European Social Policy Network (ESPN), europa.eu (31.01.2023) “Transparency” of social protection systems is essential for people's awareness of their rights and obligations concerning social protection and enables them to take informed decisions. It requires, in particular, that countries provide full information on social protection schemes, and also that they simplify, wherever needed and to the extent possible, access rules and administrative requirements linked to these schemes. This report explores the measures put in place by 35 European countries to improve the transparency of their social protection systems, focusing on the period January 2017 - April 2022. It shows the significant progress being made in the provision of digitalised, high-quality and easily accessible general and personalised information, partly accelerated by the Covid-19 crisis. In addition, the report explains that countries have simplified the rules, digitalised application procedures and streamlined administrative structures, with a view to ensuring a better flow of information. Nevertheless, several points are highlighted for further improvement, including: a) making access to information easier for the more vulnerable, for people with disabilities, and in certain cases for non-standard workers and the self-employed; b) simplifying complex rules governing application procedures, and promoting automatic granting of benefits; and c) evaluating regularly the transparency of policies and practices, including the consequences of digitalisation on access to information and the importance of bridging the “digital divide”.
Regions / Country
Digital Economy Topical Cluster