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.
Job advertisement – Health Economist / Health Policy Analyst
We are looking for a researcher to work on a broad range of issues of health economics and health and social policy in an international comparative perspective, including effectiveness and efficiency of health care services, cross-border health care issues in the European Union, and health care performance measurement. Please note that the closing date for applying for our vacancy “Health Economist / Health Policy Analyst” is 20 March 2014. Please consult our job description
Policy Brief: Quota Systems for Disabled Persons: Parameters, Aspects, Effectivity
In his recent Policy Brief, Michael Fuchs analyses quota systems for private and/or public enterprises/institutions that exist in the majority of EU-countries. Their target is to stimulate labour demand by committing employers to employ a certain share of employees with disabilities. Typically, the stipulated share ranges between 2% and 7% of the workforce. In most countries the degree of fulfilment ranges between 30% and 70%. According to available empirical data, quota systems only lead to small net employment gains. While already employed persons who become disabled and can be included are more likely to be employed continuously, quotas only provide small incentives to hire disabled people. Read more
Updated data base on poverty and inequality in Europe
The on-line data base of the Social Situation Monitor has now been updated on the European Commission website. These research findings include comparative analyses across the EU of income inequality, the risk of poverty, material deprivation, the distribution of wealth, and non-monetary aspects of well-being. They are based to a large extent on the EU-SILC (Statistics on Income and Living Conditions) and they extend the periodic studies produced by Eurostat. The European Centre team with Katrin Gasior and Orsolya Lelkes prepared the analysis on the risk of poverty across Europe (see our project page).
Review in Norwegian Journal of Social Research
Pieter Vanhuysse's book Ageing Populations in Postindustrial Democracies with Achim Goerres has been reviewed in the Norwegian Journal of Social Research. Excerpt: ‘Will demographic change lead politicians (…) to push forward cuts in the generosity of public pensions, or do larger shares of grey voters constitute a political bloc that defends the status quo? And to what extent do political and economic institutions affect the choices of different countries in the face of demographic change? …Vanhuysse and Goerres have edited a useful, well-organized, and at times original book about the challenges and consequences of an aging population from a political science perspective. I can confidently recommend the book for anyone interested in comparative welfare research.’
Intergenerational justice study reported in OECD Insights and Huffington Post
Pieter Vanhuysse's study on intergenerational justice has been reported in an article focusing on the Nordic countries' sound performance by Mi Ah Shoyen and Bjorn Hvinden from NOVA Oslo in OECD Insights, and in an article focusing on Italy's bad performance by Marco Morosini from ETH Zürich in The Huffington Post Deutschland. On the performance of Austria, see European Centre Policy Brief.
Seventh Diversity Ball, 17 May, Vienna
The Diversity Ball takes place since 2007 and pursues one goal: one night long all men should celebrate together – regardless of religion, income, with or without disability, skin colour and national origin, sexual orientation, age, gender or language. Diversity can and should be lived! Differences are welcomed and perceived as enrichment. The Diversity Ball carries our philosophy of inclusion to the outside and is Vienna’s only event that brings together all its diversity communities. People and personalities from business, politics, culture, society, the social sector and the media world meet in diversity in practice.
Long-term Care: Who should provide it, who would buy it and why it matters
The Swedish welfare state, known for its universal system and comprehensive entitlements, has seen a sharp increase of private providers in long-term care in the last two decades which triggered a heated public debate on quality across different providers and users' choice. In a workshop held in the context of the "Make or Buy" project commissioned by the Swedish Ministry of Health and Social Affairs on 29 January 2014 in Stockholm, the European Centre's team discussed implications of privatisation and individualization of care services on competition, choice and quality of care with Swedish long-term care experts. For the final report and policy briefs that will soon become available, please keep an eye on our website and newsletter. Contact: Ricardo Rodrigues and Juliane Winkelmann
International Seminar: Skills and Inequality
What is the role of vocational skills in the 21st century? Professor Marius Busemeyer (University of Konstanz) gave an EC international seminar on the political economy of education reforms in western Welfare states. The first part of the seminar explained the emergence of different education development paths by highlighting the role of partisan politics in interaction with different institutional contexts. The second part discussed how educational institutions affect contemporary patterns of social inequality and popular attitudes towards education policy and the welfare state. For more information contact Pieter Vanhuysse
The political and policy consequences of population aging
Why do we need more theoretically complex approaches to understand the political and policy consequences of population aging? Pieter Vanhuysse has contributed two entries on this question at Oxford's Openpop.org academic blog on global population issues and at the University of Duisburg's Aus der Wissenchaft für die Politik blog. These academic collaborative blogs aim to maximise the economic and social impact of social science research through engagement with policymakers, the media and other stakeholders.
Wanted: Ways of Transforming Long-term Care in Europe
It is one of the questions at the centre of many policy debates in Europe how to transform older people’s longer life expectancy into active and health life years. In an international symposium, ways of coordination between Member States were explored to implement a sustainable plan for long-term care. Aspects of jobs in the sector, quality standards, as well as data collection and financing were discussed in a panel debate, in which Andrea Schmidt took part together with representatives from DG Health and Consumers (European Commission) and other renowned European stakeholders in Brussels.
Opening session, European National Youth Councils seminar
On december 20th, Pieter Vanhuysse delivered a lecture on social policies for young generations by video conference to the opening session of the National Youth Councils seminar, organized by the Portuguese National Youth Council in partnership with the National Youth Councils of Spain, Italy, Greece, Malta, Romania and Finland. The seminar, which held a session in the Portuguese Parliament, aimed to provide a space for public discussion of social model sustainability in an ageing Europe. Pieter made the case for investing more in youth and children's human capital, and for new reforms aimed at increasing the political clout and democratic engagement of youth.
Czech Sociological Review books: Education At A Glance, and Long-Term Care in Europe
The winter 2013-2014 issue of the Czech Sociological Review, the number one CEE sociology journal (impact factor 0.652), edited by Pieter Vanhuysse, features reviews written by Shaul Stapmfer (Hebrew University), Andrew Roberts (Northwestern), Achim Kemmerling (CEU), Caroline Berghammer (University of Vienna), and others. They review altogether ten books in sociology and social policy, authored by Valery Bunce, Paul Seabright, Patrick Emmenegger, Bruno Palier and others. It also features a review by Katrin Gasior on the OECD's flagship report Education At A Glance, as well as a review by Bruno Martin and Alis Sopadzhiyan on Long-Term Care in Europe: Improving Policy and Practice by Kai Leichsenring, Jenny Billings and Henk Nies.
5th Global Forum on Incontinence (GFI)
The European Centre endorses the 5th Global Forum on Incontinence (GFI) in Madrid 8-9 April 2014. GFI is a platform for education and debate about the impact of incontinence on individuals, caregivers and society. The objective is to suggest principles for a better organization of continence care. Policy makers, health and social care providers, NGOs and medical experts will gather for presentations in the area of continence care, to exchange views and to explore opportunities to achieve sustainable quality continence care. Kai Leichsenring will be one of the keynote speakers addressing incontinence as a major issue to be tackled within integrated long-term care.
Article in Health Policy on ‘Experiences of public reporting of quality in long-term care in Europe’
Public reporting of quality in long-term care is advocated by allowing providers to improve their performance through benchmarking, and users to choose the best providers. In their article, Ricardo Rodrigues, Andrea Schmidt, Kai Leichsenring and Lisa Trigg (LSE) review the experiences of public reporting in 7 EU countries and find little evidence of a significant impact of public reporting on users’ choices. Among possible barriers to the effectiveness of public reporting were low awareness of quality indicators, information displayed in unclear format and uncompetitive markets. The article is part of the project ECAB funded by the EU Commission, Seventh Framework Programme, and the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science and Research.
Kick-off meeting of new project on “Impact of the crisis on access to healthcare in Portugal”
What has been the impact of budget-balancing measures on access to healthcare in Portugal? Are some groups being left behind? How were healthcare providers on the ground affected and what are they doing to maintain or improve access to healthcare in a time of crisis? The European Centre is carrying out a case study to answer these questions as part of a project funded and coordinated by the EUROFOUND foundation. The case study will be completed during the first half of 2014. The European Centre thus continues to build on its recent research on the effect of financial crisis on healthcare systems and a report on the impact of the crisis on unmet needs for healthcare in Europe will be available soon. For more information contact Ricardo Rodrigues.
Extending working lives – A conceptual framework
Extending working lives and raising the employment rate of older workers are often discussed in connection with concepts such as active ageing, employability, quality of work and, more recently, social innovation. These concepts are closely related to each other. The report touches upon these concepts in order to develop standards for identifying and assessing “good practice” in innovative, effective, sustainable and transferable strategies in age-related employment and (vocational) lifelong learning. Eszter Zólyomi and Katrin Gasior contributed to the framework with a country-specific report on The Netherlands. The conceptual framework is the first deliverable for "Extending Working Lives" (WP3) of the MOPACT project.