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, Turkey 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 Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
** Republic of Moldova
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.
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.
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.
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 (http://www.danube-region.eu) and the SEE 2020 Strategy (http://www.rcc.int/pages/62/south-east-europe-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).
The goal of the PAWCER project is to conduct comparative research on public attitudes to welfare, climate change and energy, all of which are relevant to understanding conflict, identity, and memory. While economic challenges threaten the fundamental relations of solidarity in European welfare states, climate change is likely to become the leading environmental driver of human conflict, and energy to continue fueling geopolitical tensions.
New approaches for Macedonia
Macedonia is facing heavy challenges in establishing and restructuring the provision of user-centred social and health care services. The realisation of defined visions and aims of the national government between 2005 and 2007 has been heavily jeopardised by the global financial and economic crises. In fact, new challenges have surfaced, including political instability and the refugee crisis.
Deinstitutionalization can be defined as the move away from treatment in long-stay social institutions with less isolated community-based alternatives for the support of social care beneficiaries, in the belief that this new service configuration can lead to better quality of life. Deinstitutionalization in Serbia over the last decade has been stalled by two crucial challenge: the difficulty of establishing alternative sites where beneficiaries can be admitted for intensive, structured observation or comprehensive care in a institution-like setting and the provision of individualized care for social care beneficiaries, who constitute a diverse and heterogeneous group of people.