(20 February 2013) – The European Commission has called on Member States to prioritise social investment and to modernise their welfare states. The call features in a Communication on Social Investment for Growth and Cohesion.
This means better performing active inclusion strategies and a more efficient and more effective use of social budgets.
The Communication also offers guidance to Member States on how best to use EU financial support, notably from the European Social Fund, to implement the outlined objectives. The Commission will closely monitor the performance of individual Member States’ social protection systems through the European Semester and formulate, where necessary, Country Specific Recommendations.
The social consequences of the current financial crisis are very serious. The Social Investment Package, just presented by the Commission, gives guidance to Member States on more efficient and effective social policies in response to the significant challenges they currently face. These include high levels of financial distress, increasing poverty and social exclusion, as well as record unemployment, especially among young people. These are combined with the challenge of ageing societies and smaller working age populations, which test the sustainability and adequacy of national social systems.