The European Commission cuts down on gender budgeting
The EU institutions have recognized that gender equality is a crucial factor in achieving growth, employment, and social inclusion. Gender issues have been tackled in a number of directives and the European Commission Strategic Engagement plan for Gender Equality 2016-2019 highlights the importance of allocating resources for this matter. Unfortunately the commitment of the EU to gender equality is still not adequately dealt with in its budget (and not only).
 
Maternity, paternity and parental leave in the European Union
Parental leave systems differ from country to country, and they do not always fit into classifications suitable for international comparison. For this reason, the harmonization of parental leave policy in the EU is likely to be a long and complex process due to various traditions across the member states and because of the fact that social policy falls under competence of member states. What is the EU doing on this front?
 
European Parliament promotes work-life balance
On September 13th the Members of the European Parliament voted in favour of the resolution “Creating labour market conditions favourable for work-life balance”, a clear political commitment of the European Parliament to strengthen work-life balance opportunities for European women and men. According to the Lithuanian co-rapporteur Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, by passing a resolution, the Parliament sends a clear message to the Commission.
 
Social Clinics in Greece and the Welfare Provision
The growth of unemployment and the austerity policies imposed by the Greek governments to tackle the Greek debt had not left untouched the health sector, leaving around 1/3 of the country’s population uncovered. In order to contribute to the debate regarding the provision of “second welfare”, this article draws its attention to Greece and the case of social clinics, established all over the country to provide for free primary healthcare services and medicines to those without access to the healthcare system.
 
Female Poverty Trap: Gender Pension Gap in the European Union
For 25% of the European population, pensions are the primary source of income. Furthermore, the number of pensioners is expected to double in the next 40 years. In this situation is crucial, now more than ever, to find a way to keep the pensions both adequate and sustainable. Adequate for the need not only to avoid poverty but also to ensure acceptable life standards. And this is particularly challenging when it comes to women.
 
After the Brexit Referendum: Picking up the bits
What have we learned from the Brexit referendum campaign? Was this a national debate about UK membership of the European Union or a mix of quite different hopes and fears, using this referendum as a brief opportunity to express themselves? And what can Europe learn from the result? Professor Graham Room shares his opinion with us, away from austerity and towards new forms of solidarity.
 
The challenges of the European social model according to Elsa Fornero
Elsa Fornero is Professor of Economics at the University of Turin and an honorary fellow of the Collegio Carlo Alberto. She is a leading expert on pensions and welfare, and served as Minister of Labor, Social Policies and Gender Equality in the Monti Cabinet. In this capacity she devised, among other things, a key reform of the Italian pension system. EuVisions Observatory met with Ms. Fornero to have a brief chat about the multiple challenges of the European social model.
 
Save the Children's strategy to fight educational poverty
Access to knowledge and culture remains a problem for many children in Italy, in particular for those who are born in underprivileged familiar contexts. This is the bitter reality that emerges from “Illuminiamo il futuro 2030”, Save the Children’s research launched in 2014 and specifically dedicated to educational poverty. In this paper, Save the Children has identified a strategy to “illuminate the future” of children who live in Italy and to eliminate educational poverty before 2030.
 
A brighter future for Europe: Innovation, integration and the migrant crisis
On the eleventh and the twelfth of April, an event promoted by the European Commission - in collaboration with Impact Hub Siracusa - entitled “A brighter future for Europe: Innovation, integration and the migrant crisis” took place in Siracusa. The event (that lasts one day and a half) aimed at exploring integration policies and practices for migrants within Member States while connecting and creating new synergies between projects for future collaborations.
 
The Italian Jobs Act: new opportunities for parents?
Work and family reconciliation policies include political measures in favour of parenthood and care taking that, according to the Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, might contribute to tackling the issue of the low Italian female employment rate. In 2015, the Jobs Act experimentally introduced new provisions for working parents. Among them, extended parental leaves and more working time flexibility. Will they be enough to tackle the problem of low female employment?
 
The International Network for Comparative Analysis of Social Inequalities
The purpose of the projet INCASI is to conduct comparative research in the area of social inequalities, in this case in relation to Europe and Latin America. Through this network the hope is to foster a space for collective reflection and the development of synergies between network partners that allow to undertake innovative studies whose outputs have an impact on academic and policy debates. The project will also contribute to informing the design of public policies to tackle social inequalities.
 
Achieving a European "Social Triple A"
On January 27 the College of Commissioners hosted an orientation debate on President Juncker's initiative on establishing a European Pillar of Social Rights. The initiative is part of the Commission's goal to achieve a European "Triple A" in employment and social affairs. The DG Research and Innovation, Open and Inclusive Societies asked Professor Maurizio Ferrera to elucidate the issues at stake and to help set the parameters of a constructive debate.
 
The gradual development of an EU framework for social innovation
Social innovation is considered a key tool for achieving the objective of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth envisaged by the Europe 2020 Strategy. Against this backdrop, research carried out within the ImPRovE project has investigated how social innovation made its way onto the European Union agenda and which kinds of instruments and resources the EU has made available in order to promote and support it. The analysis concerns the period 2006-2014 and it mainly focuses on social innovation in the field of poverty and social exclusion.
 
Poor, scarcely poor and almost poor: what's going on in Italy?
The last ISTAT Report on poverty provides the most updated picture of the Italian situation. The Report recounts that the phenomenon of poverty is substantially stable. Statistics show that neither absolute nor relative poverty displayed any significant variation if compared to 2013. However, in order to understand the current principal tendencies and the differences that social and territorial issues can entail, a close analysis of the elaborated valuations is needed.