Research reveals that earlier epidemics have raised income and health inequality, especially when they coincided with economic contractions. Low-skilled workers could be especially hard hit economically due to their vulnerable employment situation, but they are also more susceptible to health problems because lower-income people have higher rates of chronic illness. To combat the COVID-19 pandemic and to dampen its adverse social and economic impacts, EU governments and institutions instigated wide-ranging measures. How has COVID-19 impacted poverty and inequality in the EU so far? How effective are the policy measures adopted by Member States and EU institutions to mitigate the adverse social impacts? Beyond measures to strengthen the economic recovery and to preserve and create jobs, what specific measures should be considered to alleviate poverty and income inequality? What role should EU institutions and mechanisms play in striving for fairness and inclusion?
Chair: Zsolt Darvas, Senior Fellow, Bruegel
Santina Bertulessi, Deputy Head of Cabinet, Commissioner Nicolas Schmit
Philippe Lamberts, Member of the European Parliament
Martin Sandbu, European Economics Commentator, Financial Times