Latest developments in relation to Minimum Income

The EMIN context report ‘Developments in relation to Minimum Income Schemes in Europe – 2017’ is now available. This report builds on the data from the national EMIN context reports, as well as on recent data sources at EU level. The Individual National Context Reports can be found under ‘EMIN Publications’ (see above).

The context report includes chapters on:

  • EU Policy Framework on Minimum Income
  • Developments in Minimum Income Schemes across Europe
  • Reference budgets, a promising tool in the fight for decent income standards
  • Basic income: a ‘new’ kid in town
  • Minimum Income and Minimum Wages
  • Minimum Income and Active Inclusion
  • The European Semester and Minimum Income
  • The use of EU funding in support of the fight against poverty

The report will lead to a revised road map for the progressive realisation of adequate, accessible and enabling Minimum Income Schemes.

You can access the report here

Although many countries are recovering from the economic crisis, inequality, unemployment and poverty are still at unacceptable levels in Europe. In addition, the redistributive capacity of tax and social benefit systems is very uneven resulting in huge variations in the Minimum Income Schemes.  We are also living in a difficult political context influenced by Brexit, rising nationalist and populist movements, the migration crisis and the social consequences of the economic crisis. However more than ever we need a response that helps to give stability and security to people who carry the burden of poverty and exclusion. Improvements in Minimum Income Schemes must be part of that response.  The European institutions are trying respond by a renewed emphasis on the necessity to give Europe a stronger social dimension. Especially the ‘socialization’ of the European Semester process and the launch of the European Pillar of Social Rights should contribute to put a greater focus on employment and social performances in Member States and to a stronger commitment to social rights in the European Union.

All Member States have some kind of Minimum Income Schemes, including Italy and Greece who recently started introducing new schemes. But that doesn’t mean that countries’ MIS can be called decent. Research shows that only few countries improved the adequacy and accessibility of their MIS or have made efforts to reduce the complexity of their schemes. In many countries benefit levels were reduced, more conditionality was introduced, eligibility criteria were made more restrictive and benefit recipients were asked to ‘pay back’ their benefits through ‘community work’. The result is that only few countries have adequate levels of minimum income, compared to the poverty threshold and in many countries the poverty reduction impact of MIS is very limited. Coverage of MIS still has to be improved in many countries; especially young people, migrants, homeless people and also unemployed people who exhausted their right to unemployment benefits have difficulties accessing MIS. Non-take-up is a serious problem in many countries that is still not adequately addressed.

Against this background, this report sketches the contextual framework for the ambition of EMIN to contribute to the progressive realisation of adequate, accessible and enabling Minimum Income Schemes across Europe. It provides the backbones for an EU roadmap on the progressive realisation of adequate, accessible and enabling minimum income schemes that will guide our advocacy work in the coming period.

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