Intervenções Públicas The European welfare state - an engine for growth

Discursos | 26-06-2012

Maria da Graça Carvalho participated as a speaker in this seminar organized by Gunnar Hökmark MEP, Vice Chair of the EPP Group and Kevin & Gavin Anderson (see here Ms Carvalho´s intervention).  

The European welfare state has served as the foundation for citizens' relations and interactions with their governments since the mid-20th century. Though the characteristics of national models differ somewhat, the European way is on the whole largely regarded as a leading example of the combination of economic growth and high living standards, strong social protections and good working conditions.

This model is, however, in need of restructuring. Demographic challenges, labour market reforms and evolving social structures mean that change is necessary, while diminished national budgets mean that European governments need to do more with less. The focus now is on sustainability and value for money in the delivery of public services.

There are some prime European examples of innovative national approaches to a new welfare state model. These look to safeguard the ideals of the old approach while updating it to 21st century realities to ensure the provision of public services for more inclusive, long-term growth.

This seminar in the European Parliament aimed to build understanding of one proposed model in Sweden, while providing participants with the opportunity to share best practice and debate what is necessary for the evolution of the European welfare state.

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