The Bridging Function

Bridging to Eastern Europe in the field of social welfare

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

Our aim is to connect knowledge and policy evidence of the BB countries and other countries of the UN-European region through close participation and collaboration. 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;
  • transferring know-how through workshops, seminars, and policy consultation; and
  • building capacity by engaging with different stakeholders at various governance levels (central, regional, and local).


Next to our project work funded by third parties, the European Centre is investing in BB activities. Please find a selection of activities below:

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.