The objective was to analyse certain aspects of poverty and the operation of the safety system before the limiting social exclusion and poverty. In the paper an attempt to answer the question: Is social policy between the new Member States and the countries of the “old Union” (EU15) the phenomenon of convergence or divergence? Research material were data from Eurostat and European Commission reports. The results of the comparative analysis of macroeconomic indicators of countries belonging to the European Union have not given a clear reply to the question. In turn, poverty rate analysis has shown that the most vulnerable population is living in sparsely populated rural areas. Also the problem of system solutions used in order to reduce poverty and, in particular, the level and dynamics of changes in the minimum wages was discussed. Besides, size and fi nancial structure were analysed for the implementation of operations in the framework of social policy. On the basis of the obtained research results, it was found that in the new Member States, the fi nancial assistance granted in the framework of social protection is about half lower than in the EU15 countries. There is still a large variation between EU countries in terms of economic development and the level of social services that directly impact the living conditions of the inhabitants.