Session C2: Poverty in the EU: Improving the EU’s measurement toolbox

Session organisers: Koen Decancq & Tim Goedemé

Chair: Karel Van den Bosch


  1. Koen Decancq: “Social progress and poverty in Europe: a multidimensional perspective
  2. Bérénice Storms: “Reference budgets for social participation leading the way to a social inclusive society: approach and first results of the ImPRovE method”



Over the past decade, the EU’s social inclusion indicators have become widely acknowledged as a useful tool for monitoring poverty and social exclusion in the EU’s Member States. However, first after enlargement of the European Union to the less affluent Eastern European Member states, and now in times of stagnating and decreasing incomes in response to the crisis and the ensuing austerity measures, it has become apparent that the EU social inclusion indicators are not beyond critique and fail to capture some important aspects of poverty as it is commonly understood. In this session, we examine the state of affairs of two very different proposals that have been put forward for improving the EU’s toolbox for monitoring poverty and social exclusion: (1) comprehensive multidimensional indicators of poverty and social exclusion; (2) reference budgets that indicate the minimum level of resources that are needed for a family to fully participate in society.

Background documents: