The Importance of Minimum Income Schemes in the Fight against poverty and social exclusion
In a context when there is tendency to tighten eligibility for Minimum Income Schemes in many Member States, the Minimum Income Network is an important step to maintain a focus on the importance of adequate and accessible Minimum Income Schemes. More than ever such Schemes represent a lifeline for people experiencing poverty and social exclusion. Minimum Income support is often the only financial support available for people experiencing hardship, both for people who cannot access paid work and for those who have worked and are at the end of their coverage period for unemployment benefits. Access to adequate Minimum Income Schemes provides an important basis for participating in the life of the community, reconnecting with the world of work and to living a life in dignity. Moreover, it makes a significant contribution to an inclusive recovery from the crisis, by supporting people to support the economy and to relaunch purchasing power and local demand.
Steps in a path towards adequate and accessible minimum income schemes
The European Minimum Income Network managed to:
- Analyse current trends and obstacles and propose improvements regarding coverage, adequacy and (non) take‐up of Minimum Income Schemes, through the reports of National Minimum Income Networks enriched by two thematic approaches related to adequacy of old age Minimum Income Schemes and coverage and (non) take‐up by homeless people.
- Present and exchange on ‘good’ and ‘unsatisfactory’ practices and promote learning and transfer of knowledge.
- Raise awareness on the EU current frameworks, including the 1992 Council Recommendation and the 2008 Active Inclusion Recommendation.
- Build consensus on the necessary steps towards the progressive realisation of adequate and accessible Minimum Income Schemes in Member States as well as Norway, Iceland, Serbia and FYROM and support the implementation of these steps.
- Contribute to the identification of common EU level definitions and criteria for adequate Minimum Income Schemes, and the potential for a strengthened EU framework for cooperation in this field.
Activities planned during the two-year life cycle of the network
- Establishment and Launch of the European Minimum Income Network: with the participation of a wide range of diverse stakeholders.
- Establishment of Five National Minimum Income Networks in Denmark, Ireland, Belgium, Italy and Hungary.
- Reports on Analysis of Minimum Income Schemes in the 5 identified Countries: based on a common framework and drawing on existing research these reports
- Thematic work on adequacy of minimum old age income Schemes, led by AGE Platform in France, Belgium and Poland.
- Thematic work on take up by vulnerable groups, in particular homeless people, led by FEANTSA, in Italy, France, Hungary, Romania, Ireland, United Kingdom, Finland and Poland
- Two Peer Review sessions, aimed at exchanging findings and identifying key learning points gathered in the reports in the 5 countries identified.
- European level Conference (Year 1), to analysise and disseminate the key learning points from the work in the five countries and the two thematic approaches.
- Reports on Analysis of Minimum Income Schemes in remaining 26 countries: based on the experience of developing these reports in the 5 identified countries.
- Support for implementation of steps towards the Progressive realisation of adequate Minimum Income Schemes in the 5 identified countries.
- Thirty-one national level Conferences to help build consensus towards adequate and accessible Minimum Income Schemes in each of these countries.
- EU level Conference (Year 2) to present suggestions for enhancing EU level coordination in the field of Minimum Income Schemes, including the proposal for common EU level definition and criteria for adequate Minimum Income Schemes.
KEY PARTNERS EMIN 1 (2013-2014)
- AGE Platform Europe
- FEANTSA European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless
- Belgian Federal Public Service Social Integration, anti-Poverty Policy, Social Economy and Federal Urban Policy
- ANSA Agence Nouvelle des Solidarités Actives
- ETUI European Trade Union Institute
- OSE Observatoire social européen – European Social Observatory
- SIRG Social Inclusion Regional Group
- National Minimum Income Networks (NMIN) in 5 Countries led in Belgium by Belgian Anti Poverty Network, in Italy, CILAP/EAPN Italy, in Ireland, EAPN Ireland, in Denmark EAPN Denmark, and in Hungary by EAPN Hungary.
- In the second year of the project all EAPN National Networks will be involved. See list of National-Network members on EAPN’s website www.eapn.eu.
- Contacts for the European Minimum Income Network