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CEPS Project

Common Operational Definition of Overindebtedness


The European Commission’s DG Employment and Social Affairs has contracted CEPS, together with the Personal Finance Research Centre (University of Bristol) and the European Savings Institute for a large-scale research project which aims to lay the basis for the future common operational European definition of over-indebtedness. Although over-commitment of consumers and financial exclusion are growing problems in Europe, there exists no standard definition of over-indebtedness. Thus, it is currently not possible to collect comparable statistics for international comparisons across different Member States.

This study aims to fill that gap, by proposing a common definition of over-indebtedness, which can be used to collect such statistics. The research will involve a survey of the existing definitions of over-indebtedness in Europe, as well as an overview of the political, administrative and legal approaches to over-indebtedness in 19 European countries. CEPS will work on this project together with a network of researchers from several countries including Italy, Finland, UK, Sweden and Poland.

Funded by:
Period: January 2007– January 2008

Daniel Gros


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