Adequate Minimum Income Protection — The Backbone of a Truly Social Europe

EAPN Annual Policy Conference 2022

At this conference, The European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN) will present its proposals for the Recommendation on Minimum Income Schemes to the Council and ensure that the voices of people experiencing poverty are given a central role in the European debate on minimum income.


Around 91 million people in Europe – more than one in five ! – are at risk of poverty or social exclusion. The successive crises that Europe went through in recent years, such as the pandemic, the energy crisis and the inflation due to the Russian invasion against Ukraine, have impacted people in poverty the hardest. Rising prices of food, housing, services and the general cost of living are threatening the dignity and even the lives of millions of Europeans. Morethan ever, a strong social Europe that provides solutions to address the structural and long-term causes of the problems mentioned is needed. In this context, well-designed and effective Minimum Income Schemes (MIS) play a vital role to provide income protection and a route out of poverty to people most in need in our societies. 

EAPN has put a strong focus on Minimum Income Schemes, since many years, even decades. This intense focus on and experience with the topic does not only illustrate the urgent need to deliver. It also shows our commitment and belief that a strong legislative instrument can make a real difference in the fight against poverty. Therefore, EAPN welcomes the initiative of the European Commission to present a new Recommendation to the Council on Minimum Income. As stated in our position , EAPN strongly advises that -for the Recommendation to deliver for people experiencing poverty- it needs to include clear and detailed monitoring systems for the implementation of MIS

This policy conference aims to contribute a strong and ambitious Recommendation on Minimum Income Schemes to the Council, with a rights-based approach, that genuinely delivers for people experiencing poverty. The programme will also include speakers from the EU institutions, EU Member States, civil society and scientists.

Tuesday, 28 June
2 to 5pm (CET)
online via zoom

Languages: English, Spanish, and French


14:00 (CET): Welcome, housekeeping rules

Conference host:

  • Caroline Van der Hoeven, EAPN Europe Vice-president

14:05 (CET): Introduction and setting the scene


  • Carlos Susías, EAPN Europe President

14:15 (CET) First session: Ensuring a rights-based approach to Minimum Income Protection


  • Emmanuel Buta Kossi, EAPN Belgium – Accessing minimum income when in need
  • Kahina Rabahi, EAPN Policy and Advocacy Coordinator – EAPN’s position for a strong Council Recommendation

Reactions from:

  • Karine Lalieux, Belgian Minister of Pensions – Social Integration and the Fight against Poverty
  • Ione Belarra, Spanish Minister of Social Rights and agenda 2030

14:55 (CET): Debate with the audience

15:20 (CET):  Comfort break

15:35 (CET): Second session: Will the EU Recommendation on Minimum Income Schemes deliver for people experiencing poverty?


  • Juliana Santos Wahlgren, future EAPN Director


  • Cristina Voinea, EAPN Romania – Will the Recommendation deliver for people experiencing poverty? Views from the ground
  • Anne Van Lancker, Independent Expert – Presentation of position of scientists

Reactions from:

  • Katalin Szatmári, European Commission, DG EMPL
  • Milagros Paniagua, Secretary-General at the Spanish Ministry for Inclusion, Social Security and Migration and President of the European Minimum Income Network
  • Ulrike Geith, Head of Unit Economic Aspects of European Social Affairs, Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs of Germany

16:25 (CET): Debate with the audience

16:50 (CET): Concluding remarks


  • Caroline Van der Hoeven, EAPN Europe Vice-president, on the way forward to ensuring a decent income for all