June 28 @ 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm (CEST)
With this policy conference, we aimed to contribute to a strong and ambitious Recommendation on Minimum Income Schemes to the Council, with a rights-based approach, that genuinely delivers for people experiencing poverty.
Minimum income should be high enough to enable people to live with dignity and feel like a part of society, thus ending social exclusion.(Key Message on Minimum Income from the European Meeting of People experiencing Poverty 2021)
Around 91 million people in Europe – more than one in five ! – are at risk of poverty or social exclusion. The successive crises that Europe went through in recent years, such as the pandemic, the energy crisis and the inflation due to the Russian invasion against Ukraine, have impacted people in poverty the hardest. Rising prices of food, housing, services and the general cost of living are threatening the dignity and even the lives of millions of Europeans. More than ever, a strong social Europe that provides solutions to address the structural and long-term causes of the problems mentioned is needed. In this context, well-designed and effective Minimum Income Schemes (MIS) play a vital role to provide income protection and a route out of poverty to people most in need in our societies.
EAPN has put a strong focus on Minimum Income Schemes, since many years, even decades. This intense focus on and experience with the topic does not only illustrate the urgent need to deliver. It also shows our commitment and belief that a strong legislative instrument can make a real difference in the fight against poverty. Therefore, EAPN welcomes the initiative of the European Commission to present a new Recommendation to the Council on Minimum Income. As stated in our position , EAPN strongly advises that -for the Recommendation to deliver for people experiencing poverty- it needs to include clear and detailed monitoring systems for the implementation of MIS.
We understand that there will be a Recommendation on Minimum Income next year, but we see risks and dangers (from experience). For this to be useful it needs to be accompanied by clear and detailed guidance. A general approach will not honestly deal with the situation on the ground. (Participant from Bulgaria in the EU PEP Meeting 2021).
At this conference, we presented the EAPN proposals for the recommendation and ensured that the voices of people experiencing poverty could be given a central role in the European debate on minimum income. Besides people experiencing poverty, the programme included speakers from the EU institutions, EU Member States, civil society and scientists.
The full agenda is available
You can access the report of the event here.