Almost 119 million people, or 23.7 % of the EU population, are at risk of poverty or social exclusion[1].

We, members of the European Minimum Income Network, are convinced that this is not inevitable, but the consequence of political choices. One of these political choices to be made is the progressive realisation of well-designed Minimum Income Schemes: guaranteeing income support for everybody who needs it, for as long as they need it, enough to live a life in dignity and fully participate in society, adapted to the cost of living in every European country.

Today, we are asking you to show your support for the fight against poverty and for Guaranteed Minimum Income Schemes because:

1. Well-designed Minimum Income Schemes support people and families with limited financial means to live in dignity.

2. Well-designed Minimum Income Schemes support people to be active in society and facilitate their progressive (re)integration into the labour market.

3. Well-designed Minimum Income Schemes are essential to ensure cohesion and to manage transitions in the current changing world of work.

4. Well-designed Minimum Income Schemes set a minimum floor for income levels and therefore help to ensure decent wages and help to reverse the dangerous trend of ‘working poor’.

5. Well-designed Minimum Income Schemes are indispensable for more equal societies and more equal societies are better for the whole of society.

6. The money from Minimum Income is immediately spent in local shops and on local services so is crucial to maintain economic activity particularly in areas experiencing high levels of disadvantage.

7. Minimum Income Schemes represent a small percentage of social spending and have a high return on investment, while the cost of non-investment has enormous negative impacts for individuals concerned and high long-term costs for society.

8. In cash-based societies the absence of good quality Minimum Income Schemes exposes people to take intolerable risks.


The European Pillar of Social Rights[2] sets out “the right to adequate minimum income benefits ensuring a life in dignity at all stages of life for everyone lacking sufficient resources”; ensuring progress on the access to this right, affirmed in the European Charter of Fundamental Rights[3], is essential for the credibility of the EU.

Well-designed Minimum Income Schemes are adequate to live in dignity, providing comprehensive coverage for all people who need the schemes for as long as they need it, and promote people’s empowerment and participation in society.

[1] http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Income_distribution_statistics (Most recent available data 2015)

[2] https://ec.europa.eu/commission/priorities/deeper-and-fairer-economic-and-monetary-union/european-pillar-social-rights_en

[3] https://ec.europa.eu/info/aid-development-cooperation-fundamental-rights/your-rights-eu/eu-charter-fundamental-rights_en