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EU — Social protection statistics – net expenditure on benefits

May 29, 2015 Comments off

Social protection statistics – net expenditure on benefits
Source: Eurostat
This article presents statistics on net social protection expenditure in the EU. These statistics are collected through the European system of integrated social protection statistics (ESSPROS).

In 2011, in EU Member States EUR 3 689 thousand million gross, or 29.0 % of their GDP, were spent on social protection benefits[1]. The income provided by some benefits paid in cash is, however, potentially subject to levies imposed through the fiscal system. The deduction of levies, such as income taxes or social contributions, from the gross amounts received by beneficiaries means that some of the original expenditure is returned to the government coffers and that net expenditure on social protection benefits may therefore be considerably lower than the gross amount disbursed. Indeed, in 2011 around 7.6 % of gross expenditure on social protection benefits in the EU was recouped through the fiscal system making the net cost 92.4 % of gross expenditure.

Managing migration better in all aspects: A European Agenda on Migration

May 28, 2015 Comments off

Managing migration better in all aspects: A European Agenda on Migration
Source: European Commission

Today, the European Commission presented a European Agenda on Migration outlining the immediate measures that will be taken in order to respond to the crisis situation in the Mediterranean as well as the steps to be taken in the coming years to better manage migration in all its aspects.

The plight of thousands of migrants putting their lives in peril to cross the Mediterranean has shocked and it has become clear that no Member State can or should be left alone to address huge migratory pressures. This Agenda sets out a European response, combining internal and external policies, making best use of EU agencies and tools, and involving all actors: Member States, EU institutions, International Organisations, civil society, local authorities and third countries.

State of Nature: Largest ever assessment draws a mixed picture for Europe’s habitats and species

May 26, 2015 Comments off

State of Nature: Largest ever assessment draws a mixed picture for Europe’s habitats and species
Source: European Commission

The Commission has adopted a new report providing the most comprehensive picture yet on the ‘State of Nature in the EU’. The findings show that the majority of birds have a secure status, and some species and habitats are doing better. Targeted conservation actions have brought successes, but a much greater effort is required for the situation to improve significantly.

Looking at birds, the report concludes that more than half of all wild bird species assessed (52 %) have a secure status. However, around 17 % of the species are still threatened and another 15 % are near threatened, declining or depleted. This includes once common farmland species like the Skylark, Alauda arvensis and the Black Tailed Godwit Limosa limosa.

Looking at other species protected under the Habitats Directive, almost a quarter (23 %) have a favourable assessment. However, over half (60 %) are still in an unfavourable status (with 42 % considered to be unfavourable-inadequate and 18 % unfavourable-bad). Grasslands, wetlands and dune habitats are of particular concern.

Working And Retiring Abroad: Overview On Pension Rights Within The EU

May 25, 2015 Comments off

Working And Retiring Abroad: Overview On Pension Rights Within The EU
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service
All European countries are free to decide who is to be insured in their social security schemes under their national legislation, which benefits are granted and under what conditions. However, the EU provides common rules to protect citizens’ social security rights when moving within Europe (EU 28 + Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland). Detailed information on these aspects is available on the European Commission webpage ‘EU Social Security Coordination’, which also includes information on ‘Your rights country by country’.

With regard to pensions for EU nationals living in a different Member State, relevant information is also available on the Your Europe dedicated webpage.

The Rights Of LGBTI People In The European Union

May 22, 2015 Comments off

The Rights Of LGBTI People In The European Union
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

The prohibition of discrimination and the protection of human rights are important elements of the EU legal order. Nevertheless, discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons persists throughout the EU, taking various forms including verbal abuse and physical violence.

Sexual orientation is now recognised in EU law as a ground of discrimination. However, the scope of these provisions is limited and does not cover social protection, healthcare, education and access to goods and services, leaving LGBTI people particularly vulnerable in these areas.

Family Support in Graying Societies

May 21, 2015 Comments off

Family Support in Graying Societies
Source: Pew Research Center

The United States is turning gray, with the number of people ages 65 and older expected to nearly double by 2050. This major demographic transition has implications for the economy, government programs such as Social Security and families across the U.S. Among adults with at least one parent 65 or older, nearly three-in-ten already say that in the preceding 12 months they have helped their parents financially. Twice that share report assisting a parent with personal care or day-to-day tasks. Based on demographic change alone, the burden on families seems likely to grow in the coming decades.

Germany and Italy, two of the “oldest” nations in the world, after only Japan, are already where the U.S. will be in 2050: a fifth of the population in each country is age 65 or older. Compared with the U.S. today, a higher share of adults in Germany and Italy report helping their aging parents with basic tasks, and more in Italy have also provided personal care. However, in both countries, fewer adults than in the U.S. say they have provided financial assistance to their aging parents.

EU — Cybersecurity: Jihadism and the internet

May 21, 2015 Comments off

Cybersecurity: Jihadism and the internet
Source: European Parliament Think Tank

Since the beginning of the conflict in Syria in March 2011, the numbers of European citizens supporting or joining the ranks of ISIL/Da’esh have been growing steadily, and may now be as high as 4 000 individuals. At the same time, the possible avenues for radicalisation are multiplying and the risks of domestic terrorism increasing. The proliferation of global jihadi messaging online and their reliance on social networks suggest that the internet is increasingly a tool for promoting jihadist ideology, collecting funds and mobilising their ranks.

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