A new kid in town? Active inclusion elements in European minimum income schemes

TitleA new kid in town? Active inclusion elements in European minimum income schemes
Publication TypeOther Journal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsMarchal, S., & Mechelen, Van N.
JournalSocial policy and administration

This article assesses the current variation in activation strategies directed towards able-bodied persons of working age relying on a minimum income guarantee in 19 EU member states. First, we argue that the active inclusion notion developed by the European Commission in its Recommendation on the active inclusion of persons excluded from the labour market provides a useful tool to categorize current activation strategies towards minimum income protection (MIP) recipients. Consequently, we assess the empirical viability of active inclusion strategies in a fuzzy set ideal type analysis of purpose-collected institutional data. We find that there are only few countries where the activation discourse has remained a dead letter. Most countries implement policy measures that aim to discourage benefit dependency among MIP recipients. Nevertheless, behind the realities of activation strategies towards MIP recipients seldom lies the notion of active inclusion as defined by the European Commission. Particularly, many countries focus predominantly on incentives to increase labour market participation rates of MIP recipients, rather than enabling measures.

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