Welcome to the European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research

The European Centre is a UN-affiliated intergovernmental organization concerned with all aspects of social welfare policy and research. Executive Director is Prof. Dr. Bernd Marin.


Electronic discharge summaries in cross-border care in the European Union: How close are we to making it happen?


Cross-border care in the European Union still faces various challenges, in particular when it comes to communication and transfer of information between care providers in different Member States. The European Union currently aims to improve care coordination and to ensure seamless care across borders via electronic discharge summaries (Directive 2011/24/EU). This article explores the extent to which European Union level policy and practice on electronic health records address issues pertinent to the development and implementation of electronic discharge summaries for patients treated outside their own country. The research for this article that was co-authored by Juliane Winkelmann under the lead of Nora Döring was conducted in the context of the FP7 project 'Evaluating Care Across Borders' (ECAB). You can download the article here.

New Policy Brief: To Make or to Buy Long-term Care? Part I: Learning from Theory

PB page

This Policy Brief reviews some of the theoretical insights offered by economic theory (e.g. transaction costs) and other fields of social sciences (e.g. psychology, disability rights) regarding the make or buy decision as applied to long-term care. The theories reviewed here provide useful guidelines to policy-makers about how best to use market mechanisms to deliver long-term care, but also on the limits of the use of markets in the context of care for older people. While the decision whether to make or buy long-term care is arguably best answered empirically, considering insights from different strands of theory could help prevent adverse outcomes when setting up care markets. This Policy Brief is a first part of a trilogy dedicated to the reliance on markets for the delivery of long-term care. Two other Policy Briefs will follow in October and November. Read more

Article in International Journal of Social Welfare: Perceived Pension Injustice

Pieter Vanhuysse has published an article with Clara Sabbagh (University of Haifa) in Vol. 23, No. 2 of the International Journal of Social Welfare (5-year impact factor 0.956). Entitled 'Perceived Pension Injustice'. The article analyses a nationally representative sample of 3,000 respondents to investigate the determinants of citizens’ perceptions of the injustice of pension systems (PPI) in two ‘most-different’ cases: Israe, and Germany. Age is negatively associated, and social status positively associated, with reported levels of PPI. Moreover, PPI is higher both when citizens lack intra-familial social solidarity and when they more strongly endorse pro-state welfare attitudes.

2014 paperback edition of Ageing Populations in Post-industrial Democracies

Ageing Populations Book

Routledge has just published in its ECPR Studies in European Political Science series a new 2014 paperback edition of Pieter Vanhuysse's book Ageing Populations in Post-industrial Democracies: Comparative Studies of Policies and Politics, co-edited with Achim Goerres. See scientific journal reviews of the book, and blog summaries in English at Oxford's openpop.org blog on global population issues and in German at the University of Duisburg's Aus der Wissenschat für die Politik blog. See the editorial introductory chapter, 'Mapping the Field'.

FORMAT interview Kohli/Vanhuysse: older and younger generations in Europe


In its series around the future of the welfare state and the Centre's 40th anniversary symposium, the news weekly FORMAT has published a double interview between Martin Kohli (EUI Florence em.) and Pieter Vanhuysse (European Centre Vienna) on public policies for improving the relative welfare of older and younger generations in Europe today. For more on this topic, click here.

Expert Workshop with the Swedish Social Ministry

Swedish Social Ministry

On September 24th, the European Centre hosted a delegation of experts from the Swedish Social Ministry for a workshop on our social policy research. European Centre researchers presented on human capital policies (Pieter Vanhuysse), poverty in Europe (Orsolya Lelkes) and ICT innovations in long term care (Katharina Schulmann)

"Damit der Sozialstaat Zukunft Hat": Der Standard on the Centre's Symposium

The Austrian quality daily newspaper Der Standard has published an article summarizing some of the main messages of the European Centre's 40th anniversary Symposium on the future of welfare in a global Europe.

Systematic review, evidence and expert consensus on continence care

Service Specification

During the development of an internationally applicable service specification for continence care, a systematic review to synthesize evidence and to reach an expert consensus was carried out with an international collaboration coordinated by SCA and KPMG. Kai Leichsenring participated in the expert panel of this project and became a co-author with Adrian S. Wagg, Diane K. Newman and Paul van Houten of the peer-reviewed article that describes the scientific findings and methodological background of the study. The open access article “Developing an Internationally-Applicable Service Specification for Continence Care: Systematic Review, Evidence Synthesis and Expert Consensus” was published on 14 August.

Czech Sociological Review books: Welfare in an Idle Society?, Youth Studies, The Caring Self


The summer 2014 issue of the Czech Sociological Review, the number one CEE sociology journal (impact factor 0.652), edited by Pieter Vanhuysse, features reviews written by Akos Rona-Tas (UC San Diego), Conor O’Dwyer (University of Florida), Josef Melchior (University of Vienna), Peggy Watson (University of Cambridge), Keith Tester (University of Hull), Andras Bozoki (CEU) and others on altogether ten books in sociology and social policy, including Bernd Marin’s Welfare in an Idle Society?. It also features a review by Katrin Gasior on Andy Furlong’s Youth Studies and by Ricardo Rodrigues on Clare Stacey’s The Caring Self.

New book: Welfare in an Idle Society


A Primer on Re-Designing Social Security to Cope with Global Ageing and 21st Century Pension Future: Austria as a Case in Point.
„With his Welfare in an Idle Society? Bernd Marin has set a ‘gold standard’. Congratulations! Nobody who will give new thoughts to re-designing Social Security can go past this encyclopaedic opus.“ Bert Rürup For more information see the book's website