Provision of social services in EU countries
Reform of the national framework for the provision of social services in Spain
This paper provides an overview of how social services are organised in European Union
countries. With a special focus on Spain and countries with federal or semi-federal
organisation, the paper starts by analysing social services from a legal perspective.
It provides a comparative perspective on several concrete aspects of social services:
sources of funding (national, regional, local, etc.), organization of service provision,
expenditure, human resources, governance and coordination between institutions. The
analysis finds that, despite differences across countries, there is no link between
the existence of a comprehensive national social services laws and the comprehensiveness
of the social service offer (the main differences concern family services and housing
services in countries which consider housing as a right). There exist large differences
in the contribution of central, regional, and local governments to social expenditure.
Spending more on services does not necessarily imply spending less in cash transfers.
Indeed, it appears that Nordic countries, that spend more on services as a share of
their GDP, also spend more on cash transfers. Finally, the paper stresses the important
role of the information technology and the horizontal and vertical coordination mechanisms
to improve service quality and accessibility.
Published on September 23, 2022Also available in: Spanish
In series:OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papersview more titles