Social Policy Responses to the COVID-19 Crisis in Europe
Discover the newly released analysis by the European Social Policy Network (ESPN)
The European Social Policy Network (ESPN), which is coordinated by LISER together with Applica and the European Social Observatory (OSE), has prepared an in-depth report which examines the social protection and inclusion policy measures that European countries put in place at national or subnational level to help address the social and financial distress created by the pandemic and by lockdown policies. The report covers the 27 EU Member States, the 7 candidate and potential candidate countries, and the UK.
As highlighted in the news item released by the European Commission:
The report provides a description and assessment of the main measures implemented, an initial estimate of the overall expenditure on crisis measures as well as an analysis of the demographic, economic and social impact of the pandemic in the 35 countries covered. It reveals an overall rapid reaction through the introduction of (mostly) temporary measures - primarily relaxing eligibility conditions, increasing benefit levels and creating new ad hoc social and job protection schemes. These emergency measures helped avert a massive social crisis and some would have seemed impossible one year previously. Yet they also highlighted weaknesses and gaps in existing social protection and inclusion policies, and the pressing need to address these. Although these measures were the main tools used to tackle the socio-economic impact of the pandemic, the report underlines their limited transformative potential for countries' social protection systems. The report proposes a series of specific actions that could usefully be considered at national and/or EU level.