Project

Social inclusion in the EU-10: Status, trends and challenges

Stijn Van Wolputte

According to the report ‘Social inclusion in the EU-10’, the overall risk of poverty in the EU-10 (15%) is practically the same as in the EU-25. This figure varies widely among the EU-10, from 8% in the Czech Republic to 21% in Slovakia.

Description

The report is divided into two parts. It offers both a horizontal overview of the main policy approaches (part I) and an assessment of the Member States ’individual trends and policy measures (part II).

Part I covers the following subjects:
• a general comparison of the state of social inclusion in the EU-10;
• a number of key trends and priorities, derived from this comparison;
• an overview and comparison of strategic approaches to combating social exclusion in the different Member States;
• an overview and comparison of policies in regard to specific themes.

Part II gives an overview of social inclusion policies and trends per Member State. Four topics are addressed:
• the current situation and key trends;
• the implemented strategic approach;
• the key policy measures;
• the perceived future challenges.


Methodology

The report also includes an analysis of the National Action Plans. According to the report, the "current exercise was the first attempt" by the EU-10 to draw up a comprehensive strategy aimed at fighting poverty and social exclusion. Its evaluation of the efforts so far is positive. There is room for improvement, though:
• several specific National Action Plans need to be strengthened, mostly targets and priorities need to specified better;
• stronger links need to be forged with the broader national economic and budgetary policies;
• Member States’ national social protection systems need to be modernised;
• more attention needs to be given to the issue of inclusion of ethnic minorities, including Roma, and the inclusion of women.

 
Conclusions

The report comes up with a number of key challenges that need to be addressed by the EU-10 in the years to come:

The first challenge is to increase labour market integration. This can be done by expanding active labour market policies and by developing coherent and comprehensive lifelong learning strategies.

The second challenge is to ensure that social protection systems have sufficient coverage and levels of payment to guarantee an adequate minimum income for all to live with dignity.

The third challenge is to strengthen policies tackling child and family poverty and to protect the rights of children.

As a fourth challenge access to decent housing should be improved.

The fifth challenge is to improve the quality of and access to key public services (particularly health and social services, education, training and transport). In order to do so, more investment, and more efficient investment,in these public services is needed.

The final challenge is to step up efforts to overcome particularly high levels of exclusion and discrimination experienced by people with a physical or mental disability, and by some ethnic groups, especially the Roma.

Contact info

European Commission, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities

Publication date

1/2/2005

Researcher

European Commission, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities