The European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN) is the largest European network of national, regional and local networks, involving 31 national networks of voluntary organisations and grassroots groups and 18 European member organisations. Since 1990, EAPN is a social work experience that has different goals. First, they are willing to promote and enhace the effectiveness of actions to eradicate poverty and prevent social exclusion. Secondly, they also raise awareness around poverty and social exclusion. A third element that also describes EAPN’s identity is the aim to lobby for and with people and groups facing poverty and social exclusion, in order to achieve new policies coming from the European Union. At this stage, EAPN includes aims of gender equality and non discrimination in all its areas of work.
According to EAPN Spain, poverty and social exclusion affect up to 28,6% of the population, meaning more than 13 million people. Furthermore, the organisation claims that the poverty indicators have arisen in the past few years among youth aged between 16 and 29 and also between elderly people over 64. The fact that they are working with other European non-profits entitle them to put on the agenda the issue of poverty and at this very moment, they have consultative status at the Council of Europe.
“It’s unacceptable that around 120 million people are currently living at risk of poverty and social exclusion in the European Union”, states EAPN. In this sense, they are committed to the eradication of poverty and fighting for a fair distribution of wealth and an accessible quality employment. Also, for many years they have been pushing public bodies to increase their levels of social protection and to combat discrimination.
Among the European organisations that integrate this network, we can find the following ones:
- Salvation Army
- Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants
- Mental Health Social Exclusion Europa
- International Federation of Social Workers
- European Network against Racism
- European Federation of Food Banks
- European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless
- European Consumer Debt Network
- Dynamo International
- Emmaus Europe
- ATD Fourth World
- AGE Platform Europe
Some of the countries that already have national networks of non-profits and that also take part of EAPN are Belgium, Croatia, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Hongary, Italy, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom, Romania and Poland. The EAPN Europe Staff provides support to all of EAPN’s bodies and informs them about relevant EU policy developments. It is also the job of the staff team to develop and implement the work programme, to organise meetings, facilitate networking and capacity building between the EAPN’S members.