Selected Readings




  Presentation-debate - 11/12/18


Social policy in the European Union: state of play 2018 

To mark the 19th edition of their flagship publication, the OSE and the European Trade Union Institute are holding a presentation-debate.
A dominant issue in this annual review is the way in which the European Pillar of Social Rights has influenced EU policy making even before it was politically endorsed. The book examines the impact of the Pillar’s new ‘rights-based social investment approach’ while also questioning if the Pillar could encourage a fully-fledged ‘European Social Union’. But will it also be able to steer the EU’s macroeconomic policies? This volume looks at social protection of the self-employed, recent progress in occupational health and the impact of the digital transition on job quality. Eco-social policies need to be put on the agenda urgently – but at whose expense?

 11 December 2018


  New ETUI Policy Brief

The ‘generosity’ of pensions for workers in hard jobs: in need of a nuanced debate
Slavina Spasova and Bart Vanhercke
This policy brief examines issues surrounding recent cuts in pensions provision for workers in arduous and hazardous jobs (WAHJ). Such workers have historically enjoyed better provision because of the strong possibility of them having to take early retirement, but historic arrangements are now under threat. The policy brief presents some data on the working conditions and pensions patterns of WAHJ and provides some policy suggestions for their trade union representatives.




Social investment in long-term care – 30/10/2018 – Brussels

How can the EU deliver affordable long-term care of good quality as its working-age population shrinks and the share of those of retirement age expands? The SPRINT consortium is inviting policy makers, researchers, care providers and other key stakeholders to discuss the challenges associated with the application of the concept of social investment to the provision and resourcing of long-term care.


  Roundtable discussion

Nordic social partners and the European Semester: what kind of engagement and why (not)?
Researchers, national and European stakeholders and policymakers will identify the opportunities that arise for national social partners from ‘having a say’ in the European Semester. In the framework of the Commission-funded INVOTUNES project involving eight EU Member States, leading scholars will shed light on the recent developments in Sweden and Finland. They will identify both risks and opportunities for social partners’ involvement in labour market, wage setting as well as social protection and social inclusion policies within the Semester.

Uppsala (Sweden)


  New ESPN report

Challenges in long-term care in Europe. A study of national policies
This report describes the national long-term care provisions in 35 European countries, with a focus on arrangements for the elderly. It analyses the four main challenges common to all countries: access and adequacy of long-term care provision, quality of formal home care as well as residential services, employment of informal carers and financial sustainability of national systems. All countries covered will continue to face significant long-term care system challenges: the report makes a series of recommendations to help overcome them.


  Key publication

Implementing the European Pillar of Social Rights: what is needed to guarantee a positive social impact
This new study on behalf of the Workers’ Group of the EESC concludes that the Pillar relaunched an ambitious EU ‘Social Agenda’ and has already influenced the 2018 European Semester cycle. However, doubts remain as to whether it can influence EU macro-economic and fiscal policies. National trade unions are doubtful that they will be involved in putting its principles into practice. Effective implementation requires that the Pillar be given adequate financial resources and clearly defined governance tools through an ambitious roadmap.



  New research

National trade union involvement in the European Semester - INVOTUNES
The OSE was awarded new Commission-funded research, involving a partnership between universities, trade union-related research institutes and independent research centres as well as the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC). At the core of the project are eight country case studies (BE, BG, FI, DE, HU, IT, PT and SE). The project will lead to concrete recommendations for national trade unions with a view to ensuring effective and quality involvement in the Semester.


  Just published

The impact of digitalisation on job quality in public services - EPSU
The objective of this research project on behalf of the European Public Service Union (EPSU) is to analyse the impact of digitalisation on the job quality of public service workers, and the challenges faced by trade unions regarding the increased digitalisation of work. It focuses on two specific sectors (home-care and public employment services) and covers four countries (ES, FR, IT and UK). The report provides recommendations to stakeholders and public authorities.



  New report

Report on work-life balance in the EU
The European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) asked the OSE to provide a brief overview of measures taken in the Member States to address the work-life balance challenges faced by working parents and carers. The Country sheets should serve as a tool to support ETUC and other stakeholders who are lobbying for the adoption of a Directive on work-life balance. 



Occupational Welfare in Europe: Risks, opportunities and social partner involvement
David Natali and Emmanuele Pavolini with Bart Vanhercke
This new edited volume on occupational welfare in Europe is based on a European Commission - funded research project coordinated by the European Social Observatory (OSE) and published by the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI). It focuses on recent developments in the field of pensions and unemployment-related schemes in nine countries: Austria, Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden and the UK.


  Public Debate/Book presentation

Social policy in the European Union: a state of play – 5 March 2018
Philippe Lamberts (MEP-Group of the Greens) and the OSE are holding a presentation-debate in the European Parliament to discuss the EU’s social legacy and future. Keynote speakers are Amandine Crespy (Université Libre de Bruxelles), Daniel Clegg (University of Edinburgh) and Philippe Pochet (European Trade Union Institute).



  Joint Centro Einaudi and OSE Working Paper

The Development and Determinants of ‘Occupational Welfare’ in the Recalibration of European Welfare Regimes: A Comparative Perspective
Mapelli, L. (2017)
This paper suggests that, overall, occupational welfare is becoming increasingly important in European welfare mixes; however, the quantity and quality of its development depend on a number of field-specific and country-specific variables. The paper concludes that occupational welfare can retain a social policy function, provided that it is handled with care and built upon a solid public underpinning.


  OSE Opinion Paper

The EU’s Youth Guarantee: a broadly accepted reform in need of full implementation
Andor L. and Veselý L. (2018)
What is the significance of the EU's Youth Guarantee initiative, and does it qualify as a ’structural reform’? What would it take for the Youth Guarantee to be fully implemented across the EU? This OSE Opinion paper reviews the main lessons learned since the Youth Guarantee's launch in 2013 and makes the case for an increased level of ambition, specifically in the context of the EU's post-2020 budget.






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