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. Interim Director is Ricardo Rodrigues.


The Political Economy of Household Services in Europe

This volume, edited by Clément Carbonnier and Nathalie Morel, analyses the aims pursued with policies to promote household services across Europe. Juliane Winkelmann, Andrea E. Schmidt and Kai Leichsenring highlighted the formalisation of a dual care labour market in a chapter entitled 'Regulating migrants as a low-cost solution'. This contribution is based on research carried out during the project 'Evaluating Care Across Borders' (ECAB). For more information click here.

Migrants as a Low-cost Solution? Formalising a Dual Care Labour Market in Austria

In a presentation at the MOMENTUM Congress in Hallstatt (Upper Austria), Andrea Schmidt explored how care, migration and employment policies in Austria have shaped the long-term care labour market and whether the legislation of personal care by migrant carers has contributed to bridging the cleavages between the so-called "24-hour care sector" and the formal long-term care labour market. She concludes that migrant care policies have been unable to address persisting inconsistencies at the interface between the different segments of the care labour market, but rather foster a dualisation of the care workforce. The contribution was based on a recently published chapter in the book "The political economy of household services in Europe" (Palgrave Macmillan).

Kick-off: Comparative Study of Family Care Leave Policies and Legislation

Combining paid work and caring duties for older family members, sick children, or disabled relatives is becoming a challenge for many people of working age, especially women, with the share of employees with caring commitments likely to continue to rise in the future. Supporting endeavours for an improvement of the framework conditions for employed relatives providing care in Switzerland, the European Centre just launched a study for the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health with the aim of providing in-depth analysis of good practices related to care leave policies and legislation from other countries, and developing a conceptual framework for the analysis of (typical) care leave models in European countries and beyond. Read more

Vacancy: Senior Researcher/Social Policy Analyst with specialisation in labour market


We are looking for a senior researcher to permanently reinforce our research team. The ideal candidate has proven experience in project acquisition and management; is a team player; and has proven ability to work on one or more of the following areas related with labour market in an international comparative perspective: transitions into and out of unemployment, activation of older workers, lifelong learning, youth unemployment and transitions from education to employment, workplace practices, industrial relations, vocational training.

Please note that the closing date for applying is 27 November 2015. For more information on the job profile, please see "Vacancy Senior Researcher / Social Policy Analyst with specialisation in labour market".

Öffentliche Räume kooperativ gestalten / Cooperation in the public sphere


Die neue Ausgabe des Schweizer SuchtMagazins widmet sich dem Thema Suchthilfe und Polizei. Einen Beitrag dazu leistet der Artikel von Irmgard Eisenbach-Stangl, Kurt Fellöcker, Katrin Gasior und Judith Haberhauer mit Beispielen aus Österreich. Dem Artikel zu Grunde liegen Ergebnisse aus dem Projekt AGORA, das sich zum Ziel gesetzt hat, zur Weiterentwicklung der Kooperation von Polizei und Sozialarbeit beizutragen und dabei verschiedene Regionen in Österreich in den Blick nimmt. Der Artikel bietet einen Überblick über das Projekt, Projektkonzept, Methoden sowie Ergebnisse.

The latest volume of the Swiss SuchtMagazin focuses on drug counseling services and police. It includes an article by Irmgard Eisenbach-Stangl, Kurt Fellöcker, Katrin Gasior and Judith Haberhauer with a focus on Austria. The contribution is based on the project AGORA that aimed at the development of cooperation structures between police and social work in different Austrian regions. The article gives an overview of the project, its outline, methods and fieldwork results.

International Seminar: Development of a web-based tool for the assessment of health and economic outcomes of "EIP on AHA"

International Seminar

Dr. Boehler presented the MAFEIP-tool, a generic and flexible web-based application for monitoring the health and economic impact of the social and technological innovations carried out by more than 500 stakeholder groups participating in the EIP on Active and Healthy Ageing. His presentation outlined the approach for developing and implementing this tool, its main characteristics and capability to provide specific outcomes that are of value to the developers of an intervention, as well as a series of case studies planned before wider rollout. More information about the MAFEIP-tool and the MAFEIP project can be accessed here and here.

Ricardo Rodrigues Speaker at 1st State Congress of Social Services

Ricardo Rodrigues

Ricardo Rodrigues participated as a speaker in the 1st State Congress of Social Services in Vitoria, Spain, 29-30 September, organized by IMSERSO, which debated the current state and challenges facing social services in Spain. In his presentation Ricardo Rodrigues gave a brief overview of some common trends in long-term care in Europe (e.g. ageing in place, ‘re-discovery’ of informal care) and common challenges (e.g. dementia, equity in access, more integrated care for older people) and how these fit into the current debates on long-term care in Spain.

Ricardo Rodrigues Keynote Speaker at Seminar on “Ageing in Portuguese Society: The Roles of the State, Family and Civil Society”

Ricardo Rodrigues

Ricardo Rodrigues was one of the keynote speakers at the Seminar on “Ageing in Portuguese Society: The Roles of the State, Family and Civil Society”. His keynote addressed precisely the different roles and responsibilities assigned to the State, family and the market across different long-term care models in Europe and how this division of responsibilities carries with it different trade-offs and shapes policy outcomes (e.g. gender equality, employment, fiscal sustainability). The contents of the presentation will feature in a book on the topic of Ageing in Portuguese Society. For more information click here.

COST Action IS1402 on Ageism


European Centre researchers Ricardo Rodrigues and Stefania Ilinca represent Austria as members of the COST Action IS1402 on Ageism, a trans-European research networking platform that aims to better the lives of older adults by enhancing scientific knowledge and attention to the phenomenon of ageism. The group focuses on interdisciplinary research on ageism in the health and long term care systems, in the legal system, in the media, in the workforce and on internalized age stereotypes and has recently met in Berlin for a bi-annual management committee meeting. For more details on our work, publications and future events, please visit: notoageism.com

Paper presented at the annual ESPAnet Conference on the impact of the financial crisis on access to healthcare in Portugal


The 2015 ESPAnet Conference on “The Lost and the New Worlds of Welfare”, held at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense from September 3-5, marked the 25th anniversary of the seminal The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism. Attending from the European Centre, Katharine Schulmann presented a paper co-authored with Ricardo Rodrigues and Eszter Zólyomi on the effects of the financial crisis on access to healthcare services in Portugal. The research demonstrated that policies implemented in the wake of the crisis, particularly the increase in co-payment rates and changes to the co-payment exemption system, have negatively impacted access to healthcare services.