The European Economic and Social Committee published its action plan for Europe. The plan was built on three 'pillars' to address perceived shortcomings of the European Union (an economic union, a social union, and a democratic and civic union). Proposals included greater economic and fiscal union, a new European social agenda, greater focus on social cohesion, stronger participatory democracy, and a focus on the fundamental rights of citizenship.
Source: An Action Plan for Europe, European Economic and Social Committee (European Union)
An article examined the extent to which tax-benefit systems in Europe provided an automatic stabilization of income for those who had become unemployed at the onset of the global economic recession. It said there was evidence of differing degrees of relative and absolute resilience in the household incomes of those who were newly unemployed. These arose from variations in the protection offered by the national tax-benefit systems and from the personal and household circumstances of those most at risk of unemployment.
Source: Marina Fernandez Salgado, Francesco Figari, Holly Sutherland, and Alberto Tumino, 'Welfare compensation for unemployment in the great recession', Review of Income and Wealth, Volume 60 Supplement 1
An article examined the relationship between social capital and happiness in Europe. Social capital was found to matter for happiness across the three dimensions considered. The main drivers of the effects of social capital on happiness appeared to be informal social interaction and general social, as well as institutional, trust. There were significant differences in how social capital interacted with happiness across different areas of Europe, with the connection being weakest in the Nordic countries.
Source: Andres Rodriguez-Pose and Viola von Berlepsch, 'Social capital and individual happiness in Europe', Journal of Happiness Studies, Volume 15 Number 2
The statistical office of the European Union published, online only, a range of quality of life indicators that was intended to complement the use of gross domestic product (the more traditional measure of economic and social development).
Source: Eurostat (European Union)
A new e-book examined case studies from the 'Welfare innovations at the local level in favour of cohesion' (WILCO) project. WILCO was a cross-national comparative study that examined how local welfare systems affected social inequalities or favoured social cohesion, as well as considering policy transfer to, and implementation in, other settings. The project examined social innovations in 20 cities in ten European countries (including Dover and Birmingham in the United Kingdom).
Source: Adalbert Evers, Benjamin Ewert, and Taco Brandsen (eds), Social Innovations for Social Cohesion: Transnational patterns and approaches from 20 European cities, EMES European Research Network