Safety nets in European countries remain inadequate

Social safety nets across the European Union remain far below widely accepted poverty thresholds, including the European Union’s own official measure, finds a new paper from the Institute for the Study of Labour in Bonn, Do Europe’s Minimum Income Schemes Provide Adequate Shelter Against the Economic Crisis and How, If at All, Have Governments Responded?

The discussion paper examines whether European Union governments improved the capacity of social safety nets during the first phase of the global economic crisis. Many countries had introduced supportive measures, in particular in the form of additional increases in gross minimum income benefits; more generous child benefits had helped to increase the net disposable incomes of families on minimum incomes; and, in a limited number of countries, activation efforts aimed at minimum income recipients had been intensified. But, despite some improvements, the schemes did not provide adequate protection against poverty.

Do Europe’s Minimum Income Schemes Provide Adequate Shelter Against the Economic Crisis and How, If At All, Have Governments Responded?, discussion paper 6264, by Sarah Marchal, Ive Marx and Natascha Van Mechelen is available from the Institute for the Study of Labor website.

Category: