Access to essential services: key challenges for the most vulnerable


According to the report from the European Commission, people at risk of poverty or social exclusion in the EU have difficulties in accessing essential services such as energy, transport and digital communication. The report, the first-ever on this issue, sheds light on the structural challenges these groups face in using such services and underlines the need to ensure that the society-wide green and digital transition is fair and inclusive.

According to Principle 20 of the European Pillar of Social Rights, everyone has the right to easy-to-use and affordable key services, including water, sanitation, energy, transport, financial services and digital communications.

However, the new EU report shows that people at risk of poverty or social exclusion face significant challenges in this respect. Moreover, the findings highlight that disadvantaged groups are more likely to encounter difficulties, particularly in relation to energy and transport. Based on the latest available data on income and living conditions in the EU, the report offers a deeper understanding of the potential impact of the current cost-of-living and energy crises on accessing essential services. It adds valuable insights to ongoing discussions related to definition of “energy poverty” and “transport poverty,” helping to shape action at EU level. And it shows that easing access to essential services for groups facing barriers can help the EU achieve its target of lifting at least 15 million people out of poverty and social exclusion by 2030.

Access the European Commission’s report

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