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WSF Newsletter #2/2016

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HESTIA Winter School

The HESTIA research team hosted the Winter School “Youth, Society and Policy: bridging the gap between research, policy and practice” at the University of Groningen (29 February to 4 March 2016). The purpose of this winter school was to share knowledge, new insights and ideas for the development of the area of child and family services (education, prevention, and child and youth care). For this, HESTIA combined expertise from different settings (research and practice) and a range of countries (USA, the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, United Kingdom, and Norway). This school was designed for undergraduate students, early-stage students, PhDs and practitioners within children’s services. The main subject was the quality improvement of child and family services (education, prevention, and child and youth care). Two areas of expertise were showcased in this school: a) child abuse and neglect, and b) school dropout. Both topics were approached from three perspectives: Society, Effectiveness of Policy, and Innovation. Read more ...

The Brexit Deal: Turning Point or Cosmetics?

Commentary by Dr. Benjamin Werner (TransJudFare)

The EU freedom of movement system is typically characterized by its twofold openness, meaning that EU citizens dispose of both comprehensive mobility rights and practically unrestricted access to the national social security systems. The Brexit deal, firstly, affirms member states' right to deny social benefits to EU citizens who are not employed. Secondly, it concedes member states the right to reduce child benefits for EU citizens if the child lives in a different member state where the cost of living is lower. Thirdly, it allows for a protective mechanism to be implemented as an emergency measure which excludes employees from other EU states from (non-contributions-based) social benefits. Now, what does the Brexit deal mean for the freedom of movement within the EU? From a technical point of view, the amendments proposed are almost trivial as they only imply minor changed to the present system. The deal does however illustrate how the discussion about freedom of movement within the EU is for the first time in its history pointing towards a standstill or even dismantling of the previous dynamic of expansion. Read more ...

EU Migrants and Access to Benefits

Commentary by Prof. Jenny Phillimore (UPWEB)

We know that EU migrants come to the UK to work and that they often fill gaps in the labour market – working in low-paid, dirty, dangerous and difficult jobs with unsociable hours that the UK population do not want. Their work makes them more vulnerable to industrial injury and abuse by employers. Removing rights to in-work benefits will not affect migration levels but it will intensify poverty and make integration even more difficult. The 2010 Equality Act notes that it is unlawful to discriminate against, harass, victimise or treat someone less favourably because they have, or are perceived to have, a 'protected characteristic'. By treating EU migrants less favourably than the general population we discriminate against them. Effectively, we condemn them to live in poverty while they do the work we need but will not do ourselves. In the UK moral panic about migration has reached such a level that we have lost sight of some of the gains we made in the last decades around equality and human rights. Ignoring potential discrimination is in itself a high-risk strategy: if we make exceptions for EU migrants we might ask – who next? Read more ...

New Policy Brief by TransJudFare Project

"Free Movement and Social Benefits after the Brexit Deal" 

At the Brexit negotiations during the EU summit in February 2016 social rights of Union citizen were the core themes. British Prime Minister David Cameron insisted on a restricted access to social benefits for EU migrants and received significant concessions. How should Austria react at the EU level? And which implications do the negotiations have for the social rights if Union citizens on the Austrian level? Member states already have sufficient possibilities to restrict social benefits for EU migrants and to prevent abuses. Amendment are not needed, neither on the EU nor on the Austrian level. Rather, an erosion of equal treatment in the EU should be counteracted. Read more [available in German only] ...

Upcoming Events

9-10 June 2016
Workshop on "Fairness, Personal Responsibility, and the Welfare State"
15 June 2016
Knowledge Exchange Advisory Committee Meeting in Stockholm
16 June 2016
WSF Thematic Workshop for JESP Special Issue "Welfare State Reforms and Welfare State Attitudes"
Registere here (for WSF members only)
16-17 June 2016
WSF Thematic Workshop "Capacity Training on Modeling Dynamics"
13-15 July 2016
3rd International ESS Conference "Understanding Key Challenges for European Societies in the 21st Century"
4-6 October 2016
Thematic Workshop on "Health Politics, Health Policy, and Health Inequalities"
Registrater here until 20 May (for WSF members only)

Norface - Welfare State Futures Research Network

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