Academic journal article Contemporary Readings in Law and Social Justice

The Contribution of the European Union Financial Assistance to the Development of the Social Care System in Romania

Academic journal article Contemporary Readings in Law and Social Justice

The Contribution of the European Union Financial Assistance to the Development of the Social Care System in Romania

Article excerpt

1. The Evolution of the Social Services and the Role of the EU Funds in Their Development and Diversification

Social services in Romania have developed modifications over time at the level of their classification as well as at the legislative level. Between 2000 and 2001 the basis of the decentralization of the social care public system have been established and the first quality standards emerged to regulate the way in which the specific services will function. In 2003 the GO no.68/2003 regarding the social services comes into force and regulates the way the social services providers are accredited.

The social services can be delivered by public entities (General Directorates for Social Care and Child Protection under the supervision of the County Councils, Social Care Public Services of the Local Councils) as well as by private entities.

The accreditation of the social services public and private providers appeared as a necessity to ensure a minimum level of mandatory quality standards in the field of social care. According to the Electronic Single Registry of social services - Ministry of Work, Family and Social Protection, in 2011 there were 2703 accredited public and private providers of social services. From this number, 1385 (51% from the accredited providers) were private providers belonging to the social economy (inclusive CARP, foundations, religious establishments).

The following table presents the main categories of social services provided by the public and private sector (as they are defined by the GO no.68/2003 regarding the social services, with its following additions and modifications) as well as the most requested categories of services by the beneficiaries:

The following are over the most common institutionalized forms of providing the social services at the nation level:

2. The Objective of the Research in Identifying the Role of the EU Funds in the Evolution/Development of the Social Services in Romania

The impact of the policies and regulations of the EU regarding the provision of the social services has been rising over the last years. The European Commission gives a greater importance to the social services.

Due to the disparities between the member states regarding the organization and functioning of the social care system, the level of financing, the level of the social payments, the legislative framework, the role of the public authorities and local partners in developing the social services, in applying the European directives, each member state of the EU starts from their own system of social care existing in place.

The methodology of the research intends to identify the objectives/activities/ proposed results after the intervention of the structural funds, to define the indicators, to compare and analyze the operational programs which financed the social initiatives, to set the percentage of accomplishment of the indicators at the moment of the monitoring, to present the conclusions and the recommendations, to identify the future management actions.

According to the study of the Foundation for the Development of Civil Society in partnership with the National Preparatory Centre in Statistics, between November 2012 and May 2013, in the framework of the project called "Prometheus - Promoting social economy in Romania through research, education and professional training at European standards", financed by the European Social Fund through the Operational Program for Human Resources Development 2007- 2013, the European Union funds have the greatest percentage in the total budget of the organizations as shown in Table 1 and 2.

As an example, the operations financed by EU, until the end of 2013, included 515,775 employees (from which 42,007 freelancers), 243,365 unemployed (from which 87,359 in long-term unemployment) and 450,502 inactive persons (from which 209,465 inactive persons in some forms of education or training).

The research of the Lisbon Treaty and its implication on Romania identifies the following problems and recommendations: Gender equality is insufficient tackled; Reducing the geographic discrepancies regarding the income levels and the access to health services; Improving the living conditions for the Roma minority especially by ensuring the access to education and training programs; Developing new ways of analytical, not narrative evaluations; Encouraging the correlation between the social exclusion and the 2011 European Year of Volunteering; Holistic tackle of the social inclusion: access to labor market, society participation, access to social care services needs to be improved. …

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