This year has been declared the European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion. The European Commission has put forth a “Europe 2020 strategy,” to revive the struggling EU economy, hit hard by recent crises. One objective of the strategy is to reduce the number of Europeans experiencing poverty and social exclusion by at least 20 million, by 2020.
In Brussels, on July 19 about 20 senior Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, and Hindu leaders attended the sixth annual meeting, hosted by European Commission President José Manuel Barroso.
"Churches and religious communities are important providers of social services in EU member states. If we want to combat poverty effectively, it is essential to draw from their long standing and wide-raging experience," said Barroso in a EC press release. Presidents of the European Parliament and Council are also attending the meeting.