Reducing inequalities: a catalyst for economic growth, poverty reduction, and ensuring that no one is left behind

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Reducing inequalities is an important goal in its own right. But it has other benefits. It can also be a catalyst for economic growth, poverty reduction and ensuring no-one is left behind.

Inequalities threaten long-term social and economic development while attacking people’s sense of self-worth. They can be a barrier to the economy itself as they eat away at the productive potential of people living in poverty, and disincentivise effort.

Inequalities are also an obstacle to poverty eradication, as economic growth is less efficient in lowering poverty in countries with high initial levels of inequalities.

The European Union can offer an example of growth and equality working in hand: over the last quarter of a century, the EU’s single market has been a catalyst for the economic and social development – bolstered by an aid policy that addresses regional inequalities to promote inclusive economic growth.