This issue of Foundation Focus looks at issues surrounding pay, wages and income in Europe in the face of sustained difficult economic circumstances. For example, what sort of hardship are ordinary people experiencing? Which workers are being most affected by wage cuts? Are wage cuts the best way to achieve competitiveness? Given the pressure on pension systems, how many Europeans are returning to work after retirement? European countries make extensive use of collectively agreed pay; is real pay matching or surpassing the agreements reached through social dialogue? And what would be the impact of a Europe-wide minimum wage? These are among the questions addressed in this issue.