Research Outputs

Background Documents Contact
Unemployment and Pensions Protection in Europe: 
The Changing Role of Social Partners


On the base of the research started in 2013 through the project “PROWELFARE”, a new project “Unemployment and Pensions Protection in Europe: The Changing Role of Social Partners” (PROWELFARE 2014-2016) has been financed by the European Commission. The two-year project started in December 2014 and is coordinated by the European Social Observatory (OSE). 

In particular, PROWELFARE examines the role of social partners (particularly of trade unions) in welfare protection through occupational schemes. It will cover two policy areas (unemployment and pensions), three economic sectors (manufacturing, the public sector and private services), and nine countries: Austria, Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden and the UK.

Specific objectives of the project are:
° To provide conceptual clarification, to systematically collect information through case studies (on the countries under scrutiny), and to define a new classification/typology for the comparative analysis of occupational welfare in Europe.
° To develop a more in-depth analytical effort to show the interplay between social and occupational welfare on one hand, and between social dialogue and occupational welfare on the other hand, while also looking at the complex governance of occupational welfare schemes.
° To diffuse knowledge and improve social dialogue through a toolkit of national workshops and European events, media, and publications.
Main activities
The PROWELFARE project is organized around six main activities (for each there is a Work Package, see figure below): the first two concern data gathering and national case studies, the following three regard a cross-country analysis, the sixth and last is about the dissemination of results. 
° Systematic data collection through: 1) the review of the secondary literature; 2) interviews with national stakeholders; 3) systematic review of collective agreements in the industrial sectors under scrutiny.
° Nine case studies that provide the in-depth analysis of the recent evolution of occupational welfare schemes.
° Cross-country analysis about the interplay between social welfare (statutory schemes) and occupational welfare in the policy areas under scrutiny.
° Cross-country analysis about the interaction between social dialogue institutions and actors on one hand and occupational welfare on the other. 
° Cross-country analysis on the complex governance of occupational welfare schemes.
° Dissemination of results and publication strategy.
Topics: Social dialogue, occupational welfare, industrial relations, governance
  Key events
  Final conference (Brussels)
22 November 2016
Video (YouTube) |
(Presentations, programme, pictures)
  Third national workshop & public roundtable (Vienna)
30-31 August 2016

  Second national workshop & public roundtable (Warsaw)
5-6 May 2016

Documents (Presentations, programme)
  Mid-term meeting (Brussels)
3-4 December 2015

Documents (Presentations, programme,...)
  National workshop (Madrid)
11-12 June 2015

  Kick-off meeting (Brussels)
13 February 2015

  Last documents
  Unemployment and Pensions Protection in Europe: The Changing Role of Social Partners 
Final report  (EN-FR-DE)
Executive summary (EN-FR-DE-NL-IT-ES-PL-SE)
  Comparing Occupational Welfare in Europe: The Case of Occupational Pensions
Research Paper 
  Prowelfare 2012-2013  website
  Call for tenders  Link
  Eurofound  website


This is a project financed by the European Commission