Romania: a non-interventionist family support policy?


  • Iulian Stănescu


The challenges of population decline in Europe have stimulated interest and debate about family support policies. Based on an overview of family support policies in several European countries, this paper aims to provide an assessment about which model best describes the current policy setup in Romania. Our starting point is the typology of family policies in Europe developed by Gauthier (1996), which includes four models of family policies: pro-natalist, pro-traditional, pro-egalitarian and non-interventionist. We then set out to compare the key features of the policies in place in several relevant European countries for each of these models. The methodology relies on secondary analysis of studies and national level policy documents and sources on family support policies. The comparative framework includes (1) the nature, objectives, and goals of the policies, (2) the content, i.e. benefits and services, (3) a review of the recent research findings on the impact of these policies. Regarding the content of family policies, we will focus on the main types of support: cash support for families (allowances, tax credits, and means-tested cash benefits), leave benefits for working parents (maternity and parental leave schemes), and childcare services for families (provision and subsidies). Since policy outcomes vary according to different social context, we also pay attention to social, political and demographical trends. In addition to the abovementioned points, the analysis of the Romanian family support policies takes into account the changes made in 2010-2011. Like many other European Union Member States, Romania opted for austerity as the policy response to the recession triggered by the crash of 2009. In terms of policy decisions, this translated in a reform of the social benefits system and of the labour laws, resulting in cuts to cash support schemes for families and reduced leave benefits for working parents. The paper argues that the overall outcome puts Romania in the non-interventionist model of family support policies.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n19p19


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How to Cite

Stănescu, I. (2014). Romania: a non-interventionist family support policy?. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 5(19), 19. Retrieved from