In this paper we use data on five social inclusion indicators (poverty, inequality, unemployment, education and health) to assess and compare the performance of 27 European welfare states (EU27) in 2008. Aggregate measures of performance are obtained using index number methods similar to those employed in the construction of the widely used Human Development Index (HDI). These are compared with alternative measures derived from data envelopment analysis (DEA) methods. We are particularly interested by the comparison between EU15 and the 12 newcomers (EU12). As it will appear among the newcomers some countries are ranking among the top performers and others are relegated in the bottom of the ranking.