What’s cooking in Europe with regard to social justice? What is the individual countries’ position? What about social exclusion of the young, the elderly and minorities? Has there been an improvement during the past years or did things become worse? These are some of the questions that a recent report from the Bertelsmann Foundation addresses. The report refers to the Social Justice Index, an index published regularly by the foundation in order reveal the state of social justice in Europe with regard to poverty prevention, equitable education, labour market access, social cohesion and non-discrimination, health, and intergenerational justice.
Even if at first glance this may have nothing to do with OB, I continually use such reports to provide my students with some context information on both the societal conditions and, related to this, the employment conditions in Europe. Some of the key findings that the current Social Justice Index-report highlights are:
- Social justice in the EU – participation opportunities have improved in the majority of EU member states, but are still a long way behind pre-crisis levels
- Extent of poverty and social exclusion continues to be worrying – social divide between northern and southern Europe is still vast
- Children and young people are the main losers of recent years – the gap between old and young is still huge
- Rising debt, aging populations, stagnating future investments – Europe needs to pay much more attention to the opportunities of children and young people
- Social policy with investment promotes sustainable growth
You can learn more about the index and download the 2016-report at http://www.social-inclusion-monitor.eu/social-justice-index/