The European Centre

The European Centre is a UN-affiliated intergovernmental organization concerned with all aspects of social welfare policy and research.

  • an international centre of applied social science and comparative empirical research on social policy and welfare
  • an information and knowledge centre providing social science-supported social policy intelligence through a think-net
  • a platform initiating future-oriented public policy debates on social welfare issues within the UN-European Region

Geographical Domain

The UN member states of the UN-European Region: potential Member Countries of more than fifty European nations as well as the United States of America, Canada and Israel. All governments of States that are members of the UN-European Region are invited to participate in and contribute to the activities of the European Centre.


Read about our research activities by country

Bridging function

The European Centre aims at constructing bridges between stakeholders, sectors, countries, policies, and systems in the field of social welfare. We are currently building up cooperation in particular with EU acceding countries of Eastern Europe and countries of the Eastern Partnership.

Information about the Bridging function


It was established in 1974 in Vienna, based on an Agreement between the United Nations and the Federal Government of Austria as the Host Government.

Information about our UN-affiliation

Unique features

  • Coverage of the UN-European Region, i.e."Europe of the 55" including North America as a geographical domain
  • UN-affiliation and independence: intergovernmental status, but not a UN-agency
  • Policy expertise focused on integrated policies and inter-sectoral action in overlapping areas between welfare, health, care, labour, population and social development


Chair, Board of Directors, National Liaison Officials, Staff members

Research activities within the Centre are organized into two larger units:
(1) Work and Welfare Programme, and
(2) Health and Care Programme.


Introduction and overview: ECV-brochure English  | German  | French
Recent activities Annual Report of Activities & Programme Overview 2017 (English)