Selected Readings



  OSE Opinion Paper

Was the exclusion of health care from the Services Directive a pyrrhic victory?
A proportionality test on regulation of health professions
Baeten R. (2017)

In January 2017, the European Commission launched a proposal for a proportionality test on regulation of professions, including health professions. The proposal closely recalls Article 15 of the Directive on Services in the internal market. This Opinion paper shows that the concerns that led to the exclusion of health services from the Services Directive apply in the same way to the newly proposed Directive, and analyses why a proposal that is very similar to the text that provoked strong reactions a decade ago, now seems to pass without much controversy.


  New publication

Connecting entrepreneurship with policy experimentation? The EU framework for social innovation
Sabato S., Vanhercke B. and Verschraegen G.
Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research, Vol. 30 (2) 2017

This article investigates how social innovation’ made its way onto the EU agenda and how this notion has been creatively used to advance distinct policy goals. It does so by analysing the resources the EU provided to promote social innovation over the period 2006–2014. Over time, social innovation has become a significant vehicle in the European Semester’s focus on the reform of the welfare state.



  Policies for an Aged Workforce in the EU (PAWEU)

Stakeholders meeting (5 May 2017, Brussels) and Final Conference (29 May 2017, Rome)

In spite of the current strong emphasis in all EU countries on means to tackle youth unemployment, the participation of older individuals in the labour market remains a significant policy challenge. OSE is participating to an EU-funded project on Policies for an Aged Workforce in the EU (PAWEU) and will organise a stakeholders’ workshop in Brussels to discuss the outcomes of the project. The OSE researchers Ramón Peña-Casas and Dalila Ghailani will also present they key findings of the project during the Final Conference (Rome), together with the Fondazione Brodolini (IT).


  OSE Research Paper

Listened to, but not heard? Social partners’ multilevel involvement in the European Semester
Sabato S. and Vanhercke B. with Spasova S. (2017)

This Working paper explores the involvement of national and EU social partners in the procedures of the European Semester, examining the mechanisms for involvement, its outcomes, quality and remaining challenges for effective social partner involvement.


  New research

European Semester review: which way forward for a social Europe?
With inequality increasing across Europe and the EU not on track to achieve the EU 2020 objectives, the European Social Network (ESN) has again asked the OSE to provide scientific underpinning of its work on the European Semester. The focus will be on the impact of austerity policies on public social services management and provision, territorial disparities and evidence-based policy-making.   >
ESN European Semester Report 2017 (PDF)


  New publication

Balancing protection and investment: structural reforms in five countries
Agostini C., Lisi V., Natali, D. and Sabato S. (2016)
ETUI, Brussels, 124 p.
This timely report provides evidence that the EU influenced structural reforms in EU Member States but lacked a coherent agenda to support growth. In such a context, different countries implemented different reform strategies that reflected their (partly) diverging socio-economic models.


Free download

  New ESPN report

Sick pay and sickness benefit schemes in the European Union
Slavina Spasova, Denis Bouget and Bart Vanhercke contributed to the Social Protection Committee’s In-depth Review on sickness benefits with a report showing that sickness benefit schemes have been subject to reforms in almost all Member States. The Background report was written in the context of the European Social Policy Network (ESPN).

Read the
report (PDF) | More info on ESPN project


  Key publication

Social policy in the European Union: state of play 2016 
The European Social Observatory and the European Trade Union Institute just published the 17th edition of their flagship publication. It provides easily accessible information about recent developments as well as a more analytical reading and a forward-looking perspective for stakeholders and policymakers alike. 


Free download

  New research

International Digest - Revue Belge de Sécurité Sociale
The OSE was awarded a new contract with the Belgian Federal Public Service Social Security with a view to writing, for the next three years, the ‘International Digest’ for the quarterly Belgian Review for Social Security (RBSS/BTSZ). 


  OSE Research Paper

Governing occupational pensions and unemployment benefits:
the state, the market and the social partners in-between?

Natali D., Sabato S. and Mapelli L. with Vanhercke B. (2017)

The paper demonstrates that occupational welfare is not purely the ‘realm’ of the social partners, who find themselves squeezed between the state and market forces. It also shows that the spread of OW is not a synonym of the withdrawal of the state. The governance of OW is both ‘multi-level’ and ‘hybrid’, and increasingly opaque.


  Presentation-debate : 27 February  2017

Social policy in the European Union: state of play 2016 
To mark the 17th edition of their flagship publication, the European Social Observatory and the European Trade Union Institute hold a presentation-debate hosted by the Workers' Group of the European Economic and Social Committee.
Speakers include Gabriele Bischoff, Denis Bouget, Maxime Cerutti, Sofia Fernandes, Esther Lynch, David Natali, Ruth Owen, Ruth Paserman, Philippe Pochet, Martin Seeleib-Kaiser and Bart Vanhercke.





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