In September 2022, the European Commission proposed a Council Recommendation on adequate minimum income ensuring active inclusion, following the 2030 headline target the European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan, aiming to reduce the number of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion by at least 15 million. On December 8, 2022, the Member States reached a political agreement on the proposed Council Recommendation. The Recommendation is set to be formally adopted early next year. 

The Council Recommendation aims to set out how Member States can modernise their minimum income schemes to make them adequate and more effective, lifting people out of poverty, while promoting the labour market integration of those who can work. While minimum income schemes exist in all Member States, their adequacy, reach and effectiveness in supporting people vary significantly.  

Eurodiaconia has been advocating for adequate minimum income schemes for many years. We welcome the Recommendation, for it includes positive advancements, but we regret to see that some aspects of the Commission’s proposals were watered down. For instance, there was a shift from “yearly” to “regular” indexation of minimum income schemes, something that is particularly worrying in these times of crisis. 

Moreover, we believe that while useful, simple soft-law and policy guidance mechanisms are not enough to guarantee adequate, accessible and enabling minimum income schemes that ensure a life of dignity for all. As we have been stating for years, we reiterate our call for a binding EU Framework Directive on Adequate Minimum Income to assure effective contribution towards the implementation of Principle 14 of the European Pillar of Social Rights.  

To know more about our position on this topic, you can read here our Caritas-EAPN-Eurodiaconia Joint Statement on the Proposal for a Recommendation on Adequate Minimum Income Schemes.