Newsletter July/August 2018

Vacancy note: Social Policy Analyst; Labour Market Expert

The European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research is searching for researchers to work in an international comparative perspective in the UNECE region.

The vacancy comprises of two positions: Social Policy Analyst and Labour Market Expert.

The European Centre offers the possibility for young researchers to develop and grow in an working environment that emphasises excellence, interdisciplinary co-operation between colleagues inside and outside the European Centre, independence and autonomy at work.
We offer flexible working hours and a remuneration package compatible with expertise and demonstrated experience.

We would welcome candidates to send their Europass CV and letter of motivation by 12 September 2018 at the latest. Further details concerning the two positions are available in the vacancy note.

Magdi Birtha from Hungary and Veronica Sandu from the Republic of Moldova will complement the Health & Care team

We are most happy to announce that two new colleagues have joined the European Centre as full-time researchers this August. Magdi Birtha hailing from Hungary and Veronica Sandu from the Republic of Moldova will complement the Health & Care team.

Magdi will contribute with her sociological and legal research expertise – she earned her PhD in Law at the National University of Ireland, Galway – to our focus on human rights of older people and in long-term care. She also worked for several years in Brussels on EU policy and project management and developed expertise, especially in the areas of the rights of persons with disabilities and children, deinstitutionalisation, informal carers and quality development in social services through cooperation with EU institutions, international organisations, as well as civil society. 

Veronica will strengthen our bridge-building competencies with the Eastern Partnership countries based on her broad expertise in economics and public policy design – with degrees from Maastricht Graduate School of Governance (Netherlands) and the Center for Development Economics (CED) Université Montesquieu Bordeaux IV, respectively – and her long-standing cooperation with international agencies. Veronica has more than 10 years of working experience in social policy design, functional and system analysis of social protection in developing countries, ex-ante and ex-post evaluation of policy/interventions.

Improving Long-Term Care in Slovenia

The Kick-off Meeting for the implementation of an integrated system for long-term care in Slovenia took place on 12-13 July 2018 in Ljubljana. In the next 15 months, the European Centre will provide technical assistance to the pilot project under the Structural Reform Support Service (SRSS) of the European Commission. The Slovenian Pilot Expert Team which steers the pilot participated in a train-the-trainer workshop hosted by the European Centre team in Vienna. From 16 to 19 July the joint project team discussed and agreed upon monitoring and evaluation tools for pilot implementation.


Posted work and occupational safety and health published in Two Homelands journal

Two Homelands journal published Sonila Danaj's article on 'Posted work and occupational safety and health'. This article provides a review of the literature on posting and occupational safety and health (OSH). Although the vulnerabilities of posted workers are discussed in the literature on posting, and the overall OSH risk factors, including those relevant to migrant workers, are discussed in the literature on OSH, the two strands of literature barely intersect. There is therefore an immediate need to study the occupational safety and health of posted workers throughout the European Union. Social factors influencing OSH risks, such as employment fragmentation and precarity, and the various forms of cross-border labour mobility, such as posting, should also be further explored.

Decentralization of social services in Kosovo: policy challenges and recommendations

This policy brief aims to provide a brief overview of the current decentralization of social services in Kosovo. The authors address the current challenges faced by Centres for Social Work and non-governmental organizations and provide policy and practice recommendations to make the decentralization process fully operational to the benefit of the most vulnerable groups in the population.

Hartz IV: A model for Austria?

In this Policy Brief we investigate the (hypothetical) implementation of the Hartz IV reform in Austria: unemployment benefit (Arbeitslosengeld) recipients would receive the social assistance-type minimum income benefit (Bedarfsorientierte Mindestsicherung) instead of the needs-oriented insurance benefit unemployment assistance (Notstandshilfe) after termination of entitlement. We argue that replacement of unemployment assistance by minimum income benefit would lead to considerably reduced public expenditure per year but it would also entail a considerable increase in the at-risk-of-poverty rate (by around two percentage points) and in income inequality. In the Brief we present two scenarios and their impact on expenditure and poverty, and we also look into other individual and societal consequences as well as the advantages and disadvantages of the reform from the German experience where the model has already been applied.

Medium briefing note on Social and Employment Policies published by the European Parliament Think Tank

In response to the request by the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs of the European Parliament in view of its delegation visit in early May 2018, the European Centre compiled a medium briefing note on Social and employment policies in Austria. The paper analyses recent developments in employment/social affairs and related policies and maps priorities of the current Austrian Presidency of the EU in the field of employment and social affairs and of other relevant initiatives in the pipeline.

Cultures of care in aging

The book ‘Cultures of Care in Aging’ is about caring for older people in the 21st century. It shows the many facets of care and the diverse factors that influence the relation between the person depending on care and the care giver(s), the impacts of caregiving on the family and the larger social context, as well as socio-cultural and political aspects underlying the growing need for and the practice of formal and informal care. A multi-disciplinary cast of internationally renowned authors provides a first substantive integration of knowledge from geropsychology, other areas of ageing research, and cultural psychology. The book provides researchers and practitioners with new insights on problems of advancing age and caring tasks in globalised societies. By doing so it promotes a strong plea for solidarity between generations in family and society in a rapidly changing world. Kai Leichsenring and Henk Nies (Vilans, The Netherlands) contributed the chapter ‘Concepts and strategies of quality assurance in care for older people’. More ...