Investing in social Europe
The worsening social situation as a result of the economic crisis, problems with the sustainability of social protection given Europe’s ageing societies and insufficient progress in reaching the Europe 2020 targets – all these mean that inaction is not an option. The Social Investment Package (SIP) is the Commission’s guidance to Member States to modernise their welfare systems in response to Europe’s common challenges, outlined in Chapter 1. The SIP presents an integrated policy approach, summarised in Chapter 2, underlining the need for more effective and efficient social spending, for... instance through simplified administration and better targeting. It calls for ensuring adequate standards of living, supported by adequate benefits and quality services. The SIP stresses the importance of activating and enabling policies to improve social inclusion and access to the labour market. ‘Preparing’ people to confront risks throughout their lives, rather than simply ‘repairing’ the consequences, is key to the social investment approach. In this context, removing barriers to women’s labour market participation is not only crucial to our objectives of fairness and equity, but also necessary to ensure continued economic growth in the future by counteracting the decline in labour supply due to ageing populations. On the basis of this policy framework, and on strengthened input from relevant stakeholders, the SIP informs Member States’ policy reforms in the framework of the European Semester. As detailed in Chapter 3, Member States’ performance is assessed through indicators underpinning the employment and poverty targets of the Europe 2020 strategy and those included in the Social Protection Performance Monitor. Further policy expertise is provided by the Social Protection Committee in the framework of the Social Open Method of Coordination. Chapter 4 shows how EU financial support - notably from the European Social Fund - helps Member States to implement the reforms set out in the Social Investment Package. Chapter 5 illustrates the important role of stakeholders in ensuring full implementation of the SIP, and discusses how their involvement will continue to be strengthened in the framework of the Europe 2020 Strategy.
- Corporate author(s): Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion (European Commission) Themes: Social policy
- Subject: ageing of the population, child care, economic support, education, equal treatment, EU employment policy, EU financing, European Social Fund, fight against unemployment, labour market
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