The European Council Recommendation on adequate
minimum income to ensure active inclusion and a self-determined
life was adopted by the Ministers of Social Affairs of the
Employment, Social Affairs, Health and Consumer Policy Council (EPSCO) in
December 2022 under the Czech Council Presidency.
Why is a minimum income scheme necessary?
recommendation on adequate minimum income aims at poverty eradication and
social exclusion. In order to achieve a high level of employment throughout
Europe, political and financial measures such as adequate income support
through an adequate minimum income scheme are a useful support, especially in
crisis situations and exceptional life situations. A minimum income scheme can
promote access to supportive and essential services for the underprivileged.
The aim is to ensure and strengthen a consolidated life in dignity at all
stages of life. People with disabilities in particular can benefit from the
minimum income scheme.
Further expansion of social security
European Council calls on Member States to strengthen social security networks.
All Member States offer social protection systems, but progress in terms of
accessibility and adequacy of these networks is not uniform across Europe. The
European Council recommends that Member States build and continue to strengthen
resilient social security systems. A reinforcement could be made possible by
income support precisely through those minimum social security benefits. Cash
and in-kind benefits should be linked and access to support and core services
should be better enabled. The level of the minimum income is to be determined
by the Member States themselves on the basis of their national regulations.
The European Parliament calls for raising national minimum incomes
debate in the political landscape is not yet over because of the European
Council recommendation. Members of Parliament call for more support and better accessibility of
citizens and see the recommendation as a step in the right direction. Members of Parliament want
a new law to raise the national minimum income in the Member States in order to
reduce the number of people at risk of poverty and social exclusion.
they have asked the European Commission and the Council by means of a Q&A session in the
plenary session on 15 March to explain further steps. Members of Parliament wanted to know how
Member States ensure that minimum income schemes do not step on social policies
in areas such as housing, healthcare, support for disabled people or labour
market integration. There was disagreement within the parliamentary groups as
to whether a directive was a sensible measure or not. Whether there are plans
by the European Commission and the Council for this and how these will affect
the national security systems remains questionable so far.
Plenary adopted the resolution as amended by 336 votes in favour, 174 against and 121