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Upcoming Events

Long-term care: new evidence

‘Experiences of public reporting of quality in long-term care in Europe’ - article in Health Policy
Public reporting of quality in long-term care is advocated by allowing providers to improve their performance through benchmarking, and users to choose the best providers. In their article, Ricardo Rodrigues, Andrea Schmidt, Kai Leichsenring and Lisa Trigg (LSE) review the experiences of public reporting in 7 EU countries and find little evidence of a significant impact of public reporting on users’ choices. Among possible barriers to the effectiveness of public reporting were low awareness of quality indicators, information displayed in unclear format and uncompetitive markets. The article is part of the project ECAB funded by the EU Commission, Seventh Framework Programme, and the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science and Research.
Who pays for care? The Swiss long-term care system in European perspective
The Swiss long-term care system is characterised by a relatively low level of public expenditure, but generous coverage with care services for older people. This is mostly due to the fact that private co-payments from users are the highest in Europe, ranging from 36 to 60 percent of total costs. Despite support for low-income groups, this has implications on equality of access for the population at large. In an article (German Version, French Version) for the Federal Social Insurance Office in Switzerland Andrea Schmidt discusses different economic and cultural aspects of the Swiss long-term care system in comparison with other countries in Europe.
Driver, gaps and challenges of the new EU Cross-Border Care Directive
The Eurohealth Observer’s last issue of 2013 is dedicated to the driving factors and remaining gaps in the Directive on the application of patients’ rights in cross-border health care implemented in October 2013. Ten case studies that base on the results of research undertaken in the FP 7 project 'Evaluating Care Across Border (ECAB)' analyse collateral issues connected to cross-border care. The European Centre co-authored the case study 'Cross-Border Dental Care between Austria and Hungary' that focuses on the implications of cross-border dental care for safety and quality as well as the case study 'Risk communication for cross-border health threats: infectious diseases and anti-microbial resistance'.
Contact: Juliane Winkelmann or Andrea Schmidt

Digital solutions in long-term care? The potential of ICT to support informal carers in Europe
With the increasing use of information and communication technologies (ICT), including smart phones and social media, the digital age has come to play a role also in long-term care for older people and their carers. In fact, a number of case studies show the potential application of information and communication technologies to support informal carers in their daily lives. However, large-scale studies on cost efficiency are still found wanting, and the integration of ICT solutions into national long-term care systems still bears a number of challenges. In an article (German, French) for the Federal Social Insurance Office in Switzerland, Francesco Barbabella and Giovanni Lamura (INRCA), together with Andrea Schmidt discuss the potential and use of ICT to support informal carers in Europe, based on findings from the research project CARICT.

Other publications

‘The New Politics of Welfare Reform’, lead article in Political Studies
Pieter Vanhuysse has contributed the lead article with Markus Tepe (University of Oldenburg) to a special section of the journal Political Studies (5-year impact factor 1.558), devoted to ‘The New Politics of Welfare Reform’. Entitled ‘Parties, Unions, and Activation Strategies,’ the article argues that unions today increasingly take into account the distinct re-employability worries of their members and therefore consider ALMPs as a second-best (or first-best feasible) priority. It tests these arguments empirically on a sample of 20 OECD countries between 1986 and 2005. It finds that leftwing party power has no effect on ALMP spending but larger and more strike-prone unions are today associated with higher ALMP spending overall. Moreover, union strategies are context-dependent: more powerful unions push for more activation spending especially in those labour markets where jobs are not yet well protected.


Kick-off meeting of new project on “Impact of the crisis on access to healthcare in Portugal”
What has been the impact of budget-balancing measures on access to healthcare in Portugal? Are some groups being left behind? How were healthcare providers on the ground affected and what are they doing to maintain or improve access to healthcare in a time of crisis? The European Centre is carrying out a case study to answer these questions as part of a project funded and coordinated by the EUROFOUND foundation. The case study will be completed during the first half of 2014. The European Centre thus continues to build on its recent research on the effect of financial crisis on healthcare systems and a report on the impact of the crisis on unmet needs for healthcare in Europe will be available soon. For more information contact Ricardo Rodrigues.
Extending working lives – A conceptual framework
Extending working lives and raising the employment rate of older workers are often discussed in connection with concepts such as active ageing, employability, quality of work and, more recently, social innovation. These concepts are closely related to each other. The report touches upon these concepts in order to develop standards for identifying and assessing “good practice” in innovative, effective, sustainable and transferable strategies in age-related employment and (vocational) lifelong learning. Eszter Zólyomi and Katrin Gasior contributed to the framework with a country-specific report on The Netherlands. The conceptual framework is the first deliverable for "Extending Working Lives" (WP3) of the MOPACT project.

Upcoming Event

5th Global Forum on Incontinence (GFI)
The European Centre endorses the 5th Global Forum on Incontinence (GFI) in Madrid 8-9 April 2014. GFI is a platform for education and debate about the impact of incontinence on individuals, caregivers and society. The objective is to suggest principles for a better organization of continence care.
Policy makers, health and social care providers, NGOs and medical experts will gather for presentations in the area of continence care, to exchange views and to explore opportunities to achieve sustainable quality continence care. Kai Leichsenring will be one of the keynote speakers addressing incontinence as a major issue to be tackled within integrated long-term care.

Past Event

„Social policies for young generations“ - lecture at the opening session of the European National Youth Councils seminar
On december 20th, Pieter Vanhuysse delivered a lecture on social policies for young generations by video conference to the opening session of the National Youth Councils seminar, organized by the Portuguese National Youth Council in partnership with the National Youth Councils of Spain, Italy, Greece, Malta, Romania and Finland. The seminar, which held a session in the Portuguese Parliament, aimed to provide a space for public discussion of social model sustainability in an ageing Europe.

Book Reviews

"Ageing Populations in Post-industrial Democracies” reviewed in Swiss Political Science Review
Pieter Vanhuysse's book with Achim Goerres has been reviewed by Jaemin Shim from Oxford University in the Swiss Political Science Review Vol. 19, No. 1 (2013). Excerpts: ‘This timely volume ... aims to understand and explain how political configurations and legacies among OECD countries result in varying levels of policy and preference divergence in the face of permanent austerity and issues linked to an ageing society. Ageing Populations in Post-Industrial Democracies represents a competent venture into a relatively unchartered terrain from a comparative political science perspective. This book provides a wide range of interesting and nuanced findings to learn from and puzzle over. It is undoubtedly a must-read for any student of welfare politics, ageing societies, and family policy.’
Czech Sociological Review books: Education At A Glance, and Long-Term Care in Europe
The winter 2013-2014 issue of the Czech Sociological Review, the number one CEE sociology journal (impact factor 0.652), edited by Pieter Vanhuysse, features reviews written by Shaul Stapmfer (Hebrew University), Andrew Roberts (Northwestern), Achim Kemmerling (CEU), Caroline Berghammer (University of Vienna), and others. They review altogether ten books in sociology and social policy, authored by Valery Bunce, Paul Seabright, Patrick Emmenegger, Bruno Palier and others. It also features a review by Katrin Gasior on the OECD's flagship report Education At A Glance, as well as a review by Bruno Martin and Alis Sopadzhiyan on Long-Term Care in Europe: Improving Policy and Practice by Kai Leichsenring, Jenny Billings and Henk Nies.