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Area-based policies in urban areas: how to promote good living conditions for children and youth (Norway)
Based on two schemes in place in Norway, this Peer Review is an opportunity to explore area-based policies promoting good living conditions for young people in deprived areas. The problems in these urban areas are to a large extent related to socio-economic factors; therefore most measures target the whole population while special efforts are aimed directly at residents with an immigrant background. Combatting poor standards of living amongst children and youth, and promoting social mobility in urban areas with poor living conditions is crucial for breaking the transmission of disadvantage across generations and diminishing the likelihood of social exclusion in the future.
Age friendly goods and services - an opportunity for social and economic development (Poland)
The scale of demographic change facing countries across the EU is unprecedented. The number of people aged 60+ is increasing at a rate of approximately 2 million per year and the result is a rapid increase in the dependency ratio; while in 2010 there were four people of working age for every person aged 65+, this number is projected to halve by 2060.
Combating child poverty through measures promoting the socio-cultural participation of clients of the Public Centres for Social Welfare (Belgium)
In the European Union, one in five children lives in a household which is at risk of poverty. As families are forced to economise on all but the most basic needs, spending on educational and recreational activities, among other things, tends to be restricted. This is potentially damaging for children's future prospects; experiences in early childhood have a significant impact on outcomes in later life and are thus crucial for social inclusion in adulthood. In order to tackle those issues, a multidimensional, long-term strategy which addresses the deficit in socio-cultural participation is needed.
Improving the efficiency of social protection (Portugal)
Social protection expenditure tends to rise with economic downturns and in Portugal the experience of the recent crisis has highlighted the need to improve the efficiency of social protection provision and to make it more cost effective.
Developing effective ex ante social impact assessment with a focus on methodology, tools and data sources (Belgium)
Ex ante Impact Assessment, recently defined by the European Commission in its 2009 Impact Assessment Guidelines, is a process of weighing up the potential impacts of a policy before it is implemented.Socialimpact assessment evaluates how a given policy may impact on social indicators such as poverty or social exclusion and fit into the Europe 2020 Strategy for a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy. The 2010 Update of the Joint Assessment by the Social Protection Committee and the European Commission of the social impact of the economic crisis and of policy responses states that as fiscal consolidation measures risk aggravating further the social consequences of the crisis, Member States should reinforce their capacity to assess the social impacts of their major policy and spending decisions.
Effects of life courses on women's pensions (Germany)
In Germany, as in many other countries, there is a gender gap in the value of old-age pensions reflecting differences in the career patterns of women and men. Traditionally women are more likely than men to take time out from work to care for family members, particularly young children and older relatives. This has a two-pronged impact on the levels of old-age pensions that women receive: firstly, it shortens working life and therefore reduces the number of contributions made towards a final pension and, secondly, career breaks tend to have a negative impact on income levels so that the value of these contributions is lower.
Closing the gap - in search for ways to deal with expanding care needs and limited resources (Sweden)
Across Europe, countries are confronted with the challenge of how to care for an ageing population with limited resources. This challenge has become even more acute as the tightening constraints on public expenditure in the aftermath of the financial crisis and the recession which accompanied it reinforce the effect of demographic trends. Although countries have quite different systems of care, there is a common need to find ways to limit the demand for care whilst at the same time ensuring access to good quality care for all those that need it without putting unsustainable stress on public resources. The purpose of this Peer Review is to stimulate debate and ideas which will help develop a strategy to assist this process.
Building a coordinated strategy for parenting support (France)
France has established a variety of services to support parents on a voluntary, free-of-charge basis. In part these support measures respond to evolving family structures (such as the rise in single-parent families, "blended families", teenage parenthood etc) which create different needs and demand new support systems. It is also a way of supporting the well-being of children more generally and an important part of the overall effort to combat child poverty and promote social inclusion in line with the Europe 2020 Strategy.
The setting of national poverty targets (Ireland)
One of the main targets in the Europe 2020 Strategy is to lift 20 million people out of poverty and reduce those living below the poverty line by 25%; as part of achieving this target Member States are asked to set national targets based on appropriate indicators.
Balancing the security and affordability of funded pension schemes (Netherlands)
On top of its General Old Age Pension Scheme, which guarantees a minimum income to all persons aged over 65, the Netherlands has an elaborate supplementary pension scheme.