Results of survey data analysis as well as qualitative research in the field of quality of life and public services are made accessible through the EurLIFE observatory. Its work is supported by a Network of European Correspondents across all EU Member States and Norway.
In addition to individual circumstances and conditions, the quality of society has a major impact on citizens’ well-being. In recent years Europeans have reported a declining trust in society and institutions, societal tensions, economic and social insecurity as well as perceived inequalities and lack of fairness.
Public services are essential for achieving high levels of social protection, social cohesion and social inclusion. But it is the quality of and access to services that determines their success across a changing social and demographic landscape. The challenge for policymakers is to ensure the design and delivery of health and social services that meet the varied needs of citizens.
The ‘working poor’ are a substantial group, the latest estimate putting 10% of European workers at risk of poverty, up from 8% in 2007. This report describes the development of in-work poverty in the EU since the crisis of 2008, picking up where an earlier Eurofound report on this subject, published in 2010, ended and looks at what countries have done to combat the problem since. This endeavour is complicated by the policy focus on employment as a route out of poverty, underplaying the considerable financial, social and personal difficulties experienced by the working poor. The increase in non-standard forms of employment in many countries appears to have contributed to rising in-work poverty.