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The European Welfare States during and after the COVID crisis
The measures taken during the crisis reveals the importance of having a sound health care system, a functioning unemployment insurance and social solidarity more generally. The crisis is also deepening social difficulties and inequalities, requiring even more social intervention. But the sudden economic recession and the ensuing debt might announce a bleak future for social expenditure. What are the prospects for European welfare states?

Waltraud Schelke will analyse the macro-stabilisation role of the welfare state that the management of the Corona pandemic has brought home. Even the financial sector industry and central banks have come under pressure to help, both to scale up the welfare state to the macro level and to reach the self-employed who are not well-served by most welfare states.

Anke Hassel will remind that the lockdown replicates the polarization of labour markets. Vulnerable groups such as the young and women in the service economy are hit hardest, while older and male workers in core industries are well protected. European welfare states will have to overcome dualist tendencies and to provide universal protection and social investment.

Anton Hemerijck will recall that countries with inclusive ‘buffers’, gender-balance human capital ‘flows’, and lifelong human capital ‘stock’ commitments, including health care, rebound earlier than welfare state that have had pursue austerity and internal devaluation. Citizens expect their politicians to enact a politics of the long-term in managing interdependence in civilized fashion with an inter-temporal perspective.

Bruno Palier will come back on the tensions between North and Southern EU countries. Focusing on the common challenges that all EU countries have to face, he will underline under which conditions the rising gap between North and Southern Europe can be overcome.

May 13, 2020 05:00 PM in Paris

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