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FSD3077 Cross-national Survey on the Future of the Welfare State 2015

Authors

  • Vision Europe Summit 2015, c/o Bertelsmann Stiftung

Keywords

European Union, social and welfare policy, social welfare, taxation, welfare economics

Abstract

The cross-national survey studied public confidence in the future of the welfare state, individual readiness to contribute, the aims of the welfare state, and the role the EU should play with regard to national welfare systems. The survey was fielded in eight European states: Finland, Belgium, France, Italy, Poland, Portugal and the UK. It was commissioned by the Vision Europe Summit, a consortium of European foundations and think tanks, including Bertelsmann Stiftung (G├╝tersloh), Bruegel (Brussels), Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (Lisbon), Chatham House (London), Compagnia di San Paolo (Turin), Jacques Delors Institute (Paris) and the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra (Helsinki).

First, the respondents were asked whether they thought that in the year 2050, the welfare system in their country would cover the needs of citizens in health care, pensions, support for the unemployed, child care, care for the elderly, and education and training. They were asked whether in the case that taxes and social security contributions were not sufficient to maintain the current level of public welfare, they would prefer to increase taxes and contributions to maintain the level, or to keep the taxes and contributions at the current level and reduce the level of public welfare. Opinions were charted on the importance of different fields of the welfare system, for example, guaranteeing health care for all citizens or guaranteeing income and appropriate living standards. One theme pertained to how welfare services and benefits were governed. Finally, views were probed on what kind of role the EU should play, for instance, should the EU set minimum standards for social protections in all EU member states.

Background variables included the respondent's gender, age, self-placement on the left-right scale, and net monthly income of the household.

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