A socially just transition through the European Green Deal?
On 11th December 2019, the European Commission published a Communication on "The European Green Deal": a new growth strategy that aims to transform the EU into a fair and prosperous society, with a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy. This article investigates whether and to what extent the "Green Deal" represents a suitable framework to implement a "just transition" towards low-carbon economies and societies.
Institutions, politics and models of capitalism
Since 2019, a special section of “Stato e Mercato” journal focuses on how economies and welfare systems have been adapted to the common challenges of post-industrialization, financialization, ICT revolution and the knowledge economy. The first issue that opened 2020 was an insight about “Institutions, politics and models of capitalism” divided in three articles and two comments from the annual seminar organized by the journal. Here a summary of the issues and topics highlighted discussed.
Luci sul lavoro: a festival on the future of the labour market between Italy and the EU
The tenth edition of “Luci sul Lavoro” took place in Montepulciano from the 11th to the 13th of July 2019. The yearly festival is organized by EIDOS (Istituto Europeo di Documentazione e Studi Sociali). The aim of the festival is to focus the attention of policy-makers and different stakeholders on the multiple challenges that the labour market faces nowadays. The title of this year’s festival was ‘Between sustainability and innovation: which future for the labour market?’.
Welfare state futures: supporting solidarity in Europe
Recently Ellen M. Immergut, Professor of Comparative Politics in the Department of Political and Social Sciences at Humboldt University of Berlin, has published the Policy Paper "Welfare state futures: supporting solidarity in Europe". The Paper reports the results of the transnational research programme "NORFACE Welfare State Futures", which has been focused on the future of the European welfare states.
Social Impact Investment in the European Union: the new Report by the Joint Research Centre
The Report "Social Impact Investment in the EU. Financing Strategies and Outcome Oriented Approaches for Social Policy Innovation: Narratives, Experiences, and Recommendations" has been launched on December 13th in occasion of the Second International Conference on Social Impact Investments, held in Rome. The aim of the study is to review social impact investing strategies proposed in EU Member States and to assess their impact in view of possible reforms to be introduced.
Beyond Imagination: a socially innovative Europe
With about 200 participants from over 50 countries, the conference "Beyond Imagination: a socially innovative Europe" attracted a wide range of experts from social innovation organisations and networks for an intense series of discussions, debates and networking activities between 12th and 13th November in Seville. Gianluca Misuraca, Senior Scientist at the European Commission's Joint Research Centre in Seville, tells us about the results of the event.
Council reaches a general agreement on EU Work-Life Balance Directive: are we moving forward?
On June 21st of June the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs (EPSCO) Council reached a general approach on the Work-Life Balance Directive, proposed more than one year ago by the European Commission. The proposal will be vote in July: it will be the time in which European citizens will see if it will be possible or not for the European Union to make a real step forward towards a more social Europe.
The European Union and local social innovation
In this article, Sebastiano Sabato (researcher at the European Social Observatory, OSE) and Gert Verschraegen (Associate Professor in Sociology at the University of Antwerp) explore the European Union framework for social innovation, i.e. the role of the EU in promoting and supporting local socially innovative initiatives.
Opening up to an ERA of Social Innovation: the Conference About Social Research Progress and Excellency in EU
“Addressing the legacy of the crisis, from long-term unemployment to high levels of public and private debt in many parts of Europe, remains an urgent priority.” These are words from President Juncker in the White Paper on the future of Europe, stressing the importance of social progress as a collective duty. And in this very spirit the European Commission, the Portuguese Government and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation joined forces and announced “Opening up to an ERA of Social Innovation” Conference, to be held in Lisbon on 27 and 28 November.
The European Commission cuts down on gender budgeting
The EU institutions have recognized that gender equality is a crucial factor in achieving growth, employment, and social inclusion. Gender issues have been tackled in a number of directives and the European Commission Strategic Engagement plan for Gender Equality 2016-2019 highlights the importance of allocating resources for this matter. Unfortunately the commitment of the EU to gender equality is still not adequately dealt with in its budget (and not only).
Maternity, paternity and parental leave in the European Union
Parental leave systems differ from country to country, and they do not always fit into classifications suitable for international comparison. For this reason, the harmonization of parental leave policy in the EU is likely to be a long and complex process due to various traditions across the member states and because of the fact that social policy falls under competence of member states. What is the EU doing on this front?
European Parliament promotes work-life balance
On September 13th the Members of the European Parliament voted in favour of the resolution “Creating labour market conditions favourable for work-life balance”, a clear political commitment of the European Parliament to strengthen work-life balance opportunities for European women and men. According to the Lithuanian co-rapporteur Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, by passing a resolution, the Parliament sends a clear message to the Commission.
Social Clinics in Greece and the Welfare Provision
The growth of unemployment and the austerity policies imposed by the Greek governments to tackle the Greek debt had not left untouched the health sector, leaving around 1/3 of the country’s population uncovered. In order to contribute to the debate regarding the provision of “second welfare”, this article draws its attention to Greece and the case of social clinics, established all over the country to provide for free primary healthcare services and medicines to those without access to the healthcare system.
Female Poverty Trap: Gender Pension Gap in the European Union
For 25% of the European population, pensions are the primary source of income. Furthermore, the number of pensioners is expected to double in the next 40 years. In this situation is crucial, now more than ever, to find a way to keep the pensions both adequate and sustainable. Adequate for the need not only to avoid poverty but also to ensure acceptable life standards. And this is particularly challenging when it comes to women.
After the Brexit Referendum: Picking up the bits
What have we learned from the Brexit referendum campaign? Was this a national debate about UK membership of the European Union or a mix of quite different hopes and fears, using this referendum as a brief opportunity to express themselves? And what can Europe learn from the result? Professor Graham Room shares his opinion with us, away from austerity and towards new forms of solidarity.
The challenges of the European social model according to Elsa Fornero
Elsa Fornero is Professor of Economics at the University of Turin and an honorary fellow of the Collegio Carlo Alberto. She is a leading expert on pensions and welfare, and served as Minister of Labor, Social Policies and Gender Equality in the Monti Cabinet. In this capacity she devised, among other things, a key reform of the Italian pension system. EuVisions Observatory met with Ms. Fornero to have a brief chat about the multiple challenges of the European social model.
Save the Children's strategy to fight educational poverty
Access to knowledge and culture remains a problem for many children in Italy, in particular for those who are born in underprivileged familiar contexts. This is the bitter reality that emerges from “Illuminiamo il futuro 2030”, Save the Children’s research launched in 2014 and specifically dedicated to educational poverty. In this paper, Save the Children has identified a strategy to “illuminate the future” of children who live in Italy and to eliminate educational poverty before 2030.
A brighter future for Europe: Innovation, integration and the migrant crisis
On the eleventh and the twelfth of April, an event promoted by the European Commission - in collaboration with Impact Hub Siracusa - entitled “A brighter future for Europe: Innovation, integration and the migrant crisis” took place in Siracusa. The event (that lasts one day and a half) aimed at exploring integration policies and practices for migrants within Member States while connecting and creating new synergies between projects for future collaborations.
The Italian Jobs Act: new opportunities for parents?
Work and family reconciliation policies include political measures in favour of parenthood and care taking that, according to the Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, might contribute to tackling the issue of the low Italian female employment rate. In 2015, the Jobs Act experimentally introduced new provisions for working parents. Among them, extended parental leaves and more working time flexibility. Will they be enough to tackle the problem of low female employment?
The International Network for Comparative Analysis of Social Inequalities
The purpose of the projet INCASI is to conduct comparative research in the area of social inequalities, in this case in relation to Europe and Latin America. Through this network the hope is to foster a space for collective reflection and the development of synergies between network partners that allow to undertake innovative studies whose outputs have an impact on academic and policy debates. The project will also contribute to informing the design of public policies to tackle social inequalities.

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