DGB Opinion: “Every EU citizen deserves a decent life”

Even though all EU countries now have elements of state minimum income protection, these are often insufficient to prevent poverty. Therefore, the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) demands that the EU Member States be legally obliged by an EU regulation to design basic social protection systems in such a way that they guarantee a decent life for all citizens. An opinion commissioned by the DGB shows that such a regulation could already be introduced at EU level. It depends only on political will.

For more information, see: https://www.dgb.de/-/CnZ





Synthesis Report – Peer Review on “Minimum Income Benefits

The Synthesis Report of the Peer Review on “Minimum Income Benefits – securing a life in dignity, enabling access to services and integration into the labour market”, that took place in Berlin (Germany) on 15-16 November 2018, is now available.

You can read the Synthesis Report Synthesis Report – Peer Review on _Minimum Income Schemes_Berlin_Nov2019  Other papers produced as part of this Peer Review can be seen on the European Commission website:


Powerful new Report from EESC on right to a decent income

Last week the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) adopted a very powerful report (rapporteur, Georges Dassis) on the right to a decent minimum income.

Despite economic recovery and decreasing unemployment, poverty still is unacceptably high, says the report. That demonstrates that ‘soft law’ such as the open method of coordination and the European Semester need to be accompanied by more binding legal tools. The EESC urges for the adoption of an EU framework directive taking into account the standard of living in countries, based on a common EU methodology of reference budgets. The report states that nobody should hide behind the subsidiarity principle any more, but that the existing legal bases should be used to realize people’s human rights. This could make action to reinforce the minimum income principle a key priority for implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights.

The report refers to the work of EMIN and EAPN and to the research of the Antwerp University, our partners in EMIN, working on reference budgets”.

For more information see https://www.eesc.europa.eu/en/our-work/opinions-information-reports/opinions/european-framework-directive-minimum-income-own-initiative-opinion



Special Edition Newsletter of Caritas Europa on Minimum Income

This Caritas Europa newsletter focuses on the need for an adequate minimum income as an essential element in a strategy to eradicate poverty and promote social justice. It includes an article from Anne Van Lancker, EMIN policy coordinator. 

It marks 20 February UN World Day of Social Justice, which recognises the need to eradicate poverty and to promote access to social well-being and justice for all. It is essential for people with insufficient financial means and for the society they live in, that they can access adequate Minimum Income to enable them to escape poverty and to live in dignity. The newsletter argues this case.

Access the newsletter here

Preliminary results of the Finnish ‘basic income’ experiment

The experiment was begun on 1 January 2017 and ended on 31 December 2018. In the experiment, 2000 randomly selected unemployed persons were paid a monthly tax-exempt basic income of 560 euros regardless of any other income they may have had or whether they were actively looking for work. The recipients of a basic income were selected through random sampling among those who in November 2016 received an unemployment benefit from Kela (an independent social security institution). The control group consisted of those who in November 2016 received an unemployment benefit from Kela but were not selected for the experiment.

The evaluation of the experiment studies the effects of the basic income on the employment status and income and wellbeing of the participants. The provisional findings, found that the basic income experiment did not increase the employment level of the participants in the first year of the experiment. The employment register data is available with a one year delay, which means that the results for the second year of the experiment will be published in the first months of 2020. However, at the end of the experiment the recipients of a basic income perceived their wellbeing as being better than did those in the control group. ‘The recipients of a basic income had less stress symptoms as well as less difficulties to concentrate and less health problems than the control group. They were also more confident in their future and in their ability to influence societal issues’, according to Minna Ylikännö, Lead Researcher at Kela.

For more information see https://www.kela.fi/web/en/news-archive/-/asset_publisher/lN08GY2nIrZo/content/preliminary-results-of-the-basic-income-experiment-self-perceived-wellbeing-improved-during-the-first-year-no-effects-on-employment

An unemployment reinsurance scheme benefiting countries hit by asymmetric shocks attracts what to some will be surprising support across the EU

Experts argue that European Monetary Union (EMU) has to be completed by ‘automatic fiscal stabilisers’. Welfare states have built-in stabilisers which cushion economic shocks—unemployment benefits, for instance, support the purchasing power of people who lose their jobs and so sustain effective demand. The argument about EMU is that a monetary union needs mechanisms to buttress or complement the automatic stabilisers of its member states. One option would be reinsurance of national unemployment-benefit schemes at the eurozone level.

A survey across European Countries found surprising levels of support for such an initiative. Read more https://www.socialeurope.eu/unemployment-reinsurance

Update from Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors

See the latest Newsletter from the Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors http://www.socialprotectionfloorscoalition.org/2019/01/gcspf-newsletter-19-january-2019/ This edition outlines policy consideration that the GCSPF believe that the IMF should take account of when preparing its new institutional view on how to address social protection in its work with member countries.  The GCSPF also critiques the World bank consistent view that Social Protection is for the ‘poor’ arguing instead in favour of truly universal social protection systems.

This edition also highlights the European Parliament’s Intergroup on Fighting against Poverty and EAPN’s event in the European Parliament, exchanging on the European Anti-Poverty Network’s 2018 Poverty Watch Reports.