18/03/2016 – The European Social Policy Network (ESPN) has just published a major new report, Minimum Income Schemes in Europe: a Study of National Policies. The report finds that minimum income (MI) schemes play a vital role in alleviating the worst impacts of poverty and social exclusion in many countries. However, in too many countries MI schemes still fall short of ensuring a decent life for the most vulnerable in society. Progress in improving them in recent years has been disappointing. Continue reading
08/03/2016 – the European Commission launched a public consultation on a European Pillar of Social Rights. EAPN welcomes an initiative that is rooted in a rights-based perspective. From the perspective of the EMIN Network, we welcome that the Communication from the Commission’s notes that Minimum income schemes do not exist in all Member States, as well as current challenges, such as inadequacy of benefit levels making it impossible for beneficiaries to escape poverty, low coverage, and non-take-up. It also points out difficulties with transitioning from unemployment benefits to minimum income. The commitment that “Adequate minimum income benefits shall be ensured for those who lack sufficient resources for a decent standard of living” will be important for the future work of EMIN. Continue reading
01/03/2016 – Two new Flash Reports prepared by the European Social policy Network (ESPN) are now available and provide information on “basic income” scheme initiatives in Switzerland and Finland. Continue reading
Brussels, 13/11/2015 (Agence Europe) – The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) should go back to its primary role, namely expressing the views of civil society and advising the other European institutions on the best ways of encouraging European integration, which could include drawing up a plinth of European social rights, as desired by the European Commission. “We have to have a concrete message.” And what could be more concrete than establishing a minimum European income financed by an EU fund or building a European platform of social rights? he asks. Continue reading
02/10/2015 – Fintan Farrell, Coordinator for the EMIN Project and European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN) Project officer is attending today the 13th ETUC Congress #ETUC15. On behalf of the EMIN Project, its partners and EAPN, he congratulates the organisation for adopting an action plan in favour of an EU Framework Directive on Adequate Minimum Income Schemes. “This is great step forward. Congratulations to Claudia Menne for her careful and considered handling of this issue. It is just one of her legacies from her time as Confederal Secretary“, he said. Continue reading
The level of basic social security in Finland has improved both in real terms and compared to the wages in 2011–2015, but it is not adequate to cover reasonable minimum costs determined in reference budgets. Reforms in benefit and tax legislation during 2011–2015 have decreased the income inequalities and the poverty risk. This was the conclusion of the second expert group for evaluation of the adequacy of basic social security whose report is now released in English. While welcoming the minor improvements in 2011-2015, the key question for social NGOs is how is it going to be in 2015-2019.
The report is the result of an internationally exceptional piece of legislation which entered into force in Finland in 2010. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health have to commission every fourth year an evaluation of the development of the adequacy of basic social security from an independent evaluation group. The first evaluation report was released in 2011 and it generated international interest among researchers and experts, which indicated the need to make the report available to English as well. The second evaluation report was released in February 2015 and is now available in English.
Adequacy of basic social security in Finland 2011–2015. The second expert group for evaluation of the adequacy of basic social security. Kela Research Department. Working papers 80/2015. 143 pages. Helsinki 2015. ISSN 2323-9239.
New Eurofound study on non-take-up (or ‘non-give-out’) of social benefits may be of interest to you. This study identifies recent estimates of non-take-up in 16 Member States that vary considerably in terms of welfare state design. The study argues that it is likely that non-take-up is also an issue in the other 12 Member States. Estimates suggest that in each of the Member States identified, there is at least one type of benefit for which over one-third of people who are entitled to it do not receive it. Non-take-up is an issue for a broad range of benefits and is not restricted to those that are means-tested. This focus on non-take-up and the extent of non-take-up in comparison to miss use of social benefits, is very useful to counteract populists stories of exploitation of social benefits. Access the report at