Decent incomes for the poor : which role for Europe?

TitleDecent incomes for the poor : which role for Europe?
Publication TypeOther Journal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsCantillon, B., Marchal S., & Luigjes C.
JournalJournal of common market studies

EU social policy has generally been limited to the definition of non-binding social outcome targets, a governance model known as second order output governance. However, many EU Member States have failed to make progress in fighting poverty. This begs the question of whether a more performant EU-level involvement in the field of social policy is conceivable. In this paper, we argue that European minimum standards are the place to start, including principles for minimum social security and minimum wages, as i) the European social objectives cannot be attained without guaranteeing adequate incomes to those in and out of work, and ii) social co-ordination should thus go beyond broad outcome goals such as the reduction of the number of households at risk of poverty or social exclusion. We propose to include policy indicators regarding minimum income protection in the recently revised EU monitoring process of the European Semester.

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