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Fighting Poverty in the European Union. An Assessment of the Prospects for a European Universal Basic Income (EUBI)

François Denuit

ULB Institutional Repository from ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles

Abstract: It is widely agreed that a society must guarantee a social minimum to all its members. Yet, the organisation of social protection within the European Union (EU) is insufficient to protect all Europeans effectively against the risk of poverty and social exclusion. Against this backdrop, this thesis investigates whether a European universal basic income (EUBI) is, if at all, a worthwhile policy to address the problem of poverty in the EU.The central claim of the study posits that there are strong reasons to consider a partial EUBI as a desirable instrument for EU-wide poverty alleviation. Under this scenario, the EU works as a complementary welfare layer offering systemic support to its Member States’ welfare models whilst respecting the diversity of national social protection arrangements. At the same time, as an instrument of pan-European solidarity, the EUBI provides substance to EU social citizenship.The method used is problem-oriented and interdisciplinary, combining insights from political theory, political economy and EU studies writ large. After having layed out the various dimensions underpinning the problem of poverty in the EU and clarified the contours of the solution under scrutiny, the thesis confronts the EUBI with a series of challenges, ranging from normative issues associated with the unconditionality of the basic income and the pursuit of social justice in the EU, to the institutional hurdles pertaining to the legal feasibility of the proposal, via the macroeconomic difficulties related to the diversity of interdependent economies.Overall, this contribution examines an idea which remains unexplored in EU studies and proposes a new approach to European anti-poverty strategy. It also bridges the gap between EU social policy and basic income literatures, beyond established boundaries of research compartmentalisation. As such, it prepares the ground for further fine-tuned research in the areas covered by this comprehensive multi-dimensional analysis.

Keywords: Basic income; Social Europe; Minimum income; Solidarity; Poverty; Social exclusion; European Union; Social protection; Revenu de base; Allocation universelle; Pauvreté; Exclusion sociale; Revenu minimum; Solidarité; Protection sociale; Europe sociale; Union européenne (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019-03-12
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hme and nep-pke
Note: Degree: Doctorat en Sciences politiques et sociales
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