The Bridging Function

Bridging to Eastern Europe in the field of social welfare

The European Centre set a special focus on (potential) EU candidate countries and the countries of the Eastern Partnership - the so-called Bridge Building countries (BB countries) - to assist in improving social welfare policies.

Our aim is to bridge knowledge and policy evidence through close collaboration and participation between the BB countries and other countries of the UN European region. Read more about our BB key competence

The Bridging Function is based on three main pillars:

  • identifying key issues of social policies in Europe through comparative research and developing projects by involving partner institutions at the international, European, and national levels;
  • transferring know-how through workshops, seminars, and policy consultation; and
  • building capacity involving different public and private stakeholders in policy and research at different governance levels (central, regional, and local).


The European Centre and the Austrian Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection (BMSGPK) have visited countries in the target regions to assess their demand and build up or intensify cooperation. Memoranda of Understanding were signed to establish and deepen cooperation in the field of social policies. Furthermore, National Liaison Officials (NLOs) were nominated in most countries of the region to serve as a key link between the European Centre and its states.The NLO represent interests of her/his country within the European Centre.