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This study explores social challenges and policy responses in EU cities in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. It demonstrates that the pandemic has placed additional pressures on vulnerable groups and the institutions that work to support them. It finds that the local policy capacity to respond to the crisis has differed across cities and multi-level governance settings. Participatory and integrated policy efforts have often failed to meet the expectations of urban citizens and stakeholders. To ...

Solidarity and wealth tax

Briefing 13-04-2022

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic costs of the lockdown became apparent. Most countries needed to step up health and social spending, while also introducing stimulus packages as their tax revenues fell. This has led to increased budget deficits and sovereign debt. Additional revenue streams need to be found in the near future in order to pay back this debt.

The briefing presents data on the problem of child poverty in the European Union followed by an overview of policy initiatives by the Commission, the Council and the European Palriament. It concludes with points from the debate in research on how to shape an effective Child Guarantee. The note covers aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Around 24 million people in the EU, or 5.6 % of the population, are 'severely materially deprived'. Fighting poverty and social exclusion is therefore a key priority, and to this end the EU supplements its Member States' aid to those most in need through the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD), which has a budget of €3.8 billion. Partner organisations selected by the Member States manage this support, providing food (e.g. distribution of food packages and meals) and material assistance ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the FEMM Committee examines issues related to access of vulnerable social groups to maternal health care services and midwifery in the EU. As the study points out, this access is affected by the interplay of health systems, law, policies, socio-economic factors and attitudes of health professionals and users which leads to barriers to access and consequently to ...

Created in 2014, the €3.8 billion Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD) supplements EU Member States' own aid. Member States can choose between food and/or other basic material assistance or social inclusion activities. Partner organisations selected by the Member States manage FEAD support. The FEAD complements other EU instruments that seek to promote social cohesion, the European Social Fund in particular.

This document, provided by Policy Department A at the request of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee, gives an overview of the development of unemployment and poverty in Greece in a comparative perspective (Cyprus, Ireland, Portugal, Spain).

Digital technologies play an important role in the everyday life of most Europeans; the internet allows people, businesses and governments to transform the ways they communicate and engage with one another. Yet some parts of the population are still excluded from using these new methods. Improving the EU fast broadband internet infrastructure is as important as upgrading the digital skills of citizens: 10% increase in broadband penetration may raise gross domestic product (GDP) by 1-1.5%, and by ...

Policymaking to alleviate energy poverty needs to find a balance between short-term remedies and the resolution of long-term drivers of energy poverty. EU policy might need to work towards a) finding a definition of energy poverty; b) supporting national policies financially through EU coordination; and c) setting minimum standards for energy efficiency of buildings and devices. This document was provided by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE ...