EUROPEAN UNION: EU-Parliament in favour of adequate minimum income
In October 2010, the Parliament of the European Union has adopted a non-legislative resolution on the role of minimum income in combating poverty and promoting an inclusive society in Europe, partly thanks to the lobbying by several European Basic Income groups and networks, as well as by the European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN). The resolution was adopted by 437 votes to 162, with 33 abstentions. The EU Parliament now urges Member States to establish a threshold for minimum income, based on relevant indicators that will guarantee social-economic cohesion, reduce the risk of uneven levels of remuneration for the same activities and lower the risk of having poor populations throughout the EU. Stressing the multifaceted nature of poverty, EU-Parliament considers that minimum income schemes should be embedded in a strategic approach towards social integration, involving both general policies and targeted measures – in terms of housing, health care, education and training, social services – helping people to recover from poverty and themselves to take action towards social inclusion and access to the labor market. Parliament points out that some member States do not have minimum income systems and called on those that do not to provide them. The resolution underlines that introducing minimum income schemes – consisting of specific measures supporting people whose income is insufficient with a funding supply and facilitated access to services – is one of the most effective ways to combat poverty, guarantee an adequate standard of living and foster social integration. According to Parliament, adequate minimum income schemes must set minimum incomes at a level equivalent to at least “60% of average income in the Member State concerned” (average, not median income, whereas the EU official poverty line is at 60% of the median).