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Poor Europe

In Europe, you’re considered poor if you have less than 60% of the average national income to live. That’s 119 million people. Is there a European Master plan to change their lives for better – or have they simply been left behind? Do we have to accept the structural phenomenon of unemployed young people, poor children and the new working poor? What is the political prize Europe will ultimately have to pay?

Poor children, unemployed young adults and the working poor are the three groups with the highest risk of poverty. The EU tries to counter their situation with the program “Europe 2020“ – a huge offensive meant to bring 25 Million Europeans out of poverty. The film investigates if “Europe 2020“ actually works.
In the EU, 26 million children live with the threat of poverty and social exclusion. When comparing European policies, you realize that child poverty is best fought with free childcare and schools open to everyone – like in Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands. But in South and Eastern Europe it all looks pretty different. Even in Ireland every third child is menaced by poverty.

Even though the European economy is recovering from the recession, 20% of all young people who want to work don’t find a job. The young generations still suffers most from the current economic crisis. Some of the main reasons for poverty are Europe’s increasingly precarious working conditions. Relentless competition, new technologies and the transformation of the service industry are some of the reasons for this development. It is not only that minimum wages are being lowered, but layoffs are made much easier, which contributes to this social decline. We dig deeper, asking the Economic and Social Committee in Brussels, the representatives of concerned countries and the council what their strategy is. We visit poor children in Ireland, the working poor in Portugal and unemployed young people in Sicily in order to unfold the inner workings of their poverty. An investigative film that is ready to push in its search for answers.