Časopisi po područjima
Social Policy in Post-Socialist Countries
; Studijski centar socijalnog rada, Pravni fakultet Sveučilišta u Zagrebu
Puni tekst: pdf (2 MB),
Str. 83 - 90
The fall of socialist regimes in Eastern Europe took place in the course of the year 1989 and later, and the metaphor of these events was dismantling of the Berlin Wall. Since then, the Eastern European countries have been undergoing the period of transition from socialist to capitalist societies. Numerous social problems have arisen during the transition so far and they have been subject to analysis both in the East and in the West. In the paper, the author first points out the social policy features of the former socialist period. The social policy then was part of the ideological system and was characterized by a pronounced egalitarianism. All the people had the right to work but concealed unemployment was very much spread. Wages used to be relatively low, so that people turned to the so called “grey economy”. Also, there existed the privileges of the ruling elite. The health protection services were free but of a low quality. In principle, everybody was entitled to a flat but it was very difficulty to get one. The social security system was under the state control and there was no clear connection between the contributions and taxes on the one hand, and social levies on the other. The family and children were protected by the state. Many women were employed but the housework burden was still on them. In general, the state had the role of a mighty distributor of the social status, work and material assets. Major problems in the transition period have resulted from the fact that the old security structure has to be abandoned and at the same time the new one has not been established: the market, a civil society and democratic institutions. The result is a general aggravation of the living conditions. There is a serious unemployment, a decrease of the living standards, social insecurity, and at the same time the market elements are being introduced in health and housing and they endanger the poor citizens’ strata. The social policy of the transition period reflects itself in two types of measures. The goal of the firs group of measures is to diminish social problems, whereas the second group ought to establish new social security schemes that would correspond to the new market conditions. The experience so far has shown that various social policy models have been developing in Eastern Europe and that they are the result of the development level, tradition and current situation in each post- socialist country.
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