What is it about?


Additional countries entered into the Memorandum of Understanding
In order to improve European cohesion and to contribute to the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the European Centre has established further cooperation with Eastern European countries. Following the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Serbian Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs, another MoU was now signed with the Ukrainian Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour. Other countries' ministries are soon to follow, including Albania, Azerbaijan, Kosovo and Macedonia. In its ‘Bridge building function’ with Eastern European countries the European Centre provides governments, international institutions, research institutes and civil society organizations with relevant know-how and advice for establishing or improving structures in the area of social welfare policies, based on expertise drawn from the European Centre's empirical and comparative cross-national research.


New Project: Study on the Social Dimension of the EU
The Austrian Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection has commissioned the European Centre to identify key thematic areas that could be underpinned by benchmarking processes if further policy convergence took place to strengthen the social dimension of the EU. The study will suggest potential indicators for benchmarking and will discuss their pros and cons as well as potential accompanying measures by mutual learning from good practice. A final report will be delivered by the end of November 2016. Contact: Anette Scoppetta.
Study on persons not covered by health insurance in Austria
In a project funded by the Umbrella Organisation of the Austrian Social Insurance Institutions (Hauptverband der österreichischen Sozialversicherungsträger), Michael Fuchs, Katarina Hollan and Martin Schenk (Diakonie Österreich) will analyse the extent, socio-demographic characteristics, causes and coping strategies of persons not covered by health insurance in Austria. For the project both quantitative and qualitative methods will be used. A former study on the topic was carried out in 2002/03 – please view the Summary.


AGORA – How to build a health-promoting public sphere
Inter-professional cooperation is considered a valuable goal within health promotion as well as “New Public Governance”: for the clients of the respective professions and for the professionals themselves. The practice project AGORA, which was subsidised by the Austrian Health Promotion Fund and by the Health promotion institutes of Vienna and Lower Austria, intended to contribute to the extension and intensification of cooperation of social work and police in the public sphere. In the (German language) report Irmgard Eisenbach-Stangl and her partners from the Universities of Applied Sciences in Vienna and Lower Austria depict current cooperation and discuss experiences with interventions aiming at their improvement.
Corridor Studies Austria/Turkey and Germany/Turkey on Portability of Social Benefits published as World Bank discussion papers
An increasing share of the world population will spend some time of working life outside their home country. Lacking portability of acquired social rights threatens human rights, deteriorates individual life cycle planning and social risk management, affects labour mobility negatively, and creates fiscal costs for at least one of the countries. In the country coordination of portability, bilateral (and multilateral) agreements play a key role. However, what they are able to achieve with regard to human rights and economic and social outcomes remained largely unknown. Against this background the project commissioned by the World Bank set up corridor studies as an instrument of knowledge gathering and result analysis. The analysis of the two bilateral social security agreements between Austria/Turkey and Germany/Turkey (authors: R. Holzmann, M. Fuchs, S. Pacaci Elitok, P. Dale) brought substantial experiences, as they have existed for many years in migration intensive corridors.
Employment and health condition of older workers
In a new Research Note for the Social Situation Monitor, the ad hoc module on the transition from work to retirement is analysed: the extent to which men and women in the EU continue to work both before and after reaching 65, the hours they work, the types of job they do, as well as the main reasons for staying in work. The health condition of older people, the extent to which they are affected by impairments, including mental disabilities, and how it varies according to their employment situation is investigated using SHARE data. For results read the full report here.
Recent changes in self-employment and entrepreneurship across the EU
This Research Note of the Social Situation Monitor examines the widespread growth of self-employment across the EU over the period 2007-2014. Among others, it assesses the extent of movement from unemployment into self-employment, the changes in the income of the self-employed over the crisis period, and considers how far the level of satisfaction with their life, job and financial situation compares with that of employees. Finally, it examines the access to social protection of the self-employed and the policies in place across the EU to encourage people to set up in business. The full report can be found here.
Care leaves from the workplace for informal carers ? an international comparison
What kind of support do care leaves from the workplace offer for informal caregivers? How can generosity of different approaches be measured? Featured on the blog.arbeit-wirtschaft.at of the Austrian Chamber of Labour and the Austrian Trade Union Federation, Andrea E. Schmidt presents findings from an international comparison of family care leave policies and legislation, zooming in on the Austrian situation. She concludes that the Austrian care leave models help provide a good work-life balance for caregivers, yet statutory rights are partly found wanting.


Martin Kahanec: The Myths and Veracities of the European Migration Challenge
Europe has been going through multiple challenges, including aging populations, skill shortages, economic recession and financial crisis, and the current migration crisis. The ensuing complexities have confused many key actors, including the general public and voters, as to their perspectives on the role of labor mobility for European societies and economies. In this International Seminar Martin Kahanec will shed light on some of the key questions asked in the migration debate: Do migrants take our jobs and welfare? Are they grease or sand in the wheels of European economies? And how many migrants come due to the magnetism of welfare provisions in receiving countries? Read more
Presentation at the Conference of the European Association of Health Economics

Ricardo Rodrigues presented findings from ongoing research – with Stefania Ilinca and Andrea Schmidt – on equity in long-term care in Europe at the Conference of the European Association of Health Economics, in Hamburg on 15 July. The presentation titled “Measures of economic status and equity effects in the use of long-term care in Europe: ranking by income versus wealth”, showed that using wealth (e.g. house ownership) over income may impact on the analysis of equity in the use of different types of long-term care by older people in Europe. The presentation is available on request from the author.