The fundament of European welfare societies is to give the whole population high quality services in health, care, and education. This can be obtained in a number of ways, and a core question is if the public, nonprofit organizations or for-profit firms provide the services. The different providers have different strengths, and the composition of providers, the welfare mix, is therefore crucial for the quality of the services provided to the public.
The population is becoming more diverse and has higher expectations. It is a challenge for the providers to offer good services to a population with increasing religious, cultural, and economic diversity. A possible solution is to promote active citizenship where the users are empowered to influence the content and of the service.
Moreover, the states need to mobilize the resources available from civil society, local communities, and individuals. One way to obtain this is through policies that create the best possible welfare mix in order to spur active citizenship.
It is within this context the project takes on the following questions:
1) How is the welfare mix in Europe changing? We investigate this by analyzing the experiences from Norway with a Scandinavian welfare model, Germany with a corporative model, and United Kingdom with a liberal model.
2) A new EU directive for public procurement will be implemented in the EU and EEC countries in 2016. What room for maneuver do the states have to adopt the implementation to national policy goals? We investigate this by looking at how policy makers and stakeholders in the three countries differently approach the directive.
3) How do the users experience the differences between public, for-profit, and nonprofit providers? We investigate this through a survey to the service users in Norwegian municipalities.