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EU needs a law on minimum income to end poverty


15 Mar 2023



The EU needs a law to ensure an adequate minimum income in all member states, urged the European Parliament today with the S&Ds a driving force behind this joint call. Binding measures are vital to ensure an end to poverty so that people in need can live in dignity.

When the European Commission presented its recommendation on minimum income last September, we warned that this was not enough to tackle the social crisis and that we needed binding measures.

The S&D Group then called for a European legislation on this issue in its winter solidarity plan. Several studies show that this is feasible – and we strongly reject any claims that it is not possible to legislate on this matter at European level.

Estrella Durá Ferrandis, MEP and negotiator on the Parliament’s resolution on adequate minimum income, said:

“An adequate minimum income is indispensable, especially in times of social and economic crises. Nevertheless, national schemes usually do not enable a life above the poverty line for the most deprived.

“Therefore, today’s call for a European legislation on the minimum income is timely and a real added value of this resolution.” 

Agnes Jongerius MEP, S&D spokesperson on employment, added: 

“After we succeeded in anchoring an adequate minimum wage in European law, we need to do the same with the minimum income. The Commission’s recommendation is clearly not enough. We need a binding European minimum income framework and we need it now.

“An adequate minimum income scheme is key to combatting poverty. In 2021, over 95 million Europeans were at risk of poverty or social exclusion. Reducing this number by at least 15 million by 2030 is one of the main goals of the European Pillar of Social Rights that we all subscribed to. It is high time to walk the talk.”

Note to editors:

Minimum income schemes provide financial and/or material support to individuals and families in need. When well designed, they are an important tool to combat poverty and social exclusion. Often, they are the last resort of social protection. The support is usually linked to certain criteria, such as citizenship or a means test. Minimum income schemes should not be confused with minimum wages for workers or a general basic income for all citizens.