Sweden, Norway and Iceland offer the most family-friendly policies of all 41 Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and European Union countries, according to a report from Unicef’s Innocenti Research Centre. The report ranked the countries on the duration of their paid maternity, paternity and parental leave. It also measured the share of children under three, as well as those between three and the compulsory school age in childcare centres.

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BLOG: Greater dependency ratios may imply pensions reform - but not that it be unfair. Europe is turning grey. By 2060 over a quarter of the EU’s population will be over 65. Ageing is accelerating as the baby-boom generation retires and average life-spans continue to increase.

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Very few patients ask for reimbursements for treatment accessed abroad and the only exchanges of patients’ health data are between two northern member states, the European Court of Auditors (ECA) found in a report

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The government has announced measures to help Swiss-based workers have better access to the job market. Plans to help older people out of a job are also outlined.

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Despite criticism, the UK has only partially reversed a cash aid freeze in northeastern Syria and is still suspending monthly allowances to tens of thousands of displaced people that were halted last month to avoid the risk of diversion to members of so-called Islamic State.

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OPINION: Denmark has some of the most generous parental leave and childcare support schemes in the world. But have these had an impact on closing its gender pay gap? Jason Downes looks at what the UK can learn from its policies. 

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This paper revisits the arguments put forward by policy-makers about the ongoing crisis of public pension systems. Demographic ageing, high contribution rates, present or future fiscal deficits of the social security budgets, and low productivity levels – all these factors have been identified as the roots of pension crises in various countries. We analyze these conceptualizations of the pension crises in the context of Central and Eastern European political economies.

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Apartments in Europe are becoming more and more expensive. A European Citizens’ Initiative is now calling on EU authorities to exclude public investment in social and affordable housing from EU debt calculations. The housing market in European urban areas is tense and rents have been on a sharp rise in recent years. According to Eurostat, one in ten persons in Europe is overburdened by housing costs.  Those who spend over 40% of their income on rent fall into this category.

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EU countries on Friday rejected a giant package of changes to rules on the coordination of social security systems, as wealthy nations balked at a proposal that would increase their responsibility for paying unemployment benefits to workers who commute from abroad.

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 In 2017, total government expenditure in the European Union (EU) amounted to 45.8% of gross domestic product (GDP). This share has steadily decreased since 2012, when it stood at 48.9% of GDP. Social protection represented the most important area of general government expenditure in 2017 in all EU Member States. The ratio of government social protection expenditure to GDP varied across EU Member States from less than 10% in Ireland (9.5%) to nearly a quarter in Finland (24.9%).

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