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Making the case for an EU Framework Directive on Minimum Income

Data on poverty and social exclusion in retirement age, emerged during the national research reveal the urgent need for minimum standards of protection. In the framework of the SociAll project, that seeks to elaborate a new concept of “ageing in dignity”, exploring the paths for ensuring a sound protection against poverty and social exclusion across all ages represents a significant step towards a comprehensive and integrated vision of pension policy typical of trade unions’ demands – including a possible European provision on minimum dignified pensions.

The ETUC acknowledges and highly regrets that the Council Recommendation on access to social protection for workers and the self-employed does not call for comprehensive and solidarity-based minimum safety nets protecting against poverty and social exclusion in every national social protection system. Thus, the ETUC strongly advocated for the establishment of minimum standards of protection of people of all ages across Europe as drivers for upward convergence in the fulfilment of Principles 12 and 15 of the EPSR.

Webinar 1: Building adequate standards of protection of people of all ages across Europe

Setting minimum income to lead a life in dignity is relevant to set up a fair and positive hierarchy among all minimum standards for income sources, to be kept into due account to give concreteness to the principle of adequacy of pensions and old-age incomes, and eventually fair European benchmarks. Questions concerning these aspects would remain unanswered in a restrictive approach to the Council Recommendation’s provisions

Webinar 2: the impact of a possible MI Directive in an age-group perspective

The rate of retirees struggling with insufficient means to lead a life in dignity is higher than among people in working age. In many member states, furthermore, old-age households’ income is far below the 60% AROP poverty threshold, letting alone a more ambitious pension adequacy benchmark – in spite of social transfers.

Such evidence reinforces the urgency of guaranteeing elderly people the right to a minimum income (EPSR Principle 14). Coordinated provisions to guarantee such right in old age must keep into account both economic and political implications. A EU comprehensive approach to fair minimum standards cannot prescind from guarantees of minimum pensions able to protect the elderly from poverty and social exclusion any longer.