New policy brief: Decentralization of social services in Kosovo: policy challenges and recommendations

This policy brief aims to provide a brief overview of the current decentralization of social services in Kosovo. The authors address the present challenges faced by Centres for Social Work and non-governmental organizations and provide policy and practice recommendations to make the decentralization process fully operational to the benefit of the most vulnerable groups in the population. Read more here

Guidelines and toolkit on integrated case management for Employment and Social Welfare Users in the Western Balkan economies

The guidelines and toolkit presented here are intended to assist Public Employment Services and Centres for Social Welfare in the Western Balkans to build up integrated case management systems. Integrated case management is understood as an innovative practice which is employed especially by these two institutions collectively to serve the most vulnerable with all available resources from both the labour market and the social assistance system, and even beyond. To enhance the inclusiveness of labour markets, the engagement of other actors is also necessary. The guidelines thus recommend the setting up of integrated case management systems that are embedded in partnership structures. The toolkit, an integrative part of this paper, furthermore offers all necessary resources to provide a quick reference resource for policymakers during the implementation of integrated case management.

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EEPOW Workshop in Montenegro

The first country workshop happened in Podgorica, Montenegro on May 7, 2018. The workshop organized by the local partner, the Employment Agency of Montenegro and another partner, the Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (ZRC SAZU), Slovenia with the support of the European Centre, brought together representatives from the Ministry of Labour of Montenegro, the Employment Agency, the Labour Inspectorate, the social partners, and researchers to discuss the transposition of the Posting of Workers Directive in Montenegro and the institutional capacities for implementing the Directive once the country becomes a member state.

Read more on ‘Posting of workers in Eastern Europe

Invitation to the Vienna EUROMOD Workshop, 17 -18 September 2018

The European Centre together with ISER/University of Essex (United Kingdom) invites for the Vienna EUROMOD Workshop, taking place at the Austria Trend Hotel Ananas from 17 – 18 September 2018.

The Wokshop comprises the following sessions:

  • Tax-benefit microsimulation in Austria (17 September, morning)
  • Western BalkanMod initiative of the Eastern European Social Policy Network (17 September, afternoon)
  • New research directions using EUROMOD (18 September, morning)

For more information, see the agenda.

We particularly invite researchers and public representatives with expertise in social protection as well as tax-benefit microsimulation from Austria and the Western Balkan countries, and even beyond (EU, EaP-Eastern Partnership countries, etc.).

We look forward to seeing you on 17-18 September 2018!

The registration for the Vienna EUROMOD Workshop is closed.

EEPOW workshop in Albania

The second country workshop happened in Tirana, Albania on June 26, 2018. The workshop organized by the local partner, European Movement – Albania (EMA) with the support of the European Centre, brought together representatives from the Directorate for Employment and Vocational Trainings, Ministry of Economy and Finance, Labour Inspectorate, social partners, and researchers to discuss the transposition of the Posting of Workers Directive in Albania and the institutional capacities for implementing the Directive once Albania becomes a member state.

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Comparative report on integrated case management for employment and social welfare users in the Western Balkans

This comparative report on integrated case management for employment and social welfare users analyses the legal, policy and institutional framework for collaborative approaches and the practices applied by national and local actors as a basis on which to build up an integrated case management system in the Western Balkans. Integrated case management is understood as innovative practice employed by the Public Employment Service and Centres for Social Welfare in the countries and territories collectively to serve the most vulnerable with all available resources from both the labour market and the social assistance system.

Champions are identified and recommendations provided that should help partnerships to flourish at the interface of labour market and social policy. The report shows that there is a lack of well-established partnerships practising integrated case management in the Western Balkans and that Territorial Employment Pacts are a model well-suited to providing an overall frame for an integrated case management system in the Western Balkans.

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First NLO Workshop for strengthening regional cooperation in Bridge Building and Eastern European countries

The European Centre organised the first ‘Bridge Building in Social Welfare Policy’ Workshop with the European Centre’s National Liaison Officials (NLOs) in Vienna, on 19-20 April 2018.

NLOs and representatives from the Western Balkans and Eastern Partnership countries, Board Members, and officials from the Austrian Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Health and Consumer Protection, met to exchange experiences regarding the implementation of transnational projects. They also discussed project ideas and explored different cooperation and funding opportunities. This was the first of meeting of the European Centre’s NLOs and an important step towards deepened cooperation with the region.

EEPOW Kick-Off in Vienna

The Posting of Workers in Eastern Europe (EEPOW) Project had its Kick-Off event in Vienna, Austria on the 27 and 28 February 2018. The project brought together eight partners and three associated partners, four from EU member states (Austria, Germany, Italy, Slovenia) and four candidate countries from the Western Balkans (Albania, FYROM, Montenegro, Serbia). The project aims to proactively address the issue of posting of workers at its pre-accession stage by assisting the participating candidate countries in assessing their needs on the implementation of the Posting of Workers Directive and building their capacities for the implementation of the Directive when it becomes applicable. It does so through various activities on mutual learning, information exchange, cooperation and research among the partner organizations and the targeted national and transnational stakeholders. The Kick-Off was followed by the first Steering Group Meeting of the Project.

Read more on ‘Posting of workers in Eastern Europe

Expert-level workshop in the Western Balkans: 29-31 January 2018, Belgrade

The European Centre commissioned by the UNDP conducted an expert-level workshop regarding ‘Integrated case management in the Western Balkans‘. During the 3-days lasting workshop in Belgrade (29 January – 31 January 2018), the European Centre informed on user-centred approaches for vulnerable and hard-to-employ groups (for public employment and social welfare services). To achieving inclusive labour markets that leave no one behind, the European Centre created a mutual learning and collective rethinking environment for policymakers and civil servants. The workshop showcased good practices and common trends on service delivery in the region and it contributed to the following outcomes:

  • It enabled national policymakers to collectively think and envisage macro (policy), meso (organizational) and micro (beneficiary) level implications of potential case management practices in their own countries.
  • It stimulated practical ideas concerning partnership modalities that will ensure effective and efficient implementation of case management and of local inclusive labour markets vision at large.
  • It ensured convergence towards EU and global good practice enhanced through peer learning and support.
  • It instigated cross-country policy dialogue to help innovate applications to tackle the employment of vulnerable groups and foster inclusive labour markets.

First Bridge Building Summer School on social welfare took place at the European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research, in Vienna

Eleven participants from Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia and Ukraine successfully completed the Bridge Building Summer School on social selfare (BB Summer School) at the European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research, in Vienna, Austria, from 10 to 14 July 2017. Researchers, practitioners and CSO representatives gathered to foster channels of learning, communication, and partnerships. The main outcomes of the BB Summer School include: the learning of best practices, the exchange of knowledge and experiences, the development of collaborative work, and the strengthening of the Eastern European Social Policy Network (EESPN). The summer school’s key event, the EESPN public forum, was hosted by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection. Together with approximately 45 people, the key note speakers Dr. Cartwright and Ms Marić approached the question of ‘Divided society – Cohesive Europe?’.

Please find outputs on the BB summer school here:
Short report_BB-summer school

 

The summer school is co-funded by the Central European Initiative.