The European Social Policy Network (ESPN) was established in July 2014 on the initiative of the European Commission to provide high-quality and timely independent information, advice, analysis and expertise on social policy issues in the European Union and neighbouring countries.
The new report integrates the findings of 35 country reports drafted by ESPN‘s independent experts. It is aimed at highlighting and assessing the contribution of minimum income schemes to both preventing and alleviating poverty and social exclusion and fostering an active inclusion approach to promoting social investment.
The study finds that minimum income schemes play a vital role in alleviating the worst impacts of poverty and social exclusion in many countries. However, in some countries minimum income schemes still fall short of ensuring a decent life for the most vulnerable in society. Progress in improving them in recent years has been disappointing.
The most common weaknesses identified include inadequate levels of benefit, failure to cover all those in need, low levels of take-up and a limited impact in reducing poverty. Despite some improvements, in many countries there is still not sufficient emphasis on developing an integrated and tailored approach to support those receiving benefits and to help them to integrate into society and, as far as possible, into the labour market.
According to the report, ensuring the adequacy and effectiveness of minimum income schemes are fundamental building blocks if the objective of the current Commission to ensure a “triple-A” social rating for Europe is to be achieved.
Find the Minimum Income Schemes in Europe report here (EN).
Find more about ESPN here (EN).