EUROSHIP – ESC Meeting discussed EU proposals on minimum income and minimum wages

The EUROSHIP European Stakeholder Committee met for the second time on 26 November. The virtual meeting was hosted by Social Platform and attended by ESC members from European Youth Forum, ETUC, EAPN, COFACE, by representatives from several units in the EU Commission (DG Employment, DG Research & Innovation, REA) and several EUROSHIP consortium members (OsloMet, University of Milan, University of Sussex, University of Florence and Social Platform).

Laura de Bonfils, Policy and Advocacy Coordinator at Social Platform, opened the meeting with welcoming remarks. She was followed by Rune Halvorsen, coordinator of the EUROSHIP project, who presented the status and the latest updates from the project. EUROSHIP aims to create new comparative knowledge about welfare policy measures to reduce poverty and social exclusion in Europe. Rune Halvorsen emphasized that due to the COVID-19 pandemic the project has become even more relevant in the current policy discussions.

The participants discussed how we can ensure that EUROSHIP will be as relevant as possible for the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights. Within the implementation of the Social Pillar action plan, the Commission has proposed a directive on adequate minimum wages in the European Union (COM(2020) 682 final), while the Council led by the German presidency has put forward Council Conclusions on the necessity of a EU framework directive on minimum income (Council conclusions, 9 October 2020).

Mathias Maucher, Policy Officer, EAPN, and Silvana Roebstorf, Senior Policy and Advocacy Officer, Social Platform presented updates on the status of the proposal Minimum Income Protection. Maucher and Roebstorf introduced the ongoing negotiations, discussions and the cooperation with the German Presidency. The attendees had a lively discussion around possible ways to continue putting political pressure on such an important file, made even more relevant by the consequences of the pandemic and the current work on minimum wages following the European Commission proposal. Rune Halvorsen suggested that an integrated approach to fight poverty, minimum income and minimum wages should go hand in hand. He also highlighted the importance to address in-work poverty. The attendees questioned if there is a political will to keep these two discussions separate.