On April 24, Autism-Europe joined EU Commissioner Thyssen, alongside other members of the Social Platform, to support the launch of a European campaign to guarantee minimum income for people and families with limited financial means to live in dignity and fully participate in society.
“Guaranteed Minimum Income – Nobody deserves less, everybody benefits”. This is the slogan chosen by the European Minimum Income Network (EMIN), coordinated by the European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN), for its 2018 campaign. As of April 24, two EMIN buses are travelling across Europe to build and show support for guaranteed minimum income. The buses will be making several stops in the 32 countries they are set to pass through, with events and activities being organised by the National EMIN Networks.
European Commissioner Marianne Thyssen symbolically opened the Bus Tour, together with Mairead McGuinness (Vice-President of the European Parliament) and several fellow MEPs, as well as faith community leaders and more than 20 civil society member organisations of the Social Platform.
Via her Twitter account, Commissioner Thyssen stated: “Adequate minimum income is a key principle of European Pillar of Social Rights. The European Commission warmly supports the EMIN Network road across Europe to raise awareness that we share a common goal in Europe: fighting poverty and making sure nobody is left behind”.
EMIN Project Manager Fintan Farrell explained: “The EMIN bus journey is a journey to promote real democracy, a democracy that can deliver the maximum good for the maximum number of people. Guaranteed access to decent income through accessible minimum income schemes is the base on which we can build such a democracy. In cash based societies, anything short of this exposes people to intolerable risks”.
Gabriele Bischoff, from the European Economic and Social Committee, added: “Minimum Income Schemes, this rich continent can not only afford it but needs it if we want to continue the European dream. This journey can create a wave which should come back and swamp the new European Commission and Parliament”.
According to Eurostat, almost 119 million people, or 23.7 % of the EU population, were at risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2015. The European Pillar of Social Rights sets out “the right to adequate minimum income benefits ensuring a life of dignity at all stages of life for everyone lacking sufficient resources.” Ensuring progress with regards to accessing this right, affirmed in the European Charter of Fundamental Rights, is essential for the credibility of the EU.
EMIN highlights on its website that “Well-designed Minimum Income Schemes are adequate to live in dignity, providing comprehensive coverage for all people who need the schemes for as long as they need it, and promote people’s empowerment and participation in society”.
The EMIN Bus Tour
The EMIN Bus Tour will see two buses travel for 64 days across 32 different European countries, up until July 26 2018. Over a thousand volunteers and more than 120 programmes will build awareness of the importance of adequate, accessible and enabling Minimum Income Schemes (MIS) for the whole of society. The tour is part of a bigger project called the European Minimum Income Network (EMIN).
EMIN started as a two-year project (EMIN 1, 2013-2014) funded by the European Commission, with the aim of building consensus and taking the necessary steps towards the progressive realisation of adequate and accessible minimum income schemes in EU Member States. For the period 2017-2018, EMIN is receiving financial support from the European Union Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI) to develop its work in the EU Member States and at the EU level. Additional funding is sought to engage the non-EU EMIN Networks in this phase.
Sign the online petition to achieve the progressive realisation of adequate, accessible and enabling Minimum Income Schemes as part of comprehensive social protection systems supported by an EU Framework Directive.