Families in the economic crisis: Changes in policy measures in the EU

28 January 2016
27 January 2016
Executive summary in 21 languages



Throughout Europe families have felt the effects of the economic crisis that began in 2008. This report describes their experience in the aftermath of the crisis, up to the present. It looks in detail at developments in 10 Member States that were selected to represent different types of family policy regime, ranging from those with the most ‘enabling’ policies (which help families move away from the traditional single ‘breadwinner’ model) to those with the most ‘limiting’ policies (which do not). The report analyses Member States’ responses to the crisis. The findings show that changes in family policy since 2010 are largely the result of a range of conflicting issues: the evolution of family needs; demands for austerity cuts; and the need for equitable distribution of limited resources. Such conflict means that family policies often lack an integrated policy framework. In some countries, benefits have been reduced, disproportionately affecting disadvantaged families; in others, new measures have been targeted at the most severely hit. In summary, this report provides policymakers with evidence from different country settings on what policy measures appear to work to mitigate the risk of poverty or social exclusion for disadvantaged families with dependent children. An executive summary is available - see Related content.

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    Families in the economic crisis: Changes in policy measures in the EU


    This report describes the situation and experience of families during the economic crisis and examines how family-focused policies have changed since 2010. In some countries, benefits have been reduced, affecting disadvantaged families disproportionately. Other countries have introduced new measures to help those families worst affected by the economic crisis. This report also looks at the social situation of different types of families with dependent children and examines what kind of responses can help mitigate the effect of the crisis on disadvantaged families. It focuses on in-depth analyses of developments in 10 EU Member States. 

    Available in 21 languages for download

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