Research & good practice

The EESPN provides a forum for identifying key social issues by collecting and making available information on relevant research and examples of good practice in Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Kosovo, Macedonia*, Moldova**, Montenegro, Serbia and Ukraine. More specifically, the EESPN aims to provide information on significant social trends, challenges faced and approaches to address these challenges in the following fields of social policy: Employment and labour market policy, health policy, ageing, long-term care, social protection and social security, pensions, migration and integration, poverty, social inclusion, well-being, welfare state and governance structures.

What are the criteria for submitting a project? The project should

  • include a minimum of two members of the EESPN network
  • have a transnational character with a cross-border approach
  • also provide information in English beside original language of the project
  • have the envisaged regional focus of the EESPN and
  • aim at contributing to European Cohesion and social policy

* The Republic of North Macedonia
** Republic of Moldova

Feasibility Study for the programme “Reforming child protection systems: strengthening children’s rights”

SOSCV_Feasibility Study

Child protection systems in the Western Balkans and Eastern Europe have witnessed a series of important reforms over the past decade. The deinstitutionalisation process (i.e. transitioning from institutional towards family- and community-based service provision) started in most of these countries, followed by a social care service reform which concentrates on developing alternative care services. The education sectors are being reformed as well in order to accommodate children with specific educational needs into the mainstream schools (e.g. children with disabilities). The provision of appropriate forms of childcare shifted from the national level to the local and regional levels. Local authorities try to cover the needs by developing community-based services, but the process is slow due to a lack of sustainable funding, low capacities at the local level, and a lack of procedures and mechanisms for service delivery.

Situation Analysis of children and adolescents in Croatia

SitAn UNICEF Croatia

The Situation Analysis of children’s rights and wellbeing is a flagship product designed to inform policy dialogue, partnerships and interventions to improve the lives of children. It is an assessment and analysis of the country situation, with respect to children’s rights and critical issues affecting their realization. The Situation Analysis is a crucial part of the child rights monitoring (CRM) framework and represents a key UNICEF programmatic output that helps focus on knowledge gaps related to inequities and child deprivations. The Situation Analysis will inform policy dialogue and child-focused policy advocacy to make an important contribution to accelerating the achievement of child-related goals with equity.

Bridging the gap between legislation and practice in the posting of workers


The action proposed studies the gap between procedures (legal basis) and practices (experiences) in posting rule enactment, identifies challenges and develops and shares effective ways of addressing these challenges for posting companies and implementation agencies. It particularly investigates how the Directive interplays with other EU and national legislation in terms of social security, health insurance, temporary agency work, and company law. The geographical scope of the action includes: Austria, Slovenia, Italy, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Serbia, and North Macedonia.

Posting of third country nationals

Mapping the trend in the construction sector

The Con3Post project is set up to explore the growing phenomenon of recruitment and posting of third country nationals (TCN), most notably from the Western Balkans, non-EU Eastern Europe and North African regions, to work as posted workers in the EU construction sector. Experts and key stakeholders from seven carefully selected EU Member States that represent a mix of TCN sending (Slovenia, Poland, Italy) and receiving countries (Austria, Finland, Belgium, Estonia) are brought together to establish transnational cooperation, share information and conduct empirical research to outline current challenges, future scenarios and possible strategic responses to the far-reaching yet largely unexplored consequences/implications of this persistent trend.

Bridging Function of the European Centre

Posting of workers in Eastern Europe


The two-year project aims to proactively address the issue of posting of workers at its pre-accession stage by assisting Eastern European countries, especially the four candidate countries Albania, FYROM, Montenegro, and Serbia, in implementing the Directive already before it gets into force, and by assisting in the prevention of social dumping, i.e. the use of cheap labour, to minimise associated risks for workers. It aims to do so through research, peer reviews and workshops involving stakeholders from the candidate countries and 4 EU member states, namely Austria, Germany, Italy, and Slovenia.

Bridging Function of the European Centre

Integrated case management for employment and social welfare users in the Western Balkans

Contribution to the project 'Promoting inclusive labour market solutions in the Western Balkans'

The project aims to improve labour market governance through expansion of institutional capacities of Public Employment Services (PES) and Centres for Social Welfare (CSW) to develop integrated support and outreach to individuals at risk of exclusion in the Western Balkan economies.

Bridging Function of the European Centre

Bridge Building Summer School on social welfare

Building capacities to overcome societal challenges

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

Social enterprises in active labour market policies in Macedonia


With funding provided by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), the Austrian Association of Cities and Towns (AACT) and KDZ – Centre for Public Administration Research are implementing the programme “Capacity building in the countries of the Western Balkans and the Republic of Moldova”. The Programme is based on two relevant regional strategies, the EU Strategy for the Danube Region ( and the SEE 2020 Strategy ( The action is in line with strategic guidelines defined at the regional (i.e. Danube region strategy: Pillar 3 – Building prosperity in the Danube region) and national level (i.e. Entrepreneurial Learning Strategy, 2014-2020; National Strategy for Employment and Skills, 2014-2020; Strategy for Cooperation of the Government with the Civil Society Sector, 2012-2017; The National Action Plan for Employment of the Republic of Macedonia, 2015-2016; Program of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia, 2014-2018).

Bridging Function of the European Centre