logo-eucommThe European Commission released the final conclusion of a study on over-indebtedness of European households, carried out by the consulting firm “Civic Consulting” for the European Commission. Eurodiaconia and some of its members active in this field have been consulted in this process back in 2012.

This aim of the survey is to offer a comparable snapshot of the situation of households’ over-indebtedness in all EU Member States. To do so, the study is based on the analysis of 277 stakeholder interviews in all Member States (covering financial industry, civil society organisations, public authorities, and independent experts), a total of 120 face-to-face interviews with over-indebted households in six countries (France, Hungary, Germany, Slovenia, Spain, and the UK), desk research and analysis of available statistical data, an analysis of specific aspects in selected Member States through country experts, and an EU27 survey of organisations active in addressing instances of over-indebtedness, debt counselling and guidance services.

The synthesis report presents:
– A chapter on existing definitions of over-indetedness
– An analysis of the levels of over-indebtedness in the EU, the types of households in financial difficulties
– An overview of the causes and consequesnces of over-indebtedness
– A summary of useful measures to address over-indebtedness accross the EU

The report insists on the diversity of situations accross Member States but it also underline some general trends such as that “the types of individuals and households at greatest risk of having on-going difficulties with meeting their financial commitments are predominantly young families with children, who are living on low incomes and with at least one unemployed person.”

Links to the EU general report and to the single national reports to the study on households’ over-indebtedness, now published on the DG Sanco webpage: