The Decline of the Family as a Source of Social Capital in the EU: Some Indicators

Alfredo Rodríguez-Sedano, Juan Carlos Aguilera, Ana Costa-Paris


This article shows how social policy in the European Union (EU) fails to give proper attention to the family as a factor in social development and cohesion. It begins with a conceptual overview of the family as social capital, followed by an assessment of social capital as a source of gaining the fundamental values for moral and civic education. It goes on to show how, despite population growth in the EU, there are a number of signs that point to a depletion of social capital. By way of illustration, several basic indicators are provided to demonstrate that social and family policies are inconsistent with what constitutes social capital. The line of thinking developed in the article establishes that social capital in the EU is being depleted mainly because the family is being increasingly overlooked as an element of social cohesion and development.

Palabras clave

social capital, social development, social policy, family education, European Union (Source: Unesco Thesaurus)

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