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EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level policy measures

Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure BE-2020-11/849 – measures in Belgium

Regional measures to prevent social hardship

Regionale maatregelen om sociale problemen te voorkomen

Country Belgium , applies regionally

    • – BE1 RÉGION DE BRUXELLES-CAPITALE/BRUSSELS HOOFDSTEDELIJK GEWEST
      – BE2 VLAAMS GEWEST
      – BE3 RÉGION WALLONNE
Time period Open ended, started on 13 March 2020
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Measures to prevent social hardship
– Keeping or obtaining a safe home
Author Dries Van Herreweghe (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven) and Eurofound
Measure added 14 May 2020 (updated 09 August 2021)

Background information

The different regions have taken measures to reduce the impact of loss of income for households that are in a precarious situations. This is particularly relevant given the fact that a large proportion of people is currently temporarily unemployed and receives benefits that are lower than their regular income.

In reasoning behind these measures is that people in the most precarious situations are able to maintain basic necessities like water and electricity and/or gas.

Content of measure

Flanders: The water, gas and electricity bills of households with family members who become temporarily unemployed as a result of the corona measures are borne by the Flemish government for the period of 1 month. This compensation amounts to a total of €202.68 that is paid automatically.

Brussels: Measures are being taken with regard to water, gas and electricity bills of households – people cannot be cut off. Low income households who have lost income during the corona crisis are granted a lump sum of €214 to pay their rent. Renters with overdue rent cannot be set out of their home until the 3rd of May.

Wallonia: Measures are being taken in favour of citizens in precarious situations to ensure a supply of gas and electricity: cut-offs suspended during the period of confinement (currently 18th March until the 30th of June). No new budget meters will be installed during this period.

Use of measure

Diverse measures, therefore difficult to estimate the extent at this time.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Unemployed
Does not apply to businesses Parents
People on low incomes

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
Local / regional government
Regional funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement as case not in social partner domain No involvement as case not in social partner domain
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown

Involvement

Unknown.

Views and reactions

The extent of their involvement is unknown, however the measures are not that close to their regular topics or competences so probably fairly limited.

Sources

Citation

Eurofound (2020), Regional measures to prevent social hardship, measure BE-2020-11/849 (measures in Belgium), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/BE-2020-11_849.html

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