Bridge Building Summer School on Social Welfare

Building capacities to overcome societal challenges

SDG-08 decent work_economic growth

The Bridge Building Summer School on Social Welfare was a response to the need for capacity building from the 2016 Launch event ‘Building bridges in social welfare policy in Eastern Europe’ (19 September 2016 in Vienna) regarding joint research, project acquisition and project development, especially, in the areas of youth unemployment, labour market policy, healthy and active ageing and demographic change. The starting points of the summer school were joint economic and societal challenges the EU countries, the potential candidate countries and the EaP countries were facing, such as the current migration wave, demographic change and the various economic challenges in the aftermath of the crisis. The challenges in social welfare were reflected and answered to overcome the challenges discussed with both, academic inputs and good practice contributions (e.g. social innovations). By implementing the summer school, we built upon our network established between researchers, governments and civil society organisations, the Eastern European Social Policy Network. Speakers from research and applied science as well as from civil society and from public authorities provided high-level inputs and up-to-date knowledge for the summer school participants; thereby stimulating policy dialogue among its participants and beyond.

Bridging Function of the European Centre

Project Information

Project Duration
2017/03 - 2017/10
Project Coordinator(s)
European Centre
Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Georgia, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine, Other: Austria
Policy Areas
Employment and labour market policy, Social protection and social security, Social inclusion, Welfare state
Target groups

Researchers, practitioners and CSO representatives

Project Partner(s)

Central European Initiative (Italy)


The summer school’s objective is to contribute to improving European Cohesion by:

  • building capacities of different stakeholders, sectors, countries, policies, and systems;
  • providing training on innovative approaches, good practices and up-to-date research results, and on project acquisition and project management; and by
  • joint idea development with participants from different countries and with different institutional background (public, private and civil).


  • Call for applications: End of February 2017
  • Selection of applicants: End of April 2017
  • Date of implementation of the summer school: 10-14 July 2017
  • EESPN Public Forum: 12 July 2017


The Summer School stimulated an interactive, participatory and reflective learning process amongst the participants. Various innovative learning methods were applied such as design thinking, concept maps, brain walking and peer learning. It also provided training in project acquisition and management, helped participants to develop preliminary project ideas by taking a hands-off approach and support them by providing hints on how to best respond to upcoming calls of various programmes (e.g. IPA/EU-funded calls) with collaborative research projects.