The Bertelsmann private foundation of Germany annually analyses the situation in 28 EU countries according to 38 criteria. It takes into account six aspects of social justice: poverty, education, labour market, health care, equality between generations, social cohesion, and level of discrimination. Slovenia occupies the fifth place standing behind Denmark, Sweden, Finland and the Czech Republic.
The top ten EU countries according to the Social Justice Index also include the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Luxembourg and France. Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, Italy, Spain and Croatia are at the bottom of the list.
Labour market data, as compared to 2016, improved in 26 out of 28 EU countries. On average, the unemployment rate in the EU declined to 8.7% in the reporting period.
The Foundation notes that in Slovenia, there is a need for labour market reform to protect the rights of elderly people, as well as for the reform in the system of health care. When it comes to the issue of fair access to the labour market, the country ranks ninth, having improved its ranking positions by two places.
According to the estimates of the Bertelsmann Foundation, Slovenia is also doing well in preventing poverty. With 18.4% of the population currently threatened by poverty or social isolation, it is included in the group of the best EU countries and has a slight improvement in the stagnation index in previous years. In the area of preventing child poverty, Slovenia, with 14.9%, is among the top three EU countries after Finland and Denmark. However, the problem of poverty and social exclusion is much more palpable in the elderly. This is also reflected in the labour market data on elderly people. Currently, only 38.5% of Slovenia’s population aged 55 to 64 years are employed. Lower rates are only in Croatia and Greece.
The education system in Slovenia is accessible to general public and takes the fourth place in the EU.