New Policy Paper by Scientific Programme Coordinator Ellen Immergut – What have our Welfare State researchers found out after more than three years of research?

In a new policy paper, Ellen Immergut sums up some key findings that have special relevance for the European Pillar of Social Rights. As a whole, the project results demonstrate that European Welfare States are resilient, and that social solidarity is alive and well in Europe.  The vast majority of Europeans are welcoming to newcomers and are willing to lend a helping hand, but are also worried about the future. Public support for solidarity within and between European countries has become frayed after years of austerity, and the series of crises that have hit Europe.  Our research has documented the seriousness of these social and political problems. But it has also been able to pinpoint some key empirical evidence that is very relevant for addressing these issues.  We provide hard evidence that immigrants to Europe do not come for the benefits, do not access benefits at higher rates than natives, and indeed pay in more in taxes than they take out in benefits.  Nevertheless, the burden on European welfare states in coping with free-movement of citizens should not be simply ignored. Lack of clear jurisprudence about portability of social benefits has left much uncertainty on the ground, and owing to differences in welfare state design, some national programs are being overwhelmed by foreign claimants.  Our studies of work activation, health inequalities, and long-term care have important consequences for the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights.

For more information see  Ellen Immergut will present this European Elections Policy Paper in Brussels on 19 March 2019