Helping EU countries use welfare budgets more efficiently to protect society’s poorest.
Five years of economic crisis has left millions more people in financial distress, or in danger of poverty and social exclusion. Homelessness has grown across the EU. Most national welfare systems are stretched to their limits and governments are having difficulty helping the increasing number of people who need support.
To address the problem, the Commission is providing guidance on how EU countries can best use their welfare budgets to protect people in need and strengthen social cohesion.
The advice is based on the strategies taken by countries that have yielded proven benefits to people and economic growth as a whole. They are investing in services to strengthen skills and help people take advantage of opportunities. These countries generally have lower rates of poverty, a better educated workforce, higher employment and better economic conditions. The advice focuses on:
The package includes recommendations for tackling child poverty and for a more integrated approach to child-friendly social investment.
Investing in children and young people is an effective way to break the cycle of poverty and social exclusion that can be passed on from one generation to the next. More must be done to improve people's opportunities later in life.
The Commission will monitor EU countries as they adjust their welfare systems and, if necessary, make recommendations to particular countries.