Cost of living: Striving for future-proof solutions

For many people, this upcoming festive period will be a time of uncertainty and worry. The rising cost of living continues to put more and more households under pressure, leaving people in precarious circumstances without sufficient support.  

Over recent months, Member States have been introducing much needed emergency measures and steps to mitigate the current financial instability. However, quick fixes alone will not be enough to bring the most vulnerable over the poverty line.  

What we need are future-proof solutions.  

As crisis after crisis has impacted our societies, it is clear that the social protection systems currently in place are not working as they should. From the global pandemic and the cost of living to the ongoing climate emergency, one lesson that policymakers must take forward, is the need for much greater social solidarity. 

In order to systematically raise the living and working conditions of millions of people currently experiencing poverty and social exclusion, basic safety nets for all people, including adequate minimum income schemes must be in place. Unfortunately, the majority of current minimum income policies at member state level are generally insufficient to keep people out of poverty, meaning that coordinated EU action in the form of a directive on minimum income must be adopted. 

As the urgency to improve the strength of social protection in Europe has never been greater, EUROSHIP research teams are helping to shed light on those gaps that still need to be closed in order to leave no one behind. 

The project has now produced several insightful studies and is currently developing policy recommendations on how to strengthen social citizenship at the National and EU level. The project’s outcomes explore how to create the right conditions for fostering the wellbeing of society and how to enable active participation in society and access to social rights.  

There is much more work to do to ensure that the EU goes further in setting decent living standards for all, and the next couple of years will be instrumental in making that a reality. EUROSHIP’s work, with its focus on young people, precarious workers with care responsibilities and low-income people with disabilities, helps to provide another crucial piece of the puzzle in establishing future-proof policies that leave no one behind.