Bandeau
Synthesis 2013 > There is a need to reform the system to ensure its survival

But on one subject, they are unanimous: the need to reform the system to ensure its survival

Although there are different views as to the efficiency of their respective systems, the respondents all agree as to the necessity of reform: 95% consider their national system must be reformed in order to ensure its future. Of these, 57% consider that in-depth reform is required while 38% consider it could be marginally reformed. Only 5% consider their national system of social protection can remain as it is.

Logically enough, it is in the countries where the system is considered to be inefficient that people are most inclined to think in-depth reform is needed: this is the situation in Poland (82%), Italy (69%), Spain (52%) and the United Kingdom (50%).

However, it is also the case in one country, France, where the system is considered efficient but public opinion is particularly aware of the need to reduce public spending. France is the only country where the respondents choose from among the three models proposed ‘a model that seeks to reabsorb spending and deficit to achieve a balanced budget’ (43% versus 33% on average). The French are apparently very aware that their present social protection system is threatened. The French départements are currently in a very difficult financial situation and they are responsible for a large part of social spending in France (RSA solidarity allowance, assistance for the aged, disability allowances, etc.).

A relative majority of German respondents are also in favour of in-depth reform (49% versus 45% in favour of marginal reform). Even in Sweden, the idea of reform is by no means rejected, even though the majority favour marginal reform (53% versus 39% for ‘in-depth’).

But on one subject, they are unanimous: the need to reform the system to ensure its survival

Regards d'experts

guillemet début The legitimacy of the French social model is being called into question. It is seen as costly and inefficient, which is consistent with the actual situation when you look at the rates of social cover that are achieved with a very high level of costs. This crisis is all about efficiency.

See more >

guillemet début The British model took the impacts on board as early as the 1980s, with Thatcherism.

See more >

guillemet début I refute this idea that people in France are planning ahead for risks by putting aside a lot of savings. French people are not saving enough. One category of people may well be saving, but on the whole the country is seeing a negative savings phenomenon and living on credit, because a whole section of the population is living off the welfare state, which is not being funded. It is not being funded by the savings of other people. In other words, the French people who are saving are not saving enough to pay for those who are unable to save

See more >

guillemet début Today, if you can successfully show that you have reformed the system and that the State is working, this gives you considerable legitimacy. This is what Merkel has successfully achieved.

See more >

guillemet début If I were a spin doctor, I'd tell our leaders they should be the first ones to take risks! When European leaders do so, and this is reflected in this Observatory, you can see that the population is reassured; it reduces anxiety levels.

See more >

guillemet début Risk-taking is connected with doubt. And doubt is part of our way of thinking on a metaphysical plane– this is the country of Descartes. I even believe this could be said of Europe, which is known the world over for this specific feature. You think, therefore you doubt. You understand the issues, but you remain cautious. This can sometimes lead to paradoxes. For instance, people are very unhappy with the European Union but they don't want to leave the euro.

See more >

guillemet début Against a background of converging European economies, the study also confirms that the globalisation of the economy has been more or less assimilated. European citizens are now well aware that our welfare states will be less generous in the future, but they have not completely accepted it yet, and this fuels a high degree of pessimism.

See more >



Recommended Summaries

Social protection systems that have come in for some criticism

Unsurprisingly, given the increasingly drastic consequences of the economic crisis in Europe and a heightened sense of vulnerability to its consequences, [...]

2013 0

Is the end of the ubiquitous Welfare State an opportunity for a new model to emerge?

In all the countries surveyed, a majority of respondents want to see the public sector/State take increased responsibility for social protection. Polish [...]

2013 0

An exacerbated sense of vulnerability

As a consequence of the lasting crisis and increased anxieties, Europeans feel increasingly vulnerable. With regard to the 17 risks that could affect [...]

2013 0

Countries showing encouraging signs: Germany and Italy

Anxiety is receding in Germany With a budgetary surplus and renewed growth, anxiety levels in Germany have begun to recede. Germans nonetheless remain [...]

2013 0

Countries facing a downward spiral: Spain, Poland and France

The situation in Spain, already very worrying in the light of the 2012 survey results, has deteriorated further. The level of anxiety in Spain is now [...]

2013 0

Risk aversion is even more pronounced than in 2012

In the present conditions, risk is increasingly perceived as a danger by the Europeans already surveyed in 2012: in the case of the French, Germans, Spanish, [...]

2013 0

Back to top

Français