The study is based on a pan-european expert survey, involving more than 1,000 researchers. The research consortium has examined social policy reforms implemented between mid 2014 and early 2016 in five dimensions: poverty, education, the labor market, social cohesion, non-discrimination and health. According to the experts surveyed, there is a great need for reform in all five dimensions. However, the EU Member States on average have adressed only 50% of the EU-wide reform needs. The largest reform gap is stated for the education sector. Only a third of the reform needs were addressed here.
The lowest educational reform activities were indicated for Greece, Lithuania and Spain. The United Kingdom, on the other hand, was above-average, but in some cases with negative social consequences. As an example, the experts mention the partly drastic increase of study fees. From the researchers' point of view, Malta is on the best way to deal with educational reforms. They also consider a program to reduce the number of early school leavers, free childcare, or the introduction of evening and online courses for flexible study.
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