SIM Europe is a social policy monitoring instrument for the EU-28. Combining statistical data and expert evaluations, the Social Inclusion Monitor reveals social erosion and progress and infers policy recommendations.
Combining data on social policy performance (index values) with online survey-based information on scope and direction of government initiatives (reform values) serves three purposes: a) to provide timely data (annually) in order to rebalance the predominance of the macro-economic part of EU’s economic governance; b) to issue comparable cross-country data on social policy reforms; c) to show and disentangle governments’ trade-offs regarding austerity policies.
SIM Europe measures social justice (What is the current situation?), rates reforms (What are national governments doing? And what is the general thrust of their reforms?), and derives recommendations (How can the situation be improved?).
We focus on six dimensions of social inclusion: 1) poverty prevention, 2) equitable education, 3) labor market access, 4) social cohesion and non-discrimination, 5) health, and 6) inter-generational justice.
The results will be used to assess and formulate concrete recommendations for policy reforms in individual member states and the EU as a whole. SIM Europe’s aim is to provide an evidence-based approach to social policy change in the EU member states.
Two reports, the Social Justice Index and the Reformbarometer, will be published twice a year and form the Social Inclusion Monitor Europe (SIM Europe). Furthermore, there will be several publications of Social Policy Briefs throughout the year.
The six dimensions in detail
- Poverty Prevention: Under conditions of poverty, social participation and self- determined life are possible only with great difficulty. Poverty is the strongest determinant of social and economic exclusion of young people.
- Equitable Education: Equal access to good-quality education is an essential factor in providing equitable capabilities and opportunities for advancement (vertical mobility). It is critical to ending hereditary social exclusion, supports integration and includes lifelong learning.
- Labor-market access: Employment both provides an income and facilitates social participation. The degree of inclusiveness is essential since an individual’s status is defined in large part by his or her participation in the workforce. Exclusion from the labor market substantially limits individual opportunities for self-realization, contributes to an increase in the risk of poverty, and can even lead to serious health stresses.
- Health: The conditions in which people live and die are shaped by political, social and economic forces. Social and economic policies have a determining impact on whether a child can grow and develop to its full potential and live a flourishing life, or whether its life will be blighted. This is why access to healthcare ensures young people can be active in society.
- Social cohesion and non-discrimination: This dimension enables the examination of the extent to which trends towards social polarization, exclusion and the discrimination of specific groups are successfully countered. Developing a community of shared values, shared challenges and equal opportunity is the aim.
- Intergenerational justice: The issue at stake here is the need for contemporary generations to lead lives they value without compromising the ability of future generations at the same. Sharing social burdens among young and old, with provision for future generations is the aspiration.