Social Affairs Ministers to discuss the role of Minimum Income Schemes

The Ministers of Employment and Social Affairs that will take place in Athens, Greece, on April 29-30, will discuss  “Economic recovery and social policies: the role of minimum income schemes”. The Social Platform will have a delegation who will meet with the Ministers to exchange on this topic.

The position paper prepared by the Social Platform for this meeting draws on the work of EAPN and the EMIN project and calls on all member states to put in place adequate minimum income schemes that are accessible for all that need them. The right to an adequate minimum income should be recognised as a fundamental right and should enable people to live a life in dignity, support their full participation in society and ensure their independence across the life cycle. The Platform position states that to achieve a level playing field across Europe, an EU framework directive on Adequate Minimum Income Schemes should be adopted that establishes common principles, definitions of adequacy, and methods.

Please use your contacts and networks to draw attention to this important discussion.

See the full Platform contribution here:  Social Platform Contribution_informal EPSCO_Greece


Launch of the ‘Social Europe’ Working Group: A holistic approach to Europe’s social problems

This Friends of Europe background report, entitled ‘A European Social Union: 10 tough nuts to crack’ is intended as a stimulus to widen the debate about the European Union’s social policy options once a new European Commission and European Parliament are in place, and is a basis for discussion by the 30 or so senior experts who make up the Friends of Europe Social Europe High-Level Group. This High-Level Group of authoritative and representative voices is comprised of social partners, independent experts and high profile political actors.

The report is authored by Frank Vandenbroucke, chair of Friends of Europe’s High-Level Group. It is published as his personal view of the social challenges that confront the EU, and their possible solutions. Frank Vandenbroucke served as Belgium’s former Minister for Employment, Pensions and Social Affairs and as Deputy Prime Minister. Frank is now a Professor at the Universities of Leuven, Antwerp and Amsterdam. Bart Vanhercke, co-author of the report, is Director of the European Social Observatory (OSE) and affiliated at the University of Leuven.

One of the 10 tough nuts to crack is dentified as Increasing the effectiveness of minimum income protection by EU initiatives?

Access the report here: A European Social Union – 10 tough nuts to crack


Commission organises important Conference on Mininimum Income Schemes


On Thursday 3 April the Commission organised, with the presence of the Greek Presidency of the European Council, an important conference on Minimum Income Schemes under the title “Addressing Social Divergence in European Societies – Improving Minimum Income Supports”.   The Conference had important presentations on the developments with Minimum Income Schemes in Greece, Romania, Cyprus, Barcelona, France, Netherlands and Latvia.  Reflections were also made on the role of Business and presentations were given from relevant projects and reflections in the academic community.  To know more about the Conference see

Mr Micel Servoz, the new Director General of DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion in his presentation on a way forward on Minimum Income Schemes stressed the importance of ensuring that the topic is treated as part of the Europe 2020 strategy.  Fintan Farrell, Coordinator of the EMIN project, presented the road map emerging form the project on the progressive realisation of adequate Minimum Income Schemes. See his input here EMIN Input Commission Conference 3 April 2014