Chapter 7: Minimum income protection in the European Union: from politics to (soft) law
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The inclusion of the right to a minimum income in the European Pillar of Social Rights (principle 14) as a right independent from social assistance has certainly boosted the political momentum and has opened the floor for discussion on minimum income protection. The burden that COVID-19 and the cost-of-living crises have imposed on (vulnerable) people’s income have exacerbates the urgency to have a decent minimum income. In the Council Conclusions of October 2020, the Council called for initiating and updating the Union framework as to effectively support and complement the policies of Member States on national minimum income protection. These concerns and call for action have led to a recommendation on minimum income at the EU level. This contribution analyses the political discussions regarding minimum income in Europe and examines to which extent EU law can accommodate these pressing concerns and political priorities.

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