European development: tackling inequality

Written by Oladiran Bello and Niels Keijzer

The debates on how to reduce poverty and inequality in developing countries intersect recent economic and political challenges in Europe on at least two broad levels.

First, swinging budget cuts and reduction in social welfare spending within the EU are contributing to rising domestic poverty in the short- and medium-term. Compared to a 1985 baseline, inequality had increased in 2008 for 17 out of 22 OECD members, and Eurostat measures that in 2009 16.3% of the EU population was at risk of poverty.

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