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Social investment explained in latest issue of Social Agenda magazine

Social investment explained in latest issue of Social Agenda magazine © Getty Images

The most successful and competitive economies in the world are the ones which have the most effective social protection systems, the most developed social partnerships and have started making the transition from the welfare state to the social investment state.

Investing in children, promoting a combination of enabling and activating policies, investing in health throughout life, tackling homelessness at the roots and promoting partnership with all actors concerned: the May issue of the European Commission's Social Agenda magazine (n°33) presents and explains the Social Investment Package for Growth and Cohesion which the Commission put forward on 20 February.

Social Agenda n°33 gives the floor to Dutch economist Anton Hemerijck and explains how social investment will help address the demographic challenge. It also informs about the latest developments in tackling the huge skills mismatch and explains how EU citizenship can help find a job in another EU country.

Some interesting facts and figures that feature in this issue include:

  • Despite record unemployment in Europe, an estimated 4.5 to 5 million job vacancies presently exist in the EU, 1.46 million of which are registered by EU countries' public employment services.
  • In January 2013, the youth unemployment rate in the EU was more than twice as high as the adult rate, at 23.6%. There are 7.5 million Europeans aged 15-24 neither in employment, education nor training.
  • Only a third of EU citizens are aware of the specific rights attached to their EU citizenship, such as looking for work in another EU country and continue receiving unemployment benefits from your country of origin.
  • Levels of optimism and happiness have declined by over 20% in some EU countries since Eurofound last carried out a quality of life survey in 2007. 7% of Europeans report great difficulty in making ends meet (22% in Greece, 1% in Finland).
  • 12 million more women than men live in poverty in the EU.