Policy brief 5 – The need for a strategy for social cohesion and equality

Policy Brief 5 already available: The need for a strategy for social cohesion and equality (in Portuguese), by Daniel Carolo. This Policy Brief is the third edition of our series of original publications around the European Semester, and more specifically the Stability Program and the National Reform Program.

The European Semester is a process of political dialogue between the European Commission and the member states which consists in an exchange of drafts, programmes and recommendations regarding the implementation of public policies and institutional reforms. For this, two particular documents are relevant in this dialogue: the Stability Program and National Reform Program.

The Stability Program is the main document on fiscal policy and the sustainability of public finances in the medium term. The budgetary targets set each year in this document, in conjunction with macroeconomic forecasts that underlie them, are used by the European Commission staff when assessing the compliance of EU member states with the main medium-term fiscal rules.

On the other hand, the National Reform Program is broader in its scope and should reflect a strategic vision for public policy and institutional reform.

Daniel Carolo analyzes the diagnosis, proposals and objectives related to the pillar “Strengthening social cohesion and equality” of the National Reform Program and warns of the need for a “structural reform strategy” in this area which takes into account the social and structural factors that determine poverty situations. The author also leaves some contributions to a more precise formulation of the goals for social policies.