Together with our partners Caritas Europe, ETUC, Eurodiaconia and the Social Platform, we add our voices to the Council’s invitation to the Commission to “initiate an update of the Union framework to effectively support and complement the policies of Member States on national minimum income protection”. We hereby present our joint sign-on statement to call for an EU framework to strengthen the safety net for all! We are supported by 45 MEPs, 33 EU-level civil society organisations, 42 academics and the Worker’s Group of the EESC, representing support from throughout the political spectrum, from all over Europe.
Before the coronavirus crisis, one in five people were at risk of poverty and social exclusion. That is nearly 110 million people without enough money to make ends meet and to live a dignified life. This failure to meet the Europe 2020 poverty target threatens the credibility of Social Europe, with millions more expected to be dragged into poverty as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is no time for business as usual.
One of the best ways to prevent people being dragged into poverty is to build individual and societal resilience – and strong social protection systems are the cornerstone of such resilience. In this context, adequate, accessible and enabling Minimum Income schemes have an essential role to play as an ultimate safety net. The EU Council recognised this on 12 October, issuing Council Conclusions on “Strengthening Minimum Income Protection to Combat Poverty and Social Exclusion in the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond”.
We know from our work that the lack of adequate, accessible and enabling minimum incomes is a key priority for people experiencing poverty throughout Europe. These Council Conclusions are the long-awaited springboard to move forward on a legally binding Framework Directive on Minimum Income, which would guarantee everyone’s right to an adequate minimum income and enable their full participation in society across the whole life span. We call on the European Commission, and specifically Commissioner Schmit, to respond to the Conclusions by making an ambitious proposal for an EU Framework Directive to guarantee an adequate, accessible, and enabling Minimum Income. #EUMinimumIncome