2nd BB Peer Review: The design of the social assistance benefit in Moldova

The Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Republic of Moldova and the European Centre organised an online Peer review on “The design of the social assistance benefit in Moldova: Improving targeting and supporting employment”, on 6-7 September 2022.

The Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Republic of Moldova and the European Centre organised an online Peer review on “The design of the social assistance benefit in Moldova: Improving targeting and supporting employment”, on 6-7 September 2022. Representatives from ministries & public authorities from Armenia, Austria, Moldova, Kosovo, Georgia and Ukraine discussed Moldova’s approach towards minimum income guarantee and its attempts to improve social assistance targeting for the most vulnerable groups of society (e.g. families with children, persons outside the labour market, pensioners). The aim was to share practical information about the ongoing reform of the Moldovan system on social assistance benefits and its link to labour market activation measures (benefit levels, integrated approaches etc.). Read more

Moldovan Peer Review Snapshots

Moldovan initial situation

The Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Republic of Moldova and the European Centre hosted a Peer Review to find ways to improve the transition of social assistance beneficiaries from benefits into employment.

‘The individual approach’

The European Centre experts presented the individualised approach to labour market integration which is characterised by tailoring support to beneficiaries’ specific needs (e.g. childcare for parents, assistance for people with disabilities, differences between urban/rural regions) instead of a one-size-fits all policy.

Mutual learning among peer countries

Representatives from ministries, public authorities & stakeholders from Armenia and Kosovo this approach by building on policies and experiences from their own countries.

North Macedonia: barriers to accessing long-term care

The InCARE project collected data on attitudes, experiences, and expectations on long-term care through an online survey between September 2021 – January 2022 across European countries, including North Macedonia.

The InCARE project collected data on attitudes, experiences, and expectations on long-term care through an online survey between September 2021 – January 2022 across European countries, including North Macedonia.  One part of the survey focused on barriers that individuals faced (or that their loved ones faced) in accessing long-term care services.

The survey found that affordability of care is a major challenge for respondents in North Macedonia (see Graph results above). About every 2 in 5 respondents stated cost as a barrier to residential and home care in the country, surpassing that reported at the EU-level, indicating the need for stronger financial support. Lower income respondents are particularly vulnerable to unaffordable care costs. These findings align with previous research in the country that indicates cost to be a preventative factor for many in using care (see Gjorgjev, 2021).

Availability of care services is also an issue: nearly 1 in every 4 for home care and 1 in every 5 for residential care reported availability barriers. Rural-dwelling individuals particularly face availability barriers for both home and residential care, emphasizing the need for increased investment in infrastructure outside of cities.

Full results for North Macedonia and other Eastern European countries will shortly be available. Check out the InCARE project page to keep up to date with the latest findings.

BB Peer Reviews and Trainings: Integrated policy approach applied in Kosovo for vulnerable groups of society

On 21-22 June 2022, the European Centre organised and facilitated the Peer Review “The integrated policy approach applied for vulnerable groups of society with the Active Inclusion Integration Platform (AIIP) of the Republic of Kosovo”.

On 21-22 June 2022, the European Centre organised and facilitated the Peer Review “The integrated policy approach applied for vulnerable groups of society with the Active Inclusion Integration Platform (AIIP) of the Republic of Kosovo”.  Beside the Republic of Kosovo that acted as a host country, 4 peer country delegations from Armenia, Albania, Moldova and North Macedonia took an active part and shared their experiences about ongoing reforms linked to integrated case management to support vulnerable groups. Delegations consisted of representatives of the relevant Ministries, Employment Agencies, as well as Centres for Social Work, which contributed to a fruitful and constructive discussion about common challenges and promising policy solutions, with additional contributions from some key international experts.

This was the first Peer Review, under the project “Bridge Building Peer Reviews and Trainings: Mutual Learning Activities in BB countries”, financed by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection. There will be 3 more mutual learning events taking place in the coming months on different aspects of social policies in the Western Balkans and Eastern Partnership countries.

Kosovo Peer Review Snapshots

Kosovo’s initial situation

BB Peer Review – snapshot 1

The Kosovo Ministry of Finance, Labour and Transfers hosted a BB Peer Review on the integrated policy approach for vulnerable groups.

Case management intervention

BB Peer Review – snapshot 2

The European Centre in cooperation with the UNDP explained the Integrated Case Management Method.

AIIP introduction

BB Peer Review – snapshot 3

Kosovo informed on their updated Active Inclusion Integration Platform (AIIP).

BB Peer Review

BB Peer Review – snapshot 4

Representatives from ministries, public authorities & stakeholders from the peer countries discussed integrated case management for vulnerable groups.

Job vacancy: Social Policy Analyst wanted

The European Centre has a vacancy for a researcher to work on topics related to social policy in an international comparative perspective in the UNECE region.

The European Centre has a vacancy for a researcher to work on topics related to social policy in an international comparative perspective in the UNECE region. These include social protection (benefits and services), poverty and inequalities (including gender, age), evaluation of public policies in these areas, policy analysis and consultancy.

The European Centre offers the possibility for researchers to develop and grow in a working environment that emphasises excellence, interdisciplinary co-operation between colleagues inside and outside the European Centre, independence and autonomy at work.

Application deadline: 25 June 2022  – read more

How to benefit from Bridge Building?

Bridging Building connects the knowledge and policy evidence on social welfare of the EU Member States with the Bridging Building (BB) countries.

Bridging Building connects the knowledge and policy evidence of its partners in the EU Member States with those in the Bridging Building (BB) countries, namely Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Kosovo, the Republic of North Macedonia, the Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, and Ukraine.

The European Centre supports its partners in finding policy solutions through comparative research, policy analysis, evaluation and assessment, transfer of know-how and good practice, cooperation, and capacity building in the BB countries. Read more about the benefits of Bridge Building

SMUG Transnational Workshop: Discussing results at the comparative level

The SMUG Transnational Workshop took place in the premises of the European Centre in Vienna on 26 and 27 April 2022, and gathered project partners, external experts, representatives of public authorities and the European Labour Authority.

The SMUG Transnational Workshop took place in the premises of the European Centre in Vienna on 26 and 27 April 2022, and gathered project partners, external experts, representatives of public authorities and the European Labour Authority. During the 2-days-workshop, the participants discussed:

  • posting as a business model and recruitment strategies,
  • the intersection of migration and posting regimes, 
  • posted workers as labour market actors, 
  • the health and social protection of posted workers,
  • and rules and rights of posted workers.

In the final part of the workshop, the participants discussed and developed joint policy recommendations to the gaps that emerged in the thematic sessions. The results from the workshop will feed into the final project report. Read about the project

Armenia: Training on integrated policy measures and services

During April 2022 and May 2022, Anette Scoppetta and Veronica Sandu from the European Centre are providing training sessions on integrated case management, integrated employment and social protection support for the Armenian authorities.

During April and May 2022, Anette Scoppetta and Veronica Sandu from the European Centre are providing training sessions on integrated case management, integrated employment and social protection support for the Armenian authorities. The Armenian Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, the National Institute for Labour and Social Research, the Nork Social Services Technological and Awareness Centre are paired up with local level providers (Integrated Social Services Centres) to transfer knowledge and good practices on integrated policy approaches, integrated policy delivery, case management and activation measures. The training sessions are part of the project Integrated policy response on employment and social protection in the context of COVID-19 crisis mitigation and recovery, supported by social dialogue in Armenia and Tajikistan implemented with ILO Country Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

War in Ukraine and its economic, social and environmental impact

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) strongly condemns the unilateral aggression against Ukraine ordered by the President of the Russian Federation and the involvement of the Belarusian regime.

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) strongly condemns the unilateral aggression against Ukraine ordered by the President of the Russian Federation and the involvement of the Belarusian regime; stresses that the invasion of Ukraine by Russian military forces violates international rules and agreements in force and threatens European and global security; the invasion also directly violates the EU’s primary aim “to promote peace, its values and the well-being of its people”; read more

Ukraine: Cohesion funding to support people fleeing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

CARE will help Member States to provide emergency support covering the basic needs of people fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine. These needs include access to services such as temporary accommodation, food and water supplies or medical care.

On the 8th of March 2022, the Commission adopted a proposal for Cohesion’s Action for Refugees in Europe (CARE) allowing Member States and regions to provide emergency support to people fleeing from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.  CARE is introducing the necessary flexibility in the 2014-2020 Cohesion policy rules to allow a swift reallocation of available funding to such emergency support. On top, the 2022 envelope of €10 billion of the Recovery Assistance for Cohesion and the Territories of Europe (‘REACT-EU’) funds can also be used to address these new demands within the overall aim of post-pandemic recovery.

CARE will help Member States to provide emergency support covering the basic needs of people fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine. These needs include access to services such as temporary accommodation, food and water supplies or medical care. CARE may also enhance the administrative capacity of Member States to cater for the needs of refugees by supporting e.g. additional infrastructure equipment or staff necessary to cater for the needs of refugees. Read more ERA4Ukraine page

Situation Analysis Report: Consideration for the Government of Moldova & UNICEF Country Programme

The European Centre, contracted by UNICEF, conducted the Situation Analysis of Children and Adolescents in Moldova. The scope of this report is to examine the degree of realisation of children’s rights, to investigate the unequal realisation of rights across different areas and to identify the drivers of unequal realisation in Moldova.

The European Centre, contracted by UNICEF, conducted the Situation Analysis of Children and Adolescents in Moldova. The scope of this report is to examine the degree of realisation of children’s rights, to investigate the unequal realisation of rights across different areas and to identify the drivers of unequal realisation in Moldova. The analysis concluded that while Moldova has progressed in providing a legal and regulatory framework for children’s and adolescents’ rights and protection these laws do not necessarily result in improved outcomes for children and adolescents. Many vulnerable groups remain excluded in terms of access to good quality services, protection, representation and participation, such as low-income families, families living in remote rural areas, Roma population, children with disabilities and their families.

The main findings of the Situation Analysis Report have been discussed with Moldovan key child rights stakeholders and will be considered for drafting by the Government of Moldova and UNICEF Country Programme. A final version of the Situation Analysis of Children and Adolescents in Moldova is upcoming.