Alongside the European Child Guarantee, the proposal for an adequate minimum income scheme in the EU is a very significant initiative, given the importance of tackling child poverty and providing financial support for the healthy development and wellbeing of children in their earliest years.
We welcome the European Commission proposal for a Council Recommendation on adequate minimum income schemes in the EU. This initiative is an important cornerstone for countering poverty and social exclusion in the EU. In 2020, 1 in 4 children (24.2%) were at risk of poverty and exclusion in the EU, compared with 21.7% of adults (aged 18–64) and 20.4% of older people (over 65). Single person households with dependent children were among those at the highest risk of poverty or social exclusion. Covid-19 has both exposed and deepened poverty and inequality, with a disproportionate burden on the most disadvantaged families and communities, including very young children. Some children are at particular risk of poverty and social exclusion, including Roma and Traveller children, migrant and refugee children (including those who are undocumented), children with disabilities and those at risk of entering, or in, alternative care.
A Council Recommendation on minimum income schemes would support the improvement and strengthening of existing schemes in EU Member States, develop common standards and upwards convergence, while respecting different national models and the principle of subsidiarity. It would provide additional policy tools and support for states’ national efforts to ensure all children can have nurturing care and an adequate standard of living, from the very start.
Read our key messages and recommendations below