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An Overview of Social Exclusion in South East Europe. Dr. Paul Stubbs, the Institute of Economics, Zagreb South East Europe Forum: Faces of Social Exclusion, Zagreb 26-27 November 2008. Aims.

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an overview of social exclusion in south east europe

An Overview of Social Exclusion in South East Europe

Dr. Paul Stubbs, the Institute of Economics, Zagreb

South East Europe Forum: Faces of Social Exclusion, Zagreb

26-27 November 2008

  • To provide a regional overview of key patterns and trends in social exclusion and identify groups facing exclusion
  • To explore some of the broad causal relationships resulting in social exclusion
  • To outline the main challenges in tackling poverty and social exclusion
  • To offer a general assessment of potential target issues for support

Studies for European Commission

  • JIM Process for Candidate Countries and Independent SPSI reports: Croatia; former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
  • 2008 SPSI reports on Pre-Candidate Countries: Albania; Bosnia-Herzegovina; Montenegro; Serbia; Kosovo under UNSC 1244; Synthesis Report on W. Balkans

Studies for UNICEF, UNDP, DFID, SCF and others

spsi studies
SPSI Studies

Chapter 1: Economic, Financial and Demographic Background

Chapter 2: The Social Protection System

Chapter 3: Poverty and Social Exclusion

Chapter 4: Pensions System

Chapter 5: Health and Long-Term Care Systems

Chapter 6: Conclusions and Key Challenges

report logic
Report Logic





Social Protection system

  • RISK

Pensions system

Health and long-term care systems


EU 2006 SPSI



patterns and trends i
Patterns and trends I
  • Sustained economic growth

(2000-2006 1.7% - 5.3% per annum) has:

  • reduced absolute/survey poverty rates somewhat (n.b. still high except Croatia and Serbia) but has:
  • had little impact on economic activity rates (U & l/tU high and rising in Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia)
patterns and trends ii
Patterns and trends II
  • Insurance-based welfare has been undermined by a multi-dimensional contributions crisis (demographic ageing; high dependency ratios; grey economy; low activity rates; out migration; minimum declared wages; regressive nature of remittances)
patterns and trends iii
Patterns and trends III
  • Increasing inequalities in danger of becoming entrenched:

sector of informal, unstable & precarious work

groups w/limited access to services institutionalised and stigmatised pop.s

groups at risk
Groups at risk
  • Multi-dimensionality and inter-sectionality of exclusion (n.b. research and data gaps)
  • ‘At risk’: (Long-term) Unemployed; Older people; Large families; Women; Children and youth; Low education levels; RDPs; Minorities (esp. Roma but also national minorities and ‘small minorities’); People with Disabilities; People with long-term health issues
  • Spatial dimension: Arc of exclusion; Rural – Urban; Zones of exclusion
  • ‘New’ survival strategies eroding long-term capabilities?
  • Multiple shocks: War/conflicts; Structural transition; Deindustrialisation; Erosion of social capital/solidarities; ‘Captured’ social policies
  • Distortions caused by ‘locked in’ expenditures (tertiary health care; residential care) and new (informal) marketization
  • Legacy of category-based (not needs-based) social protection
  • Stigma, discrimination and over-professionalised approaches
  • Political will – Fiscal space – Technical capacities
key challenges
Key Challenges
  • Too many strategic documents – too little implementation:

1 SI strategy/1 lead agency/1 M&E framework/1 Planning process

  • Problems of horizontal and vertical co-ordination combine with deficits of access and voice/ participation
  • Balance of universal – categorical – insurance – means-tested benefits and services hard to achieve
  • Appropriate scales not clear (not just centralised vs decentralised)
  • Sustainable support for diverse providers (with quality standards) not fully in place
  • Measures still more ‘passive’ than ‘active’
  • Co-ordination amongst development partners not yet optimal (and lessons from valuable ‘pilots’ not mainstreamed)
targeted support priorities i
Targeted support priorities I
  • Inclusive labour markets (disability; age; gender) and improved returns to education (life-long learning; skills; transitioning e.g school to work)
  • Holistic and integrated child and family policies (early childhood interventions; universal child benefits; family support services)
  • Deinstitutionalisation and minimum basket of community-based services
  • Social pensions within ‘active ageing’ policies
  • Anti-discrimination laws and practices
  • Area-based approaches/Action zones
targeted support priorities ii
Targeted support priorities II
  • Support for evidence-based policy making – Strategic Goals; Benchmarks; Indicators; M&E; Impact Assessment (including all stakeholders)
  • Enhanced ‘social’ dimension of IPA programming
  • Regional cooperation (modelling OMC-JIM; Peer review/peer learning; common concerns; RCC as bridge to EU/global frameworks?)
thank you for your attention
Thank-you for your attention

SPSI Studies: