Newsletter September/October 2018

In this Newsletter

Inspiring ideas at the 44th General Assembly Meeting 2018

Ageing research under difficult conditions in Eastern Europe

Livia Elisa Ortensi on reaching hard-to-reach migrant populations

Social investments in focus - MACRO conference 2018 in Chisinau

Cross-border health communication campaigns

Insights into working conditions of the long-term care workforce in Austria

Basic security for children (Kindergrundsicherung) in Austria

Ageing 4.0 - New approaches to population ageing

European Centre's researchers contribute to WHO Report on men’s health

People not covered by health insurance in Austria - Who are they and how many?

SWaPOL - Social Work and Policing Vocational Training in Public Order Management

Integrated case management in the Western Balkans

New research directions of using EUROMOD

Inspiring ideas at the 44th General Assembly Meeting 2018 with this year’s theme ‘Towards a life-course perspective in social policies’

This year’s theme ‘Towards a life-course perspective in social policies’ of the 44th General Assembly Meeting 2018 of the European Centre gathered Board Members, National Liaison Officials (NLOs) and observers from 18 different countries at the UN Vienna on the 16 and 17 October 2018. European Centre’s researchers presented interesting findings in social rights, employment, social and health services under the frame of the life-course perspective. National and international policy makers, researchers and observers discussed challenges and opportunities for new approaches in the context of ‘Ageing 4.0’ and found inspiring ideas.

Ageing research under difficult conditions in Eastern Europe

Back-to-back with its 44th General Assembly Meeting, the European Centre organised a consultation with the Joint Programming Initiative ‘More Years, Better Lives’, supported by the Austrian Ministry of Education, Science and Research. Distinguished experts from international organizations, Poland and Serbia provided eye-openers regarding important policy challenges of fast ageing societies

Livia Elisa Ortensi: Reaching hard-to-reach migrant populations using different methodologies

Household-based survey designs are notoriously ineffective in studying hard-to-reach populations. The presentation will focus on lessons learned from more than 15 years of field surveys on migrants and similarly hard to reach populations carried out using alternative field methods. Three different methods to overcome the lack of sampling frames will be presented. Finally, we will discuss an adaptation of the Capture-Recapture Sampling to estimate the number of street-based sex-workers in Milan using data collected by NGOs assisting sex workers through mobile units. Read more and register here

Social investments in focus at the MACRO conference 2018 in Chisinau

Moldovan policy experts and scientists met during the 6th MACRO conference 2018 in Chisinau on 19 October 2018 to discuss Moldova’s attractiveness for international investments. While public authorities, local businesses, and civil society discussed the role of private and public investment for the countrie's economic development, the European Centre highlighted the need for social investments. Ms. Anette Scoppetta, Deputy Director of the European Centre, draw attention to the fact that investments aren’t supposed to be only about economic development, but about people. Social investments are core for any economy to grow.

Bridging Function of the European Centre

Cross-border health communication campaigns

Recent years have witnessed greater involvement of European Union (EU) organisations in health communication campaigns that address chronic diseases and that are designed for implementation in multiple countries. Ricardo Rodrigues, Stefania Ilinca and Katharine Schulmann have now published a peer-reviewed article that provides a first exploratory investigation of these challenges and how to address them. They propose conceiving of cross-national communication campaigns as providing a common blueprint and structure that can inform and support the development of differentiated yet harmonised local campaigns.

Insights into working conditions of the long-term care workforce in Austria

The European Centre carried out a survey of a random sample of care workers from the mobile and residential care sectors in three regions in Austria (Vienna, Upper Austria, Salzburg). A total of 1,110 care workers responded to items of the NORDCARE questionnaire that had already been applied in Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Canada, Japan and a range of other countries. This allowed for selected comparisons, in particular with results from Germany and Sweden. The study was co-funded by the Chamber of Work for Vienna with the purpose of gathering information on the working conditions of the long-term care workforce in Austria.

Introduction of a basic security for children in Austria: Einführung einer Kindergrundsicherung in Österreich

The project commissioned by Volkshilfe Österreich analyses the effects of an introduction of a basic security for children in Austria. The rationale behind it is that monetary benefits for children should be stronger related to the material situation of the household and the (lacking) financial resources for children. While maintaining the hitherto existing level of financial support for all children almost entirely, families with low incomes and at risk of poverty would particularly benefit from the reform. The main results were presented in a press-conference on 16 October 2018 by Erich Fenninger and Michael Fuchs. The report (in German) can be downloaded here.

Ageing 4.0 - New approaches to population ageing

This policy brief is an attempt to respond to current challenges of social welfare systems in the context of population ageing and technological innovation. It defines Ageing 4.0 as a concept and provides a rationale for such a new policy framework. It therefore sets out to sketch approaches towards what could be coined as ‘Ageing 4.0’ as a concept that responds to new social and societal challenges that are currently debated under the headings ‘Industry 4.0’ or also ‘Work 4.0’. In particular, the brief will discuss life-course-oriented policies that are able to respond to these new challenges and to seize the opportunities of increasing longevity for individuals and society. This entails, first, a short overview of previous stages of views on ageing in societies and related social policies over the past century. Second, the policy brief includes a critical review of concepts that continue to uphold the traditional division of the life-course into pre-defined stages of education, work and pension. Based on this analysis it is argued in the final part that a more integrated life-course perspective is needed to adapt and to modernise social security systems in a direction that is appropriate to underpin the future construction of ‘Ageing 4.0’.

European Centre’s researchers contribute to WHO Report on men’s health

WHO/Europe has recently published the report The health and well-being of men in the WHO European Region: better health through a gender approach, serving as a background to the Strategy on the Health and Well-being of Men adopted at the 68th session of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe in September. The report offers a rich overview of epidemiological trends in the European region, examines the intersection between gender, socio-economic, cultural, and environmental determinants of men’s health and well-being and reflects on how gender norms and roles intersect with other determinants of health to influence health systems responses. European Centre researchers Ricardo Rodrigues, Stefania Ilinca and Kai Leichsenring have provided substantial contributions to the section on Ageing and quality of life, discussing issues related to the impact of retirement on men’s health, living arrangements and loneliness in later life and the effects of caregiving on older men.

Analysis of people not covered by health insurance in Austria: Analyse der nicht-krankenversicherten Personen in Österreich

The project - commissioned by the Main Association of Austrian Social Security Institutions (Hauptverband der österreichischen Sozialversicherungsträger) as a follow-up of our study in 2003 - aimed at the quantitative and qualitative assessment of people not covered by health insurance in Austria. It focuses on an estimation on the number of people concerned, their socio-demographic characteristics, causes for non-coverage and their coping behaviour in case of illness.

The final report (in German) can be downloaded here.

Media & journal coverage:


Training in Social Work and Policing

SWaPOL is an education & training project that focuses on policies of public order management in urban places. Marginalised people in public space are the target of many professions, including the police, social work, public transport authorities and others. This project will contribute to balance welfare and law enforcement policies by developing a joint training for social workers and crime prevention officers in the police in several European countries. A pilot course (2+3 days) will be elaborated and tested before it can be integrated in existing vocational training schedules at schools of social work and in the police force. SWaPOL will support exchange, cooperation and mutual trust between social workers and police officers for a better collaboration in practice to foster social inclusion of marginalised people in public places.

The European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research will lead and coordinate the project.
For more information please contact Günter Stummvoll (
Project Start:     01.11.2018
Project End:     31.10.2020

Integrated case management for Employment and Social Welfare Services in the Western Balkans

This policy brief provides insights into the application of integrated case management by Public Employment Services and Social Services institutions in the Western Balkans. The authors describe the status quo of case management and cooperative practices in the region and discuss the potentials and caveats of implementing integrated case management in such contexts. Based on current practices in the individual countries as well as the lessons learned from EU member states that have developed their own ICM models, the development of Integrated Case Management Standards agreed upon jointly among all actors across all countries is recommended. ICM models, however, should take into account local requirements and make best use of available resident potentials.

Vienna EUROMOD Workshop, 17 - 18 September 2018: Austria and the Western Balkan countries in focus

More than 100 participants, researchers and public representatives met to discuss tax-benefit microsimulation practises and in particular, the future of the EU28 model EUROMOD during the Vienna EUROMOD Workshop, 17 – 18 September 2018. Besides applications of EUROMOD across the globe (e.g. in Latin America and Africa), scientists from Austria presented research insights of reforms such as the ‘Family bonus plus’, among others. Furthermore, scholars from Serbia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina showcased their tax benefit models that are built on EUROMOD; thereby triggering discussions on possibilities, potentials and challenges on the ‘Western BalkanMod initiative’.