Redesigning European Welfare States - Ways forward

The Vision Europe Summit is the occasion to release our first common publication "Redesigning European welfare states - ways Forward".

The welfare state in Europe - Visions for reform
Authors: Iain Begg, Fabian Mushövel and Robin Niblett (Chatham House)

Globalization, soaring public deficits, migration, new social demands, structural changes on the labour market, and not least demographic developments challenge existing welfare arrangements in Europe. One of the most complex tasks currently facing European governments and societies is to reconcile widely-supported commitments to welfare provision with pressures that make these commitments unsustainable economically. This introductory paper is designed to set the scene for the challenges currently facing the welfare state in Europe and to enable an informed discussion.

Social inequalities in Europe - The challenge of convergence and coherence
Authors: Frank Vandenbroucke and David Rinaldi
(Jacques Delors Institute)

The founding fathers of Europe shared a vision of an integration project including solidarity and social progress. An upward convergence both within and across nation states should still be the vision of a European model while the notion of European solidarity and social progress require clarification. The policy brief therefore focuses on new and old types of inequalities and suggests policies on the national and European level that can help reducing these inequalities.

The growing interGenerational divide in Europe - what role for the welfare state?
Authors: Pia Hüttl, Karen Wilson and Guntram Wolff (Bruegel)

The deterioration of economic and social conditions as a result of the crisis exhibits an increased polarization between the young and the old. Social spending on elderly People has been favored relative to spending on families, children and education. Forceful policies are needed to avoid this divide, at the national and EU-level. This policy brief develops ways forward toward sustainable and equitable pension schemes, while emphasizing the importance of investment in family and education. New avenues for financing will be addressed, as well as the possibility of new instruments at the EU level to avoid a lost generation.

Governing the welfare state and beyond – Solutions for a complex and uncertain future
Authors: Eeva Hellström and Mikko Kosonen
(Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra)

In an environment with ever-increasing interdependence, volatility and complexity, European welfare states face unprecedented problems on multiple levels and have seemingly become prisoners of the successful “industrial age” governance model. Today, old-style governance approaches no longer meet the needs of societies. The authors of the policy paper thus suggest alternative governance approaches for the future and present examples and give advice on how new solutions can be adopted.