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What is EMIN?

Written by Hamann, Dietmar. Posted in Policy

The European Minimum Income Network (EMIN) is a two year project (2013-2014) funded by the European Commission, that has the aim of building consensus to take the necessary steps towards the progressive realisation of adequate and accessible minimum income schemes in EU Member States, in line with the European Commission’s Active Inclusion Recommendation of 2008, the Europe 2020 strategy and in the context of the European Platform against Poverty and Social Exclusion.

EMIN project is also available as a printable PDF document

The Importance of Minimum Income Schemes in the Fight against poverty and social exclusion

 In a context when there is tendency to tighten eligibility for Minimum Income Schemes in many Member States, the Minimum Income Network is an important step to maintain a focus on the importance of adequate and accessible Minimum Income Schemes. More than ever such Schemes represent a lifeline for people experiencing poverty and social exclusion. Minimum Income support is often the only financial support available for people experiencing hardship, both for people who cannot access paid work and for those who have worked and are at the end of their coverage period for unemployment benefits. Access to adequate Minimum Income Schemes provides an important basis for participating in the life of the community, reconnecting with the world of work and to living a life in dignity. Moreover, it makes a significant contribution to an inclusive recovery from the crisis, by supporting people to support the economy and to relaunch purchasing power and local demand.

 Steps in a path towards adequate and accessible minimum income schemes

 The European Minimum Income Network will:

  • Analyse current trends and obstacles and propose improvements regarding coverage, adequacy and (non) take‐up of Minimum Income Schemes, through the reports of National Minimum Income Networks enriched by two thematic approaches related to adequacy of old age Minimum Income Schemes and coverage and (non) take‐up by homeless people.
  • Present and exchange on ‘good’ and ‘unsatisfactory’ practices and promote learning and transfer of knowledge.
  • Raise awareness on the EU current frameworks, including the 1992 Council Recommendation and the 2008 Active Inclusion Recommendation.
  • Build consensus on the necessary steps towards the progressive realisation of adequate and accessible Minimum Income Schemes in Member States as well as Norway, Iceland, Serbia and FYROM and support the implementation of these steps.
  • Contribute to the identification of common EU level definitions and criteria for adequate Minimum Income Schemes, and the potential for a strengthened EU framework for cooperation in this field.

 Activities planned during the two-year life cycle of the network

  • Establishment and Launch of the European Minimum Income Network: with the participation of a wide range of diverse stakeholders.
  • Establishment of Five National Minimum Income Networks in Denmark, Ireland, Belgium, Italy and Hungary.
  • Reports on Analysis of Minimum Income Schemes in the 5 identified Countries: based on a common framework and drawing on existing research these reports
  • Thematic work on adequacy of minimum old age income Schemes, led by AGE Platform in France, Belgium and Poland.
  • Thematic work on take up by vulnerable groups, in particular homeless people, led by FEANTSA, in Italy, France, Hungary, Romania, Ireland, United Kingdom, Finland and Poland
  • Two Peer Review sessions, aimed at exchanging findings and identifying key learning points gathered in the reports in the 5 countries identified.
  • European level Conference (Year 1), to analysise and disseminate the key learning points from the work in the five countries and the two thematic approaches.
  • Reports on Analysis of Minimum Income Schemes in remaining 26 countries: based on the experience of developing these reports in the 5 identified countries.
  • Support for implementation of steps towards the Progressive realisation of adequate Minimum Income Schemes in the 5 identified countries.
  • Thirty-one national level Conferences to help build consensus towards adequate and accessible Minimum Income Schemes in each of these countries.
  • EU level Conference (Year 2) to present suggestions for enhancing EU level coordination in the field of Minimum Income Schemes, including the proposal for common EU level definition and criteria for adequate Minimum Income Schemes.
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The City is for All submitted its report to the Venice Commission

Written by Super User. Posted in Policy

The City is for All has sent a report to the Venice Commission on the criminalization of homelessness by the Hungarian constitution. The report details the ways in which the pertaining paragraph of the 4th Amendment to the Fundamental Law breaches the rights of homeless people and those without proper housing. With this report, The City is for All wishes to contribute to the Venice Commission’s efforts to get a clear picture of the legal situation of Hungary, so that it can compile a succinct and unbiased report for the Council of Europe. 

What is the Venice Commission?

The Venice Commission (officially the European Commission for Democracy through Law) is a permanent advisory body of the Council of Europe, providing assistance in issues concerning constitutionality and democratic institutions. The Council of Europe – which is not an institution of the European Union – is an intergovernmental organization created after the Second World War. It was brought to life in order to protect fundamental values such as democracy, constitutionality and human rights. Hungary became a member of the Council immediately following the regime change in 1989, having passed a strict examination of its newly created democratic institutions and the status of human rights. Member states, however, are not exempt from the obligation to protect their citizens’ basic rights and the democratic institutions even after they had been admitted. In fact, the Commission’s monitoring committee has recently concluded that these values have become seriously threatened in Hungary. As a result, it prepared a proposal for the Assembly of the Council of Europe, which called for a monitoring procedure against Hungary. This is a strong political signal to the government of Hungary: ever since the Council was created, no other member state has been subjected to such a procedure. 

At the moment, the Venice Commission is analyzing the status of constitutionality and democratic institutions in Hungary, especially with regards to the 4th Amendment to the Fundamental Law. The report compiled on the basis of these findings will play an important role in the decision made by the Assembly in June, 2013. The City is for All – along with FEANTSA, a European umbrella organization for homeless service providers – has submitted information for the report concerning the criminalization of homelessness in Hungary. 

The contents of the report by The City is for All

Our report states that the 4th Amendment to the Fundamental Law of Hungary

- breaches the right of homeless people to human dignity by penalizing their social status;

- negatively discriminates against homeless people concerning their right to using public spaces;

- undermines jurisprudence by giving virtually unlimited freedom to the legislature in limiting the use of public spaces, while neither the definition of “permanent habitation in public spaces,” nor the definition of “the obligation of the government to provide appropriate services” contain suitable guidance;

- breaches the European Convention of Human Rights regarding the prohibition of discrimination concerning the private sphere of citizens.

The full English version of the report can be downloaded here. 

Note to editor: In The City is for All, homeless people and their allies work together for an egalitarian and just society. We fight for the right to housing and the dignity of all human beings. More information: www.avarosmindenkie.blog.hu

Contact: Bernadett Sebály +36 70/217-2601, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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