Service Communautaire d'Information sur la Recherche et le Développement - CORDIS


RECWOWE Résumé de rapport

Project ID: 28339
Financé au titre de: FP6-CITIZENS
Pays: France

Final Report Summary - RECWOWE (Reconciling Work and Welfare in Europe)

The paramount objective of RECWOWE was to create a European research network capable of overcoming the fragmentation of existing research on questions of work and welfare in Europe. RECWOWE had integrated existing research activities on the various tensions that characterise the relationships between work and welfare.

RECWOWE was aimed at encouraging innovative research in the fields of labour market and social protection research. The common focus on tensions gave rise to perspectives and questions for research that were lost in the 'void' between existing research domains and academic disciplines. The activity of the network promoted new institutional and individual partnerships, based on novel combinations of disciplinary and geographical expertise.

RECWOWE sought to effectively share the new knowledge that had been built up through its activities. It had organised dedicated training schemes for students and professionals. It had centralised and publicised existing and new sources of data on work and welfare, and had disseminated its analyses and findings through a dedicated dissemination centre.

RECWOWE aimed to overcome disciplinary and institutional fragmentation between labour market studies and welfare regimes analyses. By making 'tensions' the focus of its scientific activities, the network had never focused on one side of the problem alone, but instead always retained sight of the permanent interaction between labour markets and the national social protection systems.

Four main tensions were identified:

1. The first type of tension was between (the need for) greater labour market flexibility on the one hand, and the need to provide adequate levels of social protection for individuals and their families on the other, which is a constitutive component of the European social model.

2. A second type of tension that RECWOWE concentrated on was between family life, relationships and fluidity on the one hand, and the greater flexibility in the labour market on the other. Dramatic changes in family forms and links have an impact on, and are in turn influenced by transformations in the relationships between the labour market, employment and welfare regimes.

3. A third core tension that RECWOWE addressed was the friction between creating more jobs and maintaining or improving the quality of employment. Increasing employment levels is at the heart of the European agenda, and much of that growth has been fuelled, and is expected to be further propelled, by developments in the service sector.

Adapting welfare states and labour markets depends on political and social actors within political institutions. The room for manoeuvre of these actors and their efficiency in bringing about reforms of labour markets and welfare states varies between countries. This fourth type of tension between old (industrial) welfare state programmes and new types of employment, and the ways in which this tension was dealt with within reform processes, was a fourth domain for the work of RECWOWE.

The scientific activities on the four domains had led the network to create a new research instrument: a meta database on work and welfare, called European Data Center for Work and Welfare (please see online).

Informations connexes

Reported by