According to MEP Sylvana Rapti (S&D group), child poverty within the European Union (EU) is not tackled with the required determination and funding. Rapti spoke at a seminar on tackling child poverty and promoting children's health and well-being in the EU organised by the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) at the European Parliament.
According to the Greek MEP, the situation in relation to poverty in the Union and, in particular, child poverty, has not been improved. In her opinion, the current numbers showing more than 20 million children at risk of poverty and social exclusion in the EU were 'disgrace and completely unacceptable'.
In addition, Rapti said that the Council conclusions in October requiring member states to step up efforts to tackle the social consequences of the crisis and to fight poverty and social exclusion in line with the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy were a positive step forward.
The Socialist MEP also presented a number of proposals of her group for successful tacking child poverty, among which were the provision of health services accessible to everyone and especially children, review of austerity measures which have affected social services and implementation of policies to fight social exclusion among migrant and Roma children.
On the other hand, Rapti's colleague, MEP Edit Bauer (EPP), said that child poverty should be dealt with on European level, better sooner than later. In her words, the consequences of poverty in Europe were serious and were threat to its future.
The Secretary General of EPHA, Monika Kosinska, concluded that in order to tackle poverty in the EU, one had to inevitably address child poverty first because of the so called multi-generational deprivation: children in poverty are actually children of poor parents. She also added that the only mechanism which could be provided for helping children get out of poverty on their own was quality and accessible education.