On 21 October 2010, the European Parliament adopted a resolution highlighting “the need for concrete measures to eradicate poverty and social exclusion by exploring ways of reintegrating people into the labour market, ensuring a fair redistribution of income and wealth..., guaranteeing poverty-preventing and socially inclusive minimum income schemes..., given that combating poverty begins with the creation of decent, sustainable jobs for groups at a disadvantage on the labour market”.
This resolution fully recognised the right of all citizens of the European Union and any other permanent residents to an income which safeguards their social dignity.
There are about 120 million Europeans threatened with poverty and social exclusion, 25 million of whom are children; 50 million people are living in households in which no one is in employment; 40 million people are suffering from serious forms of material hardship, and over 4 million are homeless.
In implementation of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the Union, the minimum income is defined as a fundamental social right, to be used as an instrument to protect the dignity of the person and the possibility for their full participation in social, cultural and political life.
The minimum income, or the citizenship income, is an instrument which guarantees the autonomy and the dignity of individuals, and is not simply a social security measure to combat poverty. On the basis of this rationale, and in implementation of the social and economic rights enshrined in the European Social Charter, the Parliamentary Assembly urges: