On Dec 2nd, Culture Action Europe, in collaboration with its member SMartBE is organizing the debate “The Welfare line, Encounter 1: Protection from Social & Economic Risks for Atypical Employment in the EU” at BOZAR in Brussels. The debate will present examples of different welfare models and social protection systems across Europe. Part of the debate will consist of a workshop where the participants will be invited to feed data into a comparative grid on the underemployment risk. During this first encounter, CAE will also introduce its strategy and methods that will be used to tackle the welfare issue in the coming years. Download the full programme here and register using this link.
About the Welfare issue
As we are going through a period of transition, most challenges the European Union countries are facing today have been known for decades: demographic changes, loss of Europe’s global influence and high unemployment levels. Other challenges are more recent and therefore less predictable. These include digitisation, labour market changes and increase of atypical employment.
More specifically, unemployment has reached unprecedented peaks in Europe. The rise in unemployment goes hand in hand with the increase of precariousness. The European social security models were built in times of prosperity and most of them are based on an employer/employee relationship. The existing solidarity mechanisms are not easily adaptable to the employment models’ evolutions, and regardless of general good will, their rigidity risks fostering precariousness.
The Welfare Line is a work in progress. As these topics are very technical, they will be analysed step by step throughout the CAE Welfare Line encounters. In Zone 1, we will examine how the different European welfare systems have adapted to atypical employment cases. In order to make such a comparison, an analysis is needed of how employees, self-employed and atypical employment workers are covered by social security. The details of admission conditions, the benefit rate and how the protection is financed are key elements of the analytical work.
The Welfare Line, mirroring a metro line, has several stops, and makes its way through other two zones: Zone 2: will address the funding of the system and its sustainability. Therefore the question of general taxation and redistribution will be addressed. Zone 3: will question who of the public authorities, market and social economy should be responsible for which social protection.
As the Welfare Line is a patchwork of topics, each one needs a specific approach. Nonetheless, the entire process will be led by the following factors: gathering food for thought, organising encounters and offering a wide participation. We set the path for all the interested parties to take the time to think together on the most appropriate social pact for our contemporary society.