Four new Flash Reports prepared by the European Social Policy Network (ESPN) are now available and provide information on recent social policy developments in Finland, Kosovo*, Luxembourg and Portugal.
- In order to guarantee the quality of long-term care, the Finnish government passed legislation on the nurse-client ratio. However, the reform has encountered severe problems caused by the shortage of nursing personnel needed to fulfil the quality standards required by the legislation.
- Kosovo’s government has introduced a universal cash child benefit which covers children under seven since November 2021 and which will be expanded to all children under 16 by 2023 at the latest. The government has also extended maternity benefit to unemployed women. Both programmes are financed from general taxation.
- In October 2021, the Luxembourg government announced various measures, including on social benefits, education and housing policies, to take effect in the course of 2022. Implementation of the first of these has now begun.
- The proposal for a strategy for fighting poverty in Portugal (2021-2030) was approved on 30 September 2021 and submitted to public consultation until 25 October 2021. The strategy represents a political and social consensus and fills a long-standing gap. Despite its comprehensiveness, fine-tuning and specific roads for implementation will be needed. The outcomes of the public consultation are still unknown
(*) This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence