What is social investment?
Explaining the Social Investment Package
The European Commission defined the concept of social investment already in 2013 with the release of the Social Investment Package. According to the package, welfare systems should secure social investments, social protection and economic balance. Social investments, such as well-designed social policies, when undertaken by states both guarantee economic growth and prevent social exclusion.
Social investments – for example, investing resources into early childhood and education and training – are a prerequisite to future well-being and, most of all, help people to prepare for future risks by improving their social and workforce skills and capabilities.
A tool for addressing future challenges to welfare
At national and regional levels, social investment is still a relatively unfamiliar concept and practical examples are lacking, but more information will be available soon. In May 2015, 18 European partner organisations launched a common EU project in Manchester to study social innovations and social investments at a practical level.
The project demonstrates through 20 investment examples the use of the concepts of social innovation and social investment as tools to solve so-called wicked problems. These investments deliver sustainable well-being and examples include the Finnish youth guarantee, Italian communal housing and British communal budgeting.