Europe in the next decade, then it is essential that in the EU2020 Agenda social inclusion should receive the same prominence as the other EU objectives. It is therefore welcome that the Commission has proposed the setting of a poverty target, but this raises many issues. The paper focuses on two: the choice of target variable (risk of poverty or material deprivation) and the extent of ambition. Moreover, alongside the introduction of a social inclusion target(s) there has to be an agreed procedure for monitoring progress. Finally, in order to make real progress, the EU needs to take concrete policy initiatives. The proposal made here is that the EU begins with a Guaranteed Income for Children. Each Member State would be required to guarantee unconditionally to every child a basic income. This measure would significantly reduce child poverty, and would contribute positively to the achievement of other EU2020 objectives in the fields of education and employment.

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Paper provided by Macerata University, Department of Studies on Economic Development (DiSSE) in its series Working Papers with number 24-2010.

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Date of creation: May 2010
Date of revision: May 2010
Handle: RePEc:mcr:wpaper:wpaper00024
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  1. Joachim R. Frick & Kristina Krell, 2010. "Measuring Income in Household Panel Surveys for Germany: A Comparison of EU-SILC and SOEP," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 265, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  2. Joachim R. Frick & Markus M. Grabka & Olaf Groh-Samberg, 2010. "Dealing with Incomplete Household Panel Data in Inequality Research," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 290, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
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