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Bridging Function

News on the EESPN Public Forum
The Eastern European Social Policy Network (EESPN) calls for registration for the EESPN Public Forum taking place on 12 July 2017 (14:30-17:30). Within the framework of the Building Bridges Summer School, the EESPN Public Forum targets Austrian (and Eastern European) research institutions, civil servants, policy-makers, and NGOs. The Forum seeks to provide an assessment of current social policy practices by answering the following key questions: How can social policies best contribute to more distributive justice? Which strategies are the most promising in the various European regions? And how can governments and research from the East and the West contribute to a social and cohesive Europe? For registration please click here.
Study on the social dimension of the EU: Recommendations for benchmarking
The study “The Social Dimension of the EU” aims at identifying thematic key areas for potential benchmarking processes in the social field during the next potential upward policy convergence. Pros and cons of the benchmarking process, its benchmarks and corresponding social indicators are discussed, exemplified by the minimum income benefits, and further analysis suggested to supplement the exercise. The study shows that benchmarking in the social dimension has its pitfalls when focussing on purely quantitative target settings. Thus, benchlearning processes are suggested, in which analysing the causes and frameworks for societal challenges, learning from others and action-taking stands in the forefront. Read more


New project: Integrated Case Management for Employment and Social Welfare Users in the Western Balkan Economies
The project “Integrated Case Management for Employment and Social Welfare Users in the Western Balkan Economies” (by order of UNDP) promotes inclusive labour market solutions in the Western Balkans by assessing methods currently used by Public Employment Services (PES) and Centres for Social Welfare (CSW) in the region and by assisting in the development of socially innovative practices supporting labour market inclusion of vulnerable groups. Contact: Anette Scoppetta
New project: DET_CAREMIX: determinants in use of care in Slovenia and Austria
The project contributes to a better understanding of the factors that influence take-up of informal care and care services among older users of long-term care (LTC) and their families and how these factors may differ across socio-economic groups. By comparing two countries with similar societal preferences regarding care (Austria and Slovenia) and dissimilar public policies in LTC, the project aims to establish causality between observed choices and public policies. The project has the potential to inform the reform process of countries in Europe, namely the ongoing process in Slovenia, and to contribute to a better targeting of public policies. For information contact Ricardo Rodrigues


They write about us ...
A technical report of the European Centre received recently major attention in Austrian media and politics. Commissioned by the Ministry of Finance to simulate the transfer of the German “Hartz-IV Reform” to Austria, Michael Fuchs, Katarina Hollan and Katrin Gasior used the tax-/benefit microsimulation models EUROMOD and SORESI to calculate the fiscal and distributional implications of a similar reform in Austria. The simulation results show that the potential fiscal gains would have a significant impact on risk of poverty. Contact: Michael Fuchs
New Journal Article: Addiction Aid in Austria: History, Current Design and Perspectives
Professional addiction aid was established as aid for alcoholics from the beginning of the 20th century within the framework of psychiatry. At the end of the 1960s, it was supplemented by drug-treatment facilities, which emerged as part of the prohibitive criminal drug laws. The addiction aid is part of federally structured health care. Particularly in the areas of "seam management", outreach to target groups such as e.g. older addicted people, spread of harm-reducing offers, and reintegration, further developments are still necessary. Contact: Irmgard Eisenbach-Stangl
A handbook for policymakers on providing community care for people with dementia
The report “Community care for people with dementia: A handbook for policymakers” brings together the findings from a study commissioned by the Swedish Ministry of Health and Social Affairs and carried out by a team of researchers in the European Centre’s Health and Care Unit. Filling an important gap in the discourse on how care for people with dementia living at home should best be organised, the study proposes a framework for conceptualising community care which takes into account social, economic, as well as ethical and legal dimensions. Read more


International Seminar: Matthias Wismar on ‘Cross-border mobility of health professionals: managing trade-offs between efficiency and ethics’, 20 June, European Centre
The free mobility of workers in the European Economic Area (EEA) guarantees free cross-border mobility of health professionals. Through the automatic procedure for the so-called regulated professions (doctors, nurses, midwifes, pharmacists), working in another EEA country has become relatively simple. According to the OECD, cross-border mobility of health professionals has constantly increased. But the magnitude and directions of cross-border mobility have changed following major geo-political and economic events including two waves of EU accession, the financial and economic crisis and Brexit. Read more
International Seminar: Hildegard Theobald on ‘Care workers with migrant backgrounds in professional long-term care provision in Germany: Patterns of integration and the interaction of policy fields’, 17 May, European Centre
Embedded in an expansion and restructuring of professional care services in Germany, care workers with migrant backgrounds have increasingly been employed in professional care services in Germany. Based on a large survey study in home-based- and residential care services throughout the country the patterns of integration of care workers with and without migrant backgrounds in professional long-term care services in Germany have been compared. An own multi-level intersectional approach has been used to reveal the interrelated impact of – long-term care-, professionalization- and migration policies – on the employment- and working-situation, i.e. the patterns of integration in professional care organizations respectively daily care work. Read more