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Start acting for a social Europe!

Date

13 Oct 2008

Sections

Social Europe & Jobs

My report on social inclusion and combating poverty, including child poverty in the EU, adopted by the European Parliament today, sends a strong message to the Council and the Commission: Start acting for a social Europe!", said GUE/NGL MEP Gabi Zimmer (Germany).

The report recommends concrete measures and EU-wide targets to reduce and eradicate poverty and social exclusion.

MEP Zimmer expressed her satisfaction with the outcome of today's vote - 540 of the 629 MEPs present voted in favour of her report. "The Parliament urges the Council to agree an EU target for minimum wages (statutory, collective agreements at national, regional or sectoral level) to provide for remuneration of at least 60% of the relevant (national, sectoral, etc.) average wage. The Parliament also calls on the Council to agree an EU target for minimum income schemes and contributory replacement income schemes providing income support of at least 60% of national median equalised income. Setting such targets is not an instrument for harmonisation - each Member State is free to choose how to implement these. But it is a strong signal that the basic social safety net and also minimum wages should allow for incomes that prevent poverty", she concluded. 

The report calls for support measures to facilitate social inclusion e.g. in housing, education, training, and lifelong learning plus targeted additional benefits for disadvantaged groups (people with disabilities or chronic diseases, lone parents or households with many children). It also calls for child poverty to be reduced by 50% by 2012, and an EU-wide commitment to end street homelessness by 2015.

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