Data sources for the timely monitoring of the social situation in EU Member States
This paper reviews the current problems in obtaining timely information on social developments within EU Member States, and reports on a stocktaking exercise of existing national approaches to providing timely social data, as well as the possibilities that are being explored within the framework of the European Statistical System (ESS) to improve the situation. Making use of sources of information going beyond the more traditional indicators available to monitor poverty and inequalities, the paper also presents some illustrative, concise overviews which have been developed to produce a... consistent and more timely picture of recent social developments in eight Member States, among those that have been most affected by the crisis. This shows that in the countries reviewed the working age population has been the most affected by the impact of the economic downturn and subsequent fiscal consolidation measures. The most recent data also points to a severe deterioration of social trends in a few countries, including the weakening of safety nets.