What is it about?


New Project: "Work 4.0"
The so-called ‘Industry 4.0’ is regarded as the 4th Industrial Revolution with an enormous impact on the world of work. It influences qualification needs, work organisation, the quality of work, and, in more general, the collaboration between humans and technology. To assist SMEs in their preparation for current and upcoming changes, the European Centre will contribute to developing and testing a curriculum for a training course ‘Work 4.0’. This course will cover major work-related topics such as new forms of work organisation, changes/needs for ‘learning & skills’, diversity, gender and the ageing of the workforce during seven training modules. Contact: Anette Scoppetta
New Project: "A New Framework for Integrating Health Services Delivery and Long-term Care"
This study was commissioned by WHO Europe with the objective to underpin the implementation of its ‘European Framework for Action on Integrated Health Services Delivery’ (EFFA IHSD). The multiple challenges at the interfaces between health systems and long-term care (LTC) will be addressed by evidence from experiences and models across Europe to achieve solutions with improved outcomes in terms of quality of care from a patient’s perspective, effectiveness, efficiency and equity. Contact: Kai Leichsenring, Ricardo Rodrigues, Stefania Ilinca
Survey of the Working Conditions of the Long-term Care Workforce in Austria
The European Centre will carry out a study of the working conditions of the long-term care workforce in Austria. This study is funded by the Arbeiterkammer and includes a survey to be carried out in 2017 among a random sample of employees of different types of providers and it covers both the residential and home care sectors. The survey will be compatiblewith similar surveys carried out in the Nordic countries (NORDCARE), Canada and Germany, among other countries, and will therefore allow for analysis of the working conditions of the Austrian care workforce and comparisons with the situation of other countries. For more information visit the project’s webpage. Contacts: Ricardo Rodrigues, Gudrun Bauer, Kai Leichsenring
New Project: BACID – Social Enterprises in Active Labour Market Policies in Macedonia
The BACID project intends (1) to transfer know-how about design and implementation of support measures for the development of social entrepreneurship between Macedonian partners and the European Centre; (2) to jointly propose a set of policy tools based on international practice that can enhance the capacity of regions and municipalities to support social enterprises for inclusion of disadvantaged groups. Contact: Orsolya Lelkes
Evaluation of the Project "Home Care toward an Independent and Dignified Life?" in Bulgaria
The European Centre, through Dr Rahel Kahlert and Dr Ricardo Rodrigues,
has just completed the evaluation of the project ““Home Care toward an
Independent and Dignified Life”” of the Bulgarian Swiss Cooperation
Programme. The evaluation focused on the efficiency, sustainability and
outcomes of the project (improving access to home care, including Roma
population among care workers and users, implementing quality assurance).
To this end the evaluation applied the OECD DAC criteria for evaluating
development assistance. The final evaluation report has been approved by
the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. This project signals the
strengthening of the policy evaluation expertise of the European Centre,
which is an important asset for the Bridge Building strategy of the
Centre. Contact: Ricardo Rodrigues


Workshop Community Care for People with Dementia?
On December 6th, Katharine Schulmann and Stefania Ilinca presented key findings from the European Centre study ‘Community Care for People with Dementia: A Handbook for Policymakers,’ at a workshop co-hosted by the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare and the Ministry for Health and Social Affairs in Stockholm. Swedish experts involved in the drafting of Sweden’s new national dementia strategy and several international experts were in attendance. Discussion focused on the importance of a holistic and person-centred approach to care for people with dementia living in the community. The final report is expected to be available in early 2017. Contact details: schulmann@euro.centre.org
Strengthening the links with UNECE Geneva
During the ninth Meeting of the UNECE Working Group on Ageing (21-22 November 2016) Kai Leichsenring gave a presentation about ‘The Economic Dimension of Ageing – From Silver Economy to Ageing 4.0’. Economic potentials of ageing societies will need to be underpinned by social investment and moves towards a new life-course approach as well as towards new types of work-life balance – issues that were in part addressed by the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing but will need to be further developed under new technological and economic conditions.
2nd Round Table on Microsimulation in Zagreb
Michael Fuchs attended the 2nd Round Table on Microsimulation in Zagreb organised by the Institute of Public Finance of the University of Zagreb. The experiences from Austria and Slovenia were presented, which are using micro-simulation models to support public administration bodies in the analysis of existing and the designing of new tax-benefit policies. Also activities regarding a social benefits reform in Croatia were presented and potentials of use of microsimulation models in this context were discussed.
Supporting the Slovenian Long-term Care Reform
The Slovenian Government is planning a major long-term care reform. Latest steps have been a Policy Dialogue on 25 October at the Slovenian Parliament and a Workshop on ‘Needs Assessment in Long-term Care’, co-organised by the Slovenian Ministries of Health and of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, and the European Commission (DG Employment). Ricardo Rodrigues and Kai Leichsenring contributed to both events by presenting European overviews and good practice from other European countries, based on past and on-going research. The process of preparation of a new needs assessment tool including pilot projects in Slovenia will be further accompanied by the European Centre. Contact: Ricardo Rodrigues
Presentation at the "Statistics Day 2016"
Presentation Statistiktag Michael Fuchs
On 20 October Michael Fuchs attended the "Statistics Day 2016" organised by Statistics Austria on the topic "Science and Statistics Austria - a Win-Win Cooperation". He gave a presentation on "Use of Micro Data in Social Research". The presentation can be downloaded here.
Presentation at the 8th NORMACARE Meeting, in Tampere (Finland) 10-11 October
The Nordic research network on marketisation in eldercare (NORMACARE) regularly brings together researchers from different backgrounds to discuss developments and outcomes of the marketization of long-term care services, in a comparative context. Ricardo Rodrigues participated in the 8th meeting of the network, where he presented and discussed a paper titled “Care in Times of Choice and Competition: A synthesis of the concepts of care and their relevance for economics”. The paper aims to provide a multi-disciplinary framework for the economic analysis of markets of care. For more information please contact Ricardo Rodrigues, rodrigues@euro.centre.org.
Workshop on Geographical Inequalities in Long-term Care Use ? Madrid (Spain) 3-4 October
IMSERSO and the European Centre have organised a workshop titled “The factor of territorial governance and provisions of long term care in Europe”, in Madrid, which discussed different models of multi-level governance in long-term care and its impact on equity in access, taking the Spanish case as a starting point. The workshop involved a review of what is known on equity in access to long-term care presented by Ricardo Rodrigues and a discussion of country examples from the EU. These included Austria, presented by Kai Leichsenring, Sweden, presented by Anna Gralberg, Slovenia, presented by Davor Dominkus, and Germany, presented by Prof Hildegard Theobald. For more information please contact Ricardo Rodrigues, rodrigues@euro.centre.org.


International Seminar: Bernhard Weicht: Ideal Care – Struggles for and against commodification and individualization in European Care Regimes
Historically, states and societies have found different answers to increasing care needs, ranging from family provision, to publicly financed institutions and the market. In recent times demographic and social processes put pressure on family-based solutions, while, simultaneously, states reduce or at least refuse to increase their expenditure on long term care. Importantly, however, these materialist explanations need to be accompanied by a focus on the ideological argumentation which underlies current welfare state changes, in which an economisation strategy (based on the imperative of individual choice) is often seen as both solution and aim. If the family (and historically this means women within families) cannot and the state does not want to fulfil the arising care needs, is marketization the logical consequence? Are commodification and marketization of care desirable or even possible? Starting from the normative concern that commodification can cause threats to well-being I examine recent policy changes in different care and welfare regimes in order to identify possible logics and practices of marketization and commodification. I utilize Polanyi’s and Fraser’s concepts of commodification processes and in particular their discussions of “fictitious commodities”. It will be shown that executing one’s own choice has been a fundamental component of most countries’ argumentation strategies for new legislation which means that an individualist, atomistic logic of the market has informed the design of policies and regulations. I argue that while these conceptualisations of commodification help to capture changes in the logics and practices of care they are missing a crucial element that defines any affective labour: the moral dimension of what care actually means to people. Starting with an ideal concept of care, based on a productive rather than regressive nostalgic sketch, the moral dimension should compel us to imagine new forms of communal care that move beyond the market logic of individualization and choice.
Congratulations to Katarina Hollan
Katarina Hollan
Katarina Hollan was awarded the Kurt Rothschildpreis for her work on “Bildungshomogamie und Vermögensverteilung in Österreich” (“Assortative Mating and the Wealth Distribution in Austria”, jointly with Sophie Augustin and Alyssa Schneebaum). This prize – in memory of the Austrian economist Kurt Rothschild, who strongly advocated the social character of the economic discipline – was awarded for the first time this year. Congratulations!