Five new Flash Reports prepared by the European Social Policy Network (ESPN) are now available and provide information on recent social policy developments in Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Serbia and Spain.
Bulgaria: Dealing with COVID-19 consequences
- Bulgaria is fighting another devastating COVID-19 wave against a background of political change and rising inflation. The country’s COVID-19 mortality rates are the highest in the EU and second highest in the world, and the pandemic is adding pressure to an already overburdened healthcare system. However, now that the Parliament has confirmed the new government after months of political deadlock, there is hope for better handling of the COVID-19 crisis in the months ahead.
Cyprus: Immigration challenges
- Migration to Cyprus and the number of asylum applications in the country have increased significantly in recent years, putting considerable pressure on government departments and local authorities to address the accompanying social, economic, demographic, and political consequences. Cyprus has recently asked the European Commission and the Member States for assistance regarding its migration challenges.
Denmark: Parliament discusses a new system of minimum income benefits
- The Danish Minimum Income Benefit Commission has proposed a new system that is currently being discussed in Parliament. If adopted, the new simplified scheme will provide benefits set in relation to reference budgets, clear economic incentives to work or study and, for the first time ever, an allowance aimed at encouraging children’s active participation in recreational activities and cultural life.
Serbia: Parliament to improve transparency on public expenditure
- In November 2021, the Serbian Parliament adopted amendments and additions to the Law on Free Access to Information of Public Importance. The changes introduced were the result of the government’s response to improving transparency of public policy making. These amendments should also facilitate access to information on public expenditure and enable timely evaluation of public social spending.
Spain: Law to protect the purchasing power of pensions / Financial sustainability of the social security system
- In December 2021, the Spanish Parliament approved a law to protect the purchasing power of pensions and to improve the adequacy and financial sustainability of the social security system in the short and long term. The reform is a step forward in the protection of pensioners against poverty.
The ESPN Flash Reports reflect the views only of the authors, and the European Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information they contain.