European minimum income and poverty indicators

EESC opinion: European minimum income and poverty indicators

Key points



  • considers that establishing a European minimum income will help to ensure economic and territorial cohesion, protect the fundamental rights of the individual, guarantee a balance between economic and social objectives and redistribute wealth and income fairly;
  • stresses the urgent need to guarantee an adequate minimum income in the European Union under a framework directive and calls on the Commission to undertake concerted action in response to the resolution adopted by the European Parliament in 2011;

  • calls on the Commission to examine funding possibilities for a European minimum income focusing in particular on the prospect of setting up an appropriate European Fund;

  • calls for further measures to be taken: 1) continuing to pursue horizontal employment targets, 2) setting targets for percentage reductions in the three poverty indicators, 3) setting sub-targets for groups presenting a higher risk of poverty, 4) reviewing the way Member States calculate poverty levels and set their national targets, and 5) ensuring that the Member States renew their commitment to reduce poverty;

  • calls for an effective assessment of the social impact of the National Reform Programmes (NRPs) and National Social Reports (NSRs), as well as of the financial consolidation packages;

  • calls on the Commission to put forward specific social inclusion recommendations for each country, as part of its assessment of national reform programmes and national social reports;

  • urges the Commission in cooperation with the Member States to implement measures of the Growth and Jobs Pact to boost growth, competitiveness and job creation;

  • particularly stresses the importance of increasing participation in lifelong learning by workers, the unemployed and all vulnerable social groups and improving their level of qualifications.