The Orbán welfare reform and its impact on the Hungarian living standards

The Hungarian social policy of the early 2010s focused on unemployment. The Orbán’s workfare reform aimed at expanding the Public Work Schemes, which mostly failed at integrating their participants into the primary labour market. This was the consequence of a policy centred only on the job places creation rather than addressing quality of work and social inclusion. The Public Work Schemes rendered mandatory for people receiving welfare benefits sectorial jobs with a low marketable profile despite the level of education, creating a low and segregated profile for public workers. So that, long-term unemployment issues such as family conflicts, health problems and social exclusion arose. Thus, the Orbán’s policy increased income equality by boosting the employment rate. Yet, it did not increase employability and, by not including public workers into the primary labour market, the workfare reform also increased the poverty gap and the stigmatisation of social exclusion. (Virginia Trulli, postgraduate)

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Russian versus European welfare attitudes

The new report of the PAWCER project presents welfare attitudes in Russia and the European countries. It covers public support for changes in social protection systems as well as in current social policies. The vulnerable groups include: the poor and concern about income redistribution, the unemployed and unemployment benefits, the elderly and public pensions, working parents and childcare, as well as migrants and accessibility to social rights. See project here

New policy brief: Integrated Case Management for Employment and Social Welfare Users in the Western Balkan economies

This policy brief provides insights into the application of integrated case management by Public Employment Services and Social Services institutions in the Western Balkans. The authors describe the status quo of case management and cooperative practices in the region and discuss the potentials and caveats of implementing integrated case management in such contexts. Based on current practices in the individual countries as well as the lessons learned from EU member states that have developed their own ICM models, the development of Integrated Case Management Standards agreed upon jointly among all actors across all countries is recommended. ICM models, however, should take into account local requirements and make best use of available resident potentials.

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New Publication: Bridge Building Workshop papers

The publication “Bridge Building: Knowledge Exchange in Social Welfare Policy and Research -Innovative Approaches in Labour Market Policy and Health and Long-Term Care in Eastern Europe” compiles Workshop papers presented at the launch event ‘Building Bridges in Social Welfare Policy in Eastern Europe’ (19 September 2016; Vienna).  It provides a snapshot of contents for further discussion and, ideally, for mutual learning among the wider European community. It highlights the findings from scholars and experts when examining innovative approaches implemented in their countries. The publication consists of a total of eight papers: four papers offer insights into research and good practice in the field of labour market policy and four papers provide information on findings from the area of health and long-term care.