Selected Readings





Social policy in the European Union 1999-2019
Presentation-debate - 12 March 2020 - Brussels
The OSE and ETUI have the pleasure of inviting you to the launch event of the 20th edition of their flagship book. This year’s edition provides an assessment of the long and winding road that led to the EU’s increasing involvement in policy areas which have long been considered as Member States’ prerogatives. 

Key questions for the presentation-debate will include: has a certain rebalancing been taking place between economic and social policies? Which are the actors that have driven, and hampered, EU social policymaking? Which instruments does the EU have at its disposal for ‘market correcting’ policies? And what are the next steps in making the Pillar of Social Rights a reality?


  OSE Opinion Paper

La finance contre le réchauffement climatique : un loup déguisé en agneau
Boris Fronteddu (2020)
La lutte contre le réchauffement climatique souffre d’un déficit d’investissement. Pour y pallier, l’Union européenne (UE) veut encourager les investisseurs institutionnels à diriger leur capital vers des investissements plus durables. En établissant une classification harmonisée des activités économiques vertes, l’UE entend accompagner les investisseurs privés dans cette transition. Selon l’auteur de ce Working Paper, une telle classification n’est susceptible de recevoir le soutien de l’industrie financière qu’à la condition qu’elle ne remette pas en cause ses intérêts fondamentaux. Ceux-ci sont, pourtant, aux antipodes des engagements que nécessite une transition écologique crédible. Il ne suffit pas de déguiser un loup en agneau pour qu'il cesse de s'en repaître. 

  INVOTUNES Final Conference

Social partner involvement in the European Semester
Brussels, 3 December 2019
The Final conference of the INVOTUNES research project will bring together researchers, EU and national policymakers, social partners and other stakeholders to discuss the present and future role of social partners in the Semester. There will be ample time to consider the project’s key findings and examine the eight case studies (BE, BG, DE, FI, HU, IT, PT and SE). The final, forward-looking Roundtable Discussion will raise the tricky question of whether the EU should take initiatives (soft governance, legislation) to encourage Member States to enhance the quality of social partner involvement in the Semester? 




  ESPN Synthesis Report

Social protection expenditure and its financing in Europe, A study of national policies 2019
Spasova S. and Ward T. (2019), European Social Policy Network (ESPN).
This Synthesis report produced by the European Social Policy Network (ESPN) shows that, while the Great Recession increased the need for spending, cost-containment policies have kept down both expenditure on old-age pensions and healthcare. The share of social contributions in the funding of social protection has tended to decline, compensated by an increase in the share of funding from taxes. The report concludes that, while systems which rely on social contributions are not under threat, their financing may need to be diversified in order to maintain adequate levels of protection in the longer-term.


  OSE Research Paper

Cross-border telemedicine: practices and challenges
Bensemmane S. and Baeten R. (2019)
Through telemedicine healthcare is provided at a distance, by the use of information and communication technology (ICT). This enables the provision of healthcare by a health professional residing in a country other than that of the patient. This paper explores the cross-border provision of telemedicine and in particular the involvement of Belgian providers and patients. Short version available in Dutch and French.

  EFISTU Conference

Public Service Trade Unions – Effective Intervention in the European Semester
1 October 2019, 9.00 - 17.30, Brussels
This conference is organised by the European Public Service Union (EPSU) to discuss the results of Commission-funded research into the impact of the European Semester on public services. The focus is on the area of education and the role played by public service trade unions in the Semester process. Five country case studies – Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy and Latvia – will be discussed, along with the key recommendations from the research project.



Integrating the European Pillar of Social Rights into the roadmap for deepening Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union
4 July 2019, 3-6 PM, EESC, Brussels
Event organised by the Workers' Group (II) of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and the OSE.
Confirmed speakers include: László Andor (FEPS), Liina Carr (ETUC), Cosmin Dobran (SECGEN), Jeroen Jutte (DG EMPL), Karl Pichelmann (DG ECFIN), Kelig Puyet (Social Platform), Oliver Röpke (Worker’s Group, EESC) and Frank Vandenbroucke (University of Amsterdam)
This conference will explore, amongst other, the potential of creating a “Social Imbalances Procedure”.


  ESPN Synthesis Report

In-work poverty in Europe: a study of national policies
Peña-Casas R., Ghailani D., Spasova S. and Vanhercke B. (2019)
Based on the in-depth national contributions prepared by 35 Country Teams and an analysis of EU indicators on in-work poverty (IWP), this
ESPN report finds, amongst others, that (a) the IWP represent a substantial group among workers and their numbers continue to grow in many European countries, leading to a polarisation within the EU; (b) in certain categories of the population IWP is significantly higher and has in some cases been increasing significantly in recent years; (c) most of the countries accelerated the pace of related policy reforms between 2015 and 2018. This report puts forward several recommendations and calls for more effective policy action at European and national levels.


  OSE Opinion Paper

European Unemployment Insurance? A more modest approach in the short term, more ambition in the long term
Günther Schmid, 2019
This working paper argues that the concept of European Unemployment Insurance needs to be fundamentally revised, since modern labour market policy has to cover not only income risks related to unemployment, but also other serious income risks related to critical transitions over the life course. Günther Schmid proposes an enhancement and extension of the existing European Social Fund, to create a European Employment and Social Fund, with elements of a genuine European employment insurance as well as a reinsurance mechanism for asymmetric shock absorption. The pros and cons of these alternatives are discussed.


  New Publication

À la recherche de l'Europe sociale
Philippe Pochet, 2019
Le projet européen est en crise. Pourtant, depuis le traité de Rome de 1957, l’intégration étroite des États membres a toujours été une priorité de l’Union européenne. Une intégration économique au détriment du volet social du projet européen. Face à la fracture européenne actuelle, un débat nouveau et décisif s’engage, ouvert sur l’avenir. Philippe Pochet - ancien directeur à l’Observatoire social européen - plaide en faveur d’une dynamique socio-écologique européenne qui prendrait en compte problématiques du passé et enjeux du futur.



Integrating the European Pillar of Social Rights into the roadmap for deepening Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union 
This study for the Workers’ Group of the European Economic and Social Committee explores three policy instruments to implement the European Pillar of Social Rights. First, Member States should put their money where their mouth is and “socialise” the EU budget. Second, the report argues in favour of an “equivalent” European Unemployment Benefit Scheme. Thirdly, it proposes to launch a “Social Imbalances Procedure” (SImP), which would involve identifying national social imbalances, multi-annual action plans, conditional financial support and monitoring of implementation.






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