Selected Readings


  In the media

Europe: increasingly divergent social and economic performances

The director of the European Social Observatory, Bart Vanhercke, is interviewed by RTBF’s Sandro Calderon for the 21st January edition of
Soir Première. They discuss the record, in terms of social developments, of the European Commission and of its Commissioner for employment and social affairs, Marianne Thyssen.

(In French)


Policies for Gender Balance in the European Parliament after the 2014 Elections
Katie McCracken, Dalila Ghailani, et al.

Upon request by the FEMM Committee (European Parliament), this study explores the results of the 2014 European Parliament elections in terms of gender balance of MEPs. The study uses case studies and statistical analyses of the election results to establish the main barriers to women being elected. The study presents recommendations for improving gender balance in the EP.




Health systems and EU law and policy
The state of the art and direction of travel
Conference, 28 January 2016, NIDHI - Brussels

The EU’s involvement in health systems has been steadily expanding for over 20 years. Key events include the Patients’ Rights Directive and increased interest in the cost-effectiveness of European health systems. The potential impact of international trade agreements on health systems is also subject to intense debate. This conference seeks to understand these developments and discuss their policy implications.


 Programme and practical information: Conference website

  EPSU research

The European Semester and modernisation of public administration
Final Report and OSE Briefing Paper
Ramón Peña-Casas, Sebastiano Sabato, Valentina Lisi, Chiara Agostini (OSE)
EPSU social dialogue project, December 2015

These publications assess the impact of the European Semester on the modernization of public administration and European social dialogue. They acknowledge the reform effort in conditions of budgetary austerity across the EU and provide recommendations to increase trade union involvement in the European Semester.

 Final Report
Briefing Paper

  ImPRovE publication

The EU framework for social innovation. Between entrepreneurship and policy experimentation
Sebastiano Sabato, Bart Vanhercke and Gert Verschraegen (2015)
ImPRovE Working Paper No.15/21, 64p.

This paper assesses the EU’s resources for promoting social innovation (2006-2014), notably in the fight against poverty and social exclusion. The specific understanding of social innovation varies over time and between European Commission DGs, which define the concept creatively in the light of their respective mandates. The paper discusses both the opportunities and the risks deriving from the renewed EU attention to policy experimentation.

the Paper


  New publication

Further Socializing the European Semester: Moving Forward for a ‘Social Triple A’?
Bart Vanhercke and Jonathan Zeitlin with Astrid Zwinkels
Report, December 2015, 36p.

This Report produced for the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union focuses on the social dimension of the European Semester. It reviews developments in the 2015 European Semester and provides recommendations about ways of further strengthening its social dimension, including as regards broader social stakeholder participation. It also discusses recent more ambitious proposals for restructuring the European Semester.



  Prowelfare project

Providing Welfare through Social Dialogue

Watch the short video (incl. flash interviews) of the PROWELFARE mid-term Workshop and relive the dynamic round table discussion (live stream) on ‘Occupational welfare: European and national stakeholders’.

  New Publication

The Mutation of the ECB from a Monetary to a Political Institution: Implications for the Future of a Democratic and Social Europe
Cécile Barbier (2015)
in Arnaud Lechevalier and Jan Wielgohs (Eds.), Social Europe: A Dead End. What the Eurozone crisis is doing to Europe's social dimension, Studies in European Cooperation, Denmark

  OSE Paper Series

TTIP: what it will mean for us and what is the alternative?
Myant, M. (2015)
OSE Paper Series, Briefing Paper No.11, November 2015, 16p.
This OSE Briefing Paper argues that TTIP offers no improvements in economic or social conditions for European citizens. On the contrary, the Partnership threatens a reduction in protection for employees and consumers and a substantial enhancement of the power of private business. If the Partnership is to be continued at all, then it should do so with the exclusion of the Investor-state dispute settlement and with means to ensure there is no reduction in regulatory protections.

  New publication

Social Policy in the European Union: State of Play 2015

The European Social Observatory and the European Trade Union Institute just published the 16th 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.




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