European Platform Against Poverty and Social Exclusion

Poverty is a key factor in explaining poorer levels of health between the most and least well-off countries and population groups within the same country.

On average, the more advantaged the individuals, the better their health – whether measured in terms of disease and mortality or in terms of self-assessed physical and psycho-social health. The relationship between health and low socio-economic status can be explained in different ways: the health selection theory suggests that a person’s socio-economic status is determined by their health while the health causation theory holds that the conditions of poverty result in poor health and premature death. In other words, those with a higher socio-economic status are more likely to have better health and to move up the occupational ladder, amplifying the health advantages associated with higher socioeconomic status.

The European platform against poverty and social exclusion is one of seven flagship initiatives of the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. It is designed to help EU countries reach the headline target of lifting 20 million people out of poverty and social exclusion. The platform was launched by the European Commission in 2010 and will remain active until 2020.Its objective is to ensure that social inclusion emerges alongside economic growth - fostering a high-employment economy delivering both social and territorial cohesion throughout Europe. In order to achieve this, the European Commission has set quantitative targets including reducing the number of Europeans living below the national poverty lines by 25% by 2020.

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