Welfare states across Europe are under strain. The lack of adequate funding and public direction have been observed for years, but the resulting lack of coverage, capacity and coordination is becoming painfully apparent during the pandemic. Beyond that, public services will need to face new demands and constraints, linked to ageing populations, rising inequalities, and the need for sustainability.
How can public services rise to the challenge? What should they look like in 10 to 15 years, to provide all European citizens with the care, skills and standards of living they need to thrive, without exceeding our planetary boundaries?
This volume of essays sets out how we might best harness new technologies, innovative thinking and the perspectives of citizens to offer high-quality services for all. The essays look at innovation not only in the narrow technical sense, but especially consider the need for increased democratic accountability, citizen voice and participation. Both are required to transform public services from industrial era institutions into a welfare state that is fit for the digital age.