• Strengthening Minimum Income Protection in Southern European and CEE Countries: Pressures from within and from Beyond.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015
J201 (13 rue de l'Université)
Matteo Jessoula , Department of Social and Political Sciences, University of Milan
Manos Matsaganis , Department of International and European Economics, Athens University of Economics and Business
Marcello Natili , Dept. of Social and Political Sciences, University of Milan, Italy
In recent years, poverty and anti-poverty measures have gained new momentum in both Southern and CEE countries, which have traditionally featured weak social safety nets. This was the result of two main factors: i) increased “problem pressure” in most countries, as a consequence of the recession and austerity measures; ii) pressure from supranational/international organizations, such as the EU and the IMF, in the context of various forms/degrees of conditionality. Against this backdrop, the aim of the paper is twofold. On the one hand, it reviews the main changes adopted in the field of anti-poverty minimum income protection in the countries along the Southern and the Eastern European borders. On the other hand, a fine grained analysis of minimum income developments in Greece, Italy, Latvia, Poland, Romania, and Spain is presented. We will argue that the interplay between strengthened external pressures – if not overt conditionality - and domestic political competition dynamics is key to understanding the different trajectories in the six selected countries.