Magazine article European Social Policy

Social Situation : Satisfaction Levels Vary Widely across Union

Magazine article European Social Policy

Social Situation : Satisfaction Levels Vary Widely across Union

Article excerpt

Despite a difficult economic context, the majority of Europeans are on average broadly satisfied with their personal situation, but there are big differences between countries. People in the Nordic countries and the Netherlands are generally most satisfied, according to the results of an Eurobarometer survey on the social climate, published on 2 February by the European Commission(1). This survey was carried out in the context of the Commission's annual report on the social situation in Europe, published on the same day, which this year focuses on housing in particular.

According to the Eurobarometer survey, a majority of Europeans are satisfied with life in general, giving an average score of +3.2 points (on a scale of -10 to +10). But there are big differences between member states: the highest level of satisfaction was reported in Denmark, (+8), with Sweden, the Netherlands and Finland also having high levels. The lowest levels of satisfaction were reported in Bulgaria (-1.9), followed by Hungary, Greece and Romania.

On the other hand, Europeans are less satisfied with the economy, public services and social policies. They are, on average, quite dissatisfied with the way their public administrations are run (-1.2 points). In every country, apart from Luxembourg and Estonia, Europeans feel that this has worsened over the last five years and expect it to continue to get worse (in all countries except Luxembourg).

Europeans were most dissatisfied with the way inequalities and poverty are addressed in their country (-2 points). Only respondents in Luxembourg and the Netherlands awarded a positive score, while respondents in Latvia and Hungary were the most strongly dissatisfied (-5 points or worse).

Europeans are broadly satisfied with health care provision (+1.3 points), with people in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg most satisfied (over +5 points) and those in Bulgaria, Greece and Romania least satisfied (-3 points or less). …

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