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.
EU citizens are increasingly concerned that today’s young people will have fewer opportunities for upward social mobility than their parents’ generation. This report maps patterns of intergenerational social mobility in the EU countries. It first looks at absolute social mobility – how societies have changed in terms of structural and occupational change and societal progress. Then it turns to relative social mobility (‘social fluidity’) – the opportunities for individuals to move between occupational classes. The story of recent social mobility is explored using data from the European Social Survey (ESS) and findings from Eurofound’s Network of European correspondents across the EU Member States. The report also analyses the current policy discourse, examining to what extent social mobility has been visible on the policy agenda in different Member States and how it has been framed and discussed. It goes on to look at barriers to equal opportunities and policies to promote it. Finally, it focuses on developments in the last decade that could foster social mobility in childhood and early education, school and tertiary education, and the labour market.