Newsletter November/December 2017

In this Newsletter

The European Centre relaunched its website

Stakeholders from South-Eastern Europe discussed how to enhance capacity and reform of public administration.

A Macedonian delegation comprising approx. 15 experts from public authorities and NGOs visited the European Centre on 22 November 2017.

Analyzing the distributional outcomes of planned reforms of the new Austrian government

The new Posting of Workers in Eastern Europe project addresses the issue of posting of workers within the European Union

Transnational cooperation in the European Social Fund (ESF) should help to develop better and more effective employment and social policies.

Researchers at the European Centre will review current methods for the economic evaluation of eHealth

New Project: Review of report on consumption of pharmaceuticals

Prof. Nathan Lillie on Posted workers’ rights and transnational cooperation among labour inspection agencies in Europe, 2018-01-17

International Meeting on Prisons and Health in Lisbon 11-12 December 2017

The VEN aims to connect practitioners, commissioners of evaluations, researchers, trainers and other interested public.

Discussion on the UN-SDG (Sustainable Development Goal) on youth unemployment in Austria

The European Centre has promoted the approach to community care of the Netherlands’ ‘Buurtzorg model’.

Paper examining the application of the German Hartz-IV model in Austria published in 'Public Sector Economics' 4/2017

The study discusses opportunities and limits of benchmarking for a Social Europe.

The European Centre is intending to host a researcher in the field of ageism.

New Website

Relaunch of the website

We are delighted to announce the relaunch of our website, which went online at the beginning of the year 2018. We built on the navigation and improved the structure of our projects, publications and events. The new website offers an improved search function and the newsletter subscription is just a click away.

Bridging Function

Bridging research, policy, and practice at the BACID Danube Governance Forum

Sonila Danaj, Rahel Kahlert and Orsolya Lelkes contributed to the BACID Danube Governance Forum on December 4, 2017 in Vienna, which brought together stakeholders from South-Eastern Europe to discuss how to enhance capacity and reform of public administration. Rahel Kahlert was a panelist in the panel Open Dialogue on Sustainable Reform of Public Administration to focus on critical factors underlying effective public service delivery. Reference points were the European Centre’s Eastern European Social Policy Network, as well as projects in Kosovo, Macedonia (BACID projects) and the Western Balkans. The next round of BACID calls is planned for 2018.

Macedonian Delegation visit the European Centre

A Macedonian delegation comprising approx. 15 experts from public authorities and NGOs visited the Euroepan Centre on 22 November 2017 during a study visit to exchange knowledge on social policies. The study visit to Vienna was dedicated to youth VET - Vocational Education and Training and employment measures, means tested minimum income, active labour market measures for marginalized groups and dual apprenticeship system in Austria.

Projects

Simulations of planned government reforms with EUROMOD/SORESI

This new project aims at analyzing the distributional outcomes of planned reforms of the new Austrian government. With our expertise in microsimulation modelling, using the Austrian EUROMOD module and the SORESI model, we seek to provide an in-depth analysis of the envisaged reforms. We will look at the effect of the policy changes on the income distribution at the individual and household level, poverty rates and overall fiscal impact

Posting of Workers in Eastern Europe

The new Posting of Workers in Eastern Europe project addresses the issue of posting of workers within the European Union at its pre-accession stage by assisting Eastern European countries, especially the four candidate countries Albania, FYROM, Montenegro, and Serbia, in implementing the Directive prior to its adoption, and by assisting in the prevention of social dumping, i.e. the use of cheap labour, to minimise associated risks for workers. It aims to do so through research, peer reviews and workshops involving stakeholders from the candidate countries and 4 EU member states, namely Austria, Germany, Italy, and Slovenia. The project will run from January 2018 to December 2019 and is implemented by a consortium of eight partners led by the European Centre.

Thematic network employment

Transnational cooperation in the European Social Fund (ESF) should help to develop better and more effective employment and social policies and to improve the delivery of reforms, essentially by enabling people to learn from experiences and good practice in other countries. The European Commission thus commissioned the set up of services for European Union Member States to assist in transnational cooperation (led by AEIDL, Belgium). One of the networks established is the Thematic network employment. Anette Scoppetta is acting as thematic expert on employment for this network within which EU-Member States are looking at practices and options for improving the transition from unemplyoment to employment (2016-2017) and transitions from work to work (2018-2019).

Review of methods for the economic evaluation of eHealth

eHealth has the potential to transform current care pathways and provide new and innovative solutions to patient care. However, it is difficult for decision-makers to decide which eHealth innovations provide ‘good value for money’, and conventional methods for the economic evaluation of healthcare technologies may fall short of capturing the full extent of potential impact of eHealth on patients and health and care systems respectively. Researchers at the European Centre will review current methods for the economic evaluation of eHealth and identify methodological challenges as well as potential solutions. In addition, we will review case-studies of eHealth applications across Europe, with a particular view on related decision-making processes.

Review of report on consumption of pharmaceuticals

A number of countries regularly publish data on the consumption of pharmaceuticals. Recently, the Main Association of the Austrian Social Security Institutions has provided administrative data on pharmaceutical consumption in Austria, which have been analysed and presented in a draft report. The European Centre will coordinate an external evaluation of these analyses.

Events

Prof. Nathan Lillie on Posted workers’ rights and transnational cooperation among labour inspection agencies in Europe

Monitoring and enforcement of posted workers' right is problematic in many respects. One major contributing factor to this is the fact that posted workers' employment contracts fall under multiple overlapping jurisdictions. Diverse agencies from different countries must cooperate transnationally, in order for posted workers to have effective recourse to their legal rights. Employers have become adept at using multiple jurisdictions to complicate labour rights enforcement and to save on social fees. This report survey's the transnational cooperation of labour inspectorates in the EU, and suggests ways in which it can be improved. The report is based on a series of local workshops and interviews in Austria, Czechia, Estonia, Finland, Italy and Norway, Belgium, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia, and on discussions from a labour inspection and posted work conference in Prague, 25-25 November, 2017. Contact: Sonila Danaj

Prisons, health and social welfare

Public Health England (PHE), the Europan Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Abuse (EMCDDA) and the Regional Office for Europe of the World Health Organization (WHO) organised an International Meeting on Prisons and Health in Lisbon 11-12 December 2017. It was the first time that such a big international meeting took place on this subject with more than 150 participants from all over the world.

In her opening remarks the representative of the European Commission, Ms Marianna Zwodziak-Carbonne referred to the EPPIC (Exchanging prevention practices on polydrug use among youth in criminal justice systems) project – in which the European Centre is one of the partners – as an example of the growing interest of the Commission in the subject of prison health.

The European Centre’s honorary consultant Cornelius Goos had been invited to the conference as a keynote speaker. He spoke about the development of prison health as an issue of importance in public health and social welfare and referred to the EPPIC project as a promising example of how international social research can contribute to promoting social welfare and public health.

For further information: Cees Goos

Announcing the VIENNA EVALUATION NETWORK

The VIENNA EVALUATION NETWORK (VEN) aims to connect practitioners, commissioners of evaluations, researchers, trainers and other interested public from different professional fields and create a space for interdisciplinary exchange of cutting-edge evaluation issues. VEN will organise about four meetings a year with a presentation by a guest speaker on an evaluation-related topic followed by discussion. Contact: Rahel Kahlert.

Austrian SDG meeting on youth unemployment

The current progress regarding the UN-SDG (Sustainable Development Goal) on youth unemployment - SDG 8 was discussed by experts on 4 December 2017 at the Austrian Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection. The European Centre contributed with a panellist input from Anette Scoppetta on activities regarding the European Centre's Bridge building function and on projects implemented concernning youth unemployment. Albeit the overall positive economic situation in Austria that also has effects on youth employment, the findings of the meeting concerned the need to proactively adress societal challenges such as especially the digitalisation and automatisation process ('future of work').

Publications

New publication: The Buurtzorg concept and home care in Austria

The European Centre has promoted the innovative approach to community care of the Netherlands’ ‘Buurtzorg model’ since several years at a number of occasions and through several publications. Kai Leichsenring and Heidemarie Staflinger (Chamber of Labour Upper Austria) have now examined the opportunities and caveats to transfer the model of community nursing by autonomous teams to the Austrian realms of home care delivery. In particular with respect to new patterns of work organisation, staff development, reduced hierarchy and new approaches to care there are interesting features to be taken on board, but prevailing decision-making, control mechanisms and ‘taylorised’ division of work would call for a radical change in many provider organisations. The article was published in German in WISO. Contact: Kai Leichsenring

'Simulation of an application of the Hartz-IV reform in Austria' published in 'Public Sector Economics' 4/2017

The research paper 'Simulation of an application of the Hartz-IV reform in Austria' by Michael Fuchs, Katarina Hollan and Katrin Gasior, presented at the conference 'Social Protection Policies and Microsimulation' hosted by the Institute of Public Finances in Zagreb, 12-13 June 2017, was now published in 'Public Sector Economics' 4/2017. The paper examines the application of the German Hartz-IV model in Austria. If the Hartz-IV reform were to be transferred to Austria, this would imply that instead of unemployment assistance (Notstandshilfe), the social-assistance-type minimum income benefit (Bedarfsorientierte Mindestsicherung) would be follow-up assistance after unemployment benefit expires. The analysis is carried out using the tax-benefit microsimulation models EUROMOD and SORESI based on the latest EU-SILC 2015 data for Austria. We simulate a baseline scenario according to the minimum income benefit regulations of the nine Federal States for the year 2017 and a scenario including a proxy for an asset check of capital income. In addition, following current political discussions and developments, we simulate a ceiling scenario, in which the sum of minimum standards per household is capped at EUR 1,500 per month. The direct (monetary) effects of the potential reform are analysed on three levels: fiscal implications; number of receiving households including socio-demographic characteristics; income distribution and risk of poverty.

The study 'The Social Dimension of the EU' is now available in English language

The study 'The Social Dimension of the EU' was conducted on behalf of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection. It aims at identifying thematic key areas for potential benchmarking processes in the social field during the next potential upward policy convergence. Pros and cons of the benchmarking process, its benchmarks and corresponding social indicators are discussed, exemplified by the minimum income benefits, and further analysis suggested to supplement the exercise.

Open Position

Early stage researchers in the field of ageism wanted

The European Centre is intending to host a researcher in the field of ageism as an affiliated partner of a new Innovative Ph.D. Training Programme funded by the European Commission (Horizon 2020 – Marie Curie-Actions). The overall goal of the programme is to bridge between science and policy in the field of ageism and to produce professionals who can take a variety of positions,along the science-policy continuum. The consortium members are seeking 15 excellent early stage researchers (ESR) for a 3-year fully-funded Ph.D. program in the research areas of: Psychology, sociology, social psychology, political sciences, social work, economy, clinical pharmacy, engineering, design, social networks, geography, nursing, gerontology, gender studies, labor studies, anthropology, law and related fields. For more information, please click here. Contact: Kai Leichsenring