Brussels - The newly established expert group on the future of social protection and the welfare state of the EU Commission is to present recommendations on how to make social protection and welfare systems fit for the future. Professor em. Jozef Pacolet, who is closely connected to EZA through the HIVA Research Institute for Work and Society of the Catholic University of Leuven, is part of the new expert group.
Until the end of 2022, the group will analyse mega trends such as demographic changes, changes in the labour market and globalisation with regard to social systems in order to develop a vision for the future of European social systems.
Nicloas Schmit, EU Commissioner for Employment and Social Rights, said: "The COVID 19 pandemic has shown the importance of effective social protection and social systems to cushion the economic and social impact of a crisis. Now we must work to make the welfare state fit for the future. Our goal for the future of Europe is very clear: we must provide social protection for all, lift people out of poverty, reduce inequalities and enable all Europeans to contribute fully to society."
In addition to Professor Pacolet, the expert group has eleven other members. It is chaired by Anna Diamantopoulou, former EU Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs and Minister in Greece.
Jozef Pacolet was Associate Professor at KU Leuven and Head of Social and Economic Policy and Social Inclusion at HIVA until 2017, and is now Professor Emeritus with formal duties. Since 1983, Professor Pacolet has been researching, among other things, the relationship between the economy and the welfare state in Belgium and at the European level. With his research he demonstrated the importance and robustness of the welfare state, even during several economic crises. To this end, he takes the lead in organising the conferences on "The State of the Welfare State", which are held every five years with the participation of a network of experts from all over Europe, which he founded, as part of the EZA educational programme "European Social Dialogue".