Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

News 04/03/2019

Recent social policy developments in Cyprus, Finland, France and Turkey

Four new Flash Reports prepared by the European Social Policy Network (ESPN) are now available and provide information on the healthcare reform process in Cyprus, the first results of the Finnish basic income experiment, the impact of the ‘Yellow Jacket’ movement on policies in France, and employment initiatives for Syrian refugees in Turkey.

Recent social policy developments in Cyprus, Finland, France and Turkey

  • In Cyprus, less than three months before the launch of the long-awaited new healthcare system, private doctors and hospitals are refusing to join the system. Although the system is expected to start as scheduled, these negative reactions raise doubts about its successful implementation, while the climate of controversy has created an explosive environment leading to the interruption of dialogue.
  • The Finnish basic income experiment ran for two years (2017-2018). The main aim of the experiment was to study whether a basic income would increase participation in the labour market and diminish the bureaucracy relating to social security benefits. The results show that whereas it had no significant impact on employment, it led to less bureaucracy as well as higher life satisfaction and well-being.
  • Since mid-November 2018, thousands of people wearing yellow jackets have continued to demonstrate in French cities every Saturday to demand political responses to three main issues: purchasing power, tax or fiscal justice and more direct democracy. A first set of measures implemented in January 2019 impacts the fiscal and social protection system.
  • Various internationally-funded programmes for Syrian refugees have been operational in Turkey mainly after 2017. These aim to foster employment through micro-loans, education, training and job counselling, as well as registration and screening services. Some of the programmes are also open to Turkish nationals, and up to half their capacity is reserved for this group.

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