Selected Readings




  Lunch debate 18/03/2019

Eco-social policies in the European Union
OSE and ETUI invite you to a lunch debate with policymakers about the 19th edition of their flagship book "Social policies in the European Union: state of play 2018", focused on key issues such as sustainable welfare, degrowth and the distributional and labour market effects of climate policies. The event will be hosted by Philippe Lamberts (co-Chair of the Greens/EFA). Confirmed speakers: Milena Buchs (University of Leeds), Béla Galgóczi (ETUI), Sebastiano Sabato and Bart Vanhercke (OSE), Claudia Hahn (EC) and Georg Zachmann (Bruegel).



  Long-term care

Challenges in long-term care in Europe
Spasova, S., Baeten, R. and Vanhercke, B. (2018) Eurohealth Vol.24 No.4 2018, Brussels: European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies
This brief article describes the national provision of long-term care (LTC) in 35 European countries, with a focus on arrangements for older people. It points to the four main challenges common to all countries: 1) access and adequacy of LTC provision, 2) quality of formal home care as well as residential services, 3) employment of informal carers, and 4) financial sustainability of the national systems.



  Conférence Bilan 2018 / Nantes

Bilan social de l’Union européenne 2018 : La politique sociale de l’Union européenne est-elle condamnée à demeurer embryonnaire ? 
L’Observatoire social européen (OSE) et l’Institut syndical européen (ETUI) présentent à la Maison des Sciences de l'Homme de Nantes le bilan social de l’Union européenne qu’ils réalisent chaque année. 
Que fait l’Union européenne dans le domaine social ? Ou que ne fait-elle pas ? Ou que devrait-elle faire ?
Voici l'occasion de faire le point dans un contexte social particulièrement tendu.

 8 January  2019

  Key publication

Social policy in the European Union: state of play 2018 
The European Social Observatory and the European Trade Union Institute just published the 19th edition of their flagship publication. 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’.  This volume looks also at social protection of the self-employed, recent progress in occupational health and the impact of the digital transition on job quality.


Free download

  New ESPN report

Inequalities in access to healthcare. A study of national policies
Rita Baeten, Slavina Spasova, Bart Vanhercke and Stéphanie Coster
This new Synthesis Report by the European Social Policy Network (ESPN) describes the main features of health systems enabling access to healthcare. It identifies the key challenges in inequalities in access to healthcare in 35 European countries. Despite a general trend towards improved access, inequalities persist in many countries. The report discusses the impact of health system financing, health coverage and healthcare provision on access to healthcare and analyses the differences in access between population groups. It identifies national reforms and puts forward a number of policy recommendations.


+ 35 Country reports

  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.






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