Welcome to the European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research

The mission of the European Centre's work is to improve social inclusion in Europe by building bridges between policy, research and practice to foster evidence-based innovation in social welfare, between EU Member States and Accession countries as well as countries of the Eastern Partnership to facilitate the integration of welfare systems, but also between various sectors of social welfare to promote people-centred, inclusive and integrated provision of services and facilities.


First Meeting of the WHO Primary Health Care Advisory Group

WHO Health Care Advisory Group

In the wake of the 40th anniversary of the Declaration of Alma-Ata that first enunciated the concept of primary health care in 1978, the WHO Regional Office for Europe established a Primary Health Care Advisory Group to provide knowledge and experiences from varied perspectives of its members. Kai Leichsenring was invited to the first meeting of the Advisory Group in Almaty on 20-21 June to contribute to the development of integrated health services delivery from the perspective of long-term care. His intervention built on first results of the ongoing research towards a new framework for integrating health services delivery and long-term care commissioned by WHO Europe . Contact: Kai Leichsenring

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Simulation der Umlegung der Hartz-IV Reform auf Österreich

A technical report of the European Centre received recently major attention in Austrian media and politics. Commissioned by the Ministry of Finance to simulate the transfer of the German “Hartz-IV Reform” to Austria, Michael Fuchs, Katarina Hollan and Katrin Gasior used the tax-/benefit microsimulation models EUROMOD and SORESI to calculate the fiscal and distributional implications of a similar reform in Austria. The simulation results show that the potential fiscal gains would have a significant impact on risk of poverty. Contact: Michael Fuchs

News on the EESPN Public Forum

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The Eastern European Social Policy Network (EESPN) calls for registration for the EESPN Public Forum taking place on 12 July 2017 (14:30-17:30). Within the framework of the Building Bridges Summer School, the EESPN Public Forum targets Austrian (and Eastern European) research institutions, civil servants, policy-makers, and NGOs. The Forum seeks to provide an assessment of current social policy practices by answering the following key questions: How can social policies best contribute to more distributive justice? Which strategies are the most promising in the various European regions? And how can governments and research from the East and the West contribute to a social and cohesive Europe? For registration please click here.

International Comparison of Care Leaves for Informal Carers: Legislation and Policies - Executive Summary published by BAG/Switzerland

International Comparison of Care Leaves for Informal Carers

In response to a greater need to conciliate care and work for those with sick, disabled or frail family members, some countries in Europe have put regulations in place that allow employees to provide and/or organize care for family members while remaining attached to their workplace. What kind of support do care leaves from the workplace offer for informal caregivers? How can generosity of different approaches be measured? In a project in 2015/16 commissioned by the Bundesamt für Gesundheit (BAG)/Switzerland, the European Centre shed a light on these questions based on an in-depth analysis and international comparison of 22 different care leave regulations in six different countries (AT, DE, FR, IT, NL and CA). The regulations were evaluated in view of their success, particularly in terms of take-up rate, and some lessons were drawn for the design of care leave policies (in European countries). The Executive Summary (in German, English and French) was now published by the BAG. Contact: Michael Fuchs

DET_CAREMIX: determinants in use of care in Slovenia and Austria

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The project contributes to a better understanding of the factors that influence take-up of informal care and care services among older users of long-term care (LTC) and their families and how these factors may differ across socio-economic groups. By comparing two countries with similar societal preferences regarding care (Austria and Slovenia) and dissimilar public policies in LTC, the project aims to establish causality between observed choices and public policies. The project has the potential to inform the reform process of countries in Europe, namely the ongoing process in Slovenia, and to contribute to a better targeting of public policies. For information contact Ricardo Rodrigues

New project: Integrated Case Management for Employment and Social Welfare Users in the Western Balkan Economies

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The project “Integrated Case Management for Employment and Social Welfare Users in the Western Balkan Economies” (by order of UNDP) promotes inclusive labour market solutions in the Western Balkans by assessing methods currently used by Public Employment Services (PES) and Centres for Social Welfare (CSW) in the region and by assisting in the development of socially innovative practices supporting labour market inclusion of vulnerable groups. Contact: Anette Scoppetta

New Journal Article: Addiction Aid in Austria: History, Current Design and Perspectives


Professional addiction aid was established as aid for alcoholics from the beginning of the 20th century within the framework of psychiatry. At the end of the 1960s, it was supplemented by drug-treatment facilities, which emerged as part of the prohibitive criminal drug laws. The addiction aid is part of federally structured health care. Particularly in the areas of "seam management", outreach to target groups such as e.g. older addicted people, spread of harm-reducing offers, and reintegration, further developments are still necessary. Contact: Irmgard Eisenbach-Stangl

A handbook for policymakers on providing community care for people with dementia

A handbook for policymakers on providing community care for people with dementia

The report “Community care for people with dementia: A handbook for policymakers” brings together the findings from a study commissioned by the Swedish Ministry of Health and Social Affairs and carried out by a team of researchers in the European Centre’s Health and Care Unit. Filling an important gap in the discourse on how care for people with dementia living at home should best be organised, the study proposes a framework for conceptualising community care which takes into account social, economic, as well as ethical and legal dimensions. Read more