Hot topic : studying social services at EU level

30 Apr

Social services have been screened by a multidisciplinary team of researchers on the request and on behalf of the European Commission.


The title of the study took into account the notion of “Social services of general interest”, which is a euro-terminology to designate social security schemes and social services directly provided to the persons.

The aim of this study on social services of general interest is to describe the status quo of four types of social services (long-term care, childcare, social housing and employment services) as regards three main aspects: the applicable regulatory framework for service provision and financing, the types of service providers, and the main quality tools and frameworks. It also looks how these four types of social services have been affected by the current global economic downturn.”

Well that sounds good stuff for our web documentary 🙂
The information used for the analysis of the present study on social services stems primarily from data collected through 88 national sector-specific experts, covering the four selected social services in 22 EU/EEA countries1. More specifically, the study provides a comprehensive overview and description of the following aspects:
– the regulatory framework governing service provision, financing of these services and  their evolution. This includes how services are regulated, organised, provided and financed, the modalities of service provision, the types of relationships between external service providers and public authorities, the main sources of financing services, and the extent of cross-border service provision;

– the various types of service providers, and in particular the relative importance of  private and public service provision, the types of private for-profit and non-profit service providers;
– the scope and effectiveness of existing frameworks and tools defining, measuring and  assessing the quality of these social services of general interest put in place by public authorities in 15 EU/EEA countries.“.

It was presented to an informal group of the European Social Protection Committee.  There were numerous challenges for the researchers : the notions, the figures, …

The Study is also interesting because it sheds a new light on the landscape or environment in which they evolve : institutions, markets, quasi-markets, … and thus enables to measure where SOLIDARITY (the core message of the webdoc) is at stake. In a next post, we will give some trends of the Study.

Social services are really designed a way that structures and goals vary a lot among Member States but still…  “solidar” mechanisms have been put in place everywhere in order to help human beings to reach more dignity and freedom.

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