Eurofound extensively cited in Social Protection Committee report
The recently published annual review of the Social Protection Committee (SPC) assesses reforms in social policies and social protection over the period 2013–2014. Citing Eurofound’s work extensively, it also makes clear that the Agency’s research into quality of life played a key role in the creation of the review, making specific contributions in terms of content.
Investing in children and childcare
The Agency’s recently published work on early childhood care – Early childhood care: working conditions, training and quality of services – A systematic review – fed into the review's discussion on developing a more skilled and motivated workforce – specifically, the benefits in terms of outcomes for children of continuous professional development in building practitioners’ competencies.
In discussing investment in children as part of the Social Investment Package, the SPC review cites Eurofound’s report Quality of Life in Europe: Families in the economic crisis. The committee notes Eurofound’s findings on ‘the particular challenges facing lone parents, the greater difficulties facing jobless families since the onset of the crisis’ and the Agency’s call for ‘support policies that protect the most vulnerable types of families‘.
Inequality and inclusion
In the section on reforms in healthcare and long-term care, the review notes the points made in Eurofound’s recent report Access to healthcare in times of crisis: ‘Poverty and inequalities in access to health care translate into illness, disability to work, dependency and more poverty.’
The review also highlights the role played by Eurofound’s European Quality of Life Survey in providing information on the social and labour market inclusion of young people – specifically, the perceived social exclusion index derived from EQLS findings. This ‘represents a valuable complement to the AROPE [at risk of poverty or social exclusion] rate. The index measures the extent to which young people actually feel excluded.’
The Social Protection Committee and Eurofound
The Social Protection Committee (SPC) advises national government ministers in the Employment and Social Affairs Council. As part of its mandate, the SPC monitors social conditions in the EU and the development of social protection policies in Member States – in particular, on the issues of social inclusion, health care, long-term care and pensions.
Eurofound’s upcoming work on quality of life is expected to contribute to next year’s annual review. Key themes the Agency will explore in its research in 2015 include mobility and integration of migrants, the role of the private sector in delivering public services and further work on the quality of childcare services.