Drivers and barriers to integrating employment and social services


Integrated service provision is a challange for most EU member states. BI researchers present the main results of a project that explored drivers and barriers to effective reform at a conference in Brussels on 8 March 2018.

Technological development, demographic trends and globalization has increased the vulnerabilities of the labour force, as well as the frequency of transitions between jobs and between employment and unemployment. These trends necessitate an adjustment in the design of unemployment protection systems, among others by improving the cooperation between employment and social services for working age benefit recipients. Though all Member States have responded to these challenges in some way, there are large variations across the European Union in the depth and sophistication of recent reform initiatives.

With the participation of two researchers of the Budapest Institute, the conference will present the results of an 18-month research project commissioned by DG Employment to explore drivers and barriers to effective reforms aiming to improve the coordination between employment and social services for minimum income recipients.

Based on detailed case studies and cost benefit analyses, the draft report of the project sharpens and extends the existing evidence on what drives successful reforms. It shows for example that, despite their mainly technical nature, ambitious integration reforms can get politicised, and therefore need broad political support.

The description of reform pathways and detailed recommendations can support the implementation of the Social Investment Package and the Council Recommendation on the labour market integration of the long-term unemployed.

The final conference 'Integrated social services for activating minimum income recipients: success factors and reform pathways' takes place on March 8, 2018 in the Crowne Plaza Brussels.

The executive summary and the draft report of the project are available at the conference website.