Anti-poverty strategies have been on the EU agenda for decades. In 2010, perhaps most saliently, Member States pledged to lift 20 million people out of poverty as part of the ten-year Europe 2020 Strategy. By the end of 2019, it became clear that this headline target was nowhere close to being achieved. In view of the disappointing results of previous EU strategies in combating poverty, a seminar was held on 5 December 2019 at the University of Antwerp to discuss future strategies for social Europe and the role of EU law in contributing to the policy objective of fighting poverty and social exclusion. This Special Issue is the result of that expert seminar. Sections 1 and 2 of this editorial place this Special Issue in context by explaining what led us to discuss the need for a more involved EU in matters of poverty and social exclusion and what has changed since then. Overall, we argue that the underwhelming results of previous EU anti-poverty strategies might point towards the need to do more, also by means of EU law. This need for further action has become as imminent as ever in the context of the Covid-19 crisis. Section 3 presents an outline of the Special Issue and explains how the different contributions relate to each other.