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  Social Europe and Well-Being  

The Social Europe and Well-being Programme (SEWB) is dedicated to achieving a stronger Social Europe fit to address the social, environmental, economic and political challenges facing the Union today. It focuses on policies that prioritise strong and resilient healthcare systems; modern and inclusive labour markets; eradicating inequalities; investing in the health and well-being of people; making European welfare states and social protection systems fit for the future.

In recent years, the European Union has come under increasing pressure as a result of permanent and overlapping crises, and the social and political repercussions these have generated. The economic and social disparities among EU member states, coupled with rising nationalism, populism, and extreme right-wing politics, all point to a need to revamp ‘Social Europe’ and put social issues firmly on the EU agenda. Through policy dialogues, workshops, and publications, the SEWB team focuses on the above-mentioned issues and finding ways to move forward. The Programme is currently working on projects such as the Well-being Economy Policy Lab and the European Health Union Task Force that will contribute to our vision of a more equal, fair, and sustainable Europe.


A European Agenda to Navigate Uncertain Times
By - 12/07/2024
Healing Bytes: Navigating the rewards and risks of smart worlds for health
By Danielle Brady , Giulia Torchio - 08/07/2024
Climate & energy / DISCUSSION PAPER
Empowering citizens in Europe’s green transition: The role of digital solutions
By Laura Rayner , Berta López Domènech , Brooke Moore , Eric Maurice - 25/06/2024
Strategic foresight
Making the EU fit for the permacrisis
By Laura Rayner , Philipp Lausberg , Eric Maurice - 19/06/2024
Artificial Intelligence / POLICY BRIEF
Going beyond the AI Act: Time for a more holistic approach across Europe?
By Tommaso Grossi , Giulia Torchio , Auriane Técourt - 18/06/2024


Industrial policy / QUOTE
Unions issue ‘urgent’ call for EU industrial policy to respect workers’ rights
Laura Rayner was interviewed by Euractiv on trade unions' call for EU industrial policy to respect workers’ rights.

Read the article here.

Unions issue ‘urgent’ call for EU industrial policy to respect workers’ rights
09 February 2024 - ,
Health & healthcare / INTERVIEW
EU’s health workforce ‘without a doubt’ worse off than before COVID-19
Elizabeth Kuiper was interviewed by Euractiv on the Belgian Presidency's plan for an EU health workforce strategy. 

Read the article here.

EU’s health workforce ‘without a doubt’ worse off than before COVID-19
19 January 2024 - ,
Cohesion policy / PUBLICATION
Strengthening Civic Cohesion in Europe

Danielle Brady co-authored the publication 'Strengthening Civic Cohesion in Europe - Recommendations for an EU policy upgrade.'

Read it here.

Strengthening Civic Cohesion in Europe
08 January 2024 - ,
Sofia Platform Foundation


A strong social Europe: Long overdue or a bridge too far?
The upcoming Porto Social Summit hopes to give a much-needed push to the European Pillar of Social Rights, the EU’s attempt to add a social dimension to its policies. But without any real power in this area, what concrete results can we expect?

In this episode, the EPC's Social Europe and Well-Being team looks ahead at the summit and explores the tension between the dream of a social Europe and doing the work of building it. They explain why EU-wide social policies are worth pursuing and how they could be implemented successfully.

The discussion also covers health, the potential role of the EU Recovery and Resilience Facility in spurring reforms, and the disproportionate effect COVID-19 has had on women in the workplace.

With Rebecca Castermans , Simona Guagliardo , Mihai Palimariciuc , Aileen McLeod , Laura Rayner


Health / PODCAST

Vaccine certificates: Damned if you do, damned if you don't
An EU vaccine passport could help us get back to normal sooner, but at what cost?

Despite lingering disagreement between member states, the Commission will soon present its proposal for an EU vaccine passport. The upcoming 'digital green pass' should make it easier for EU citizens to cross borders in time for the summer holidays.

But not everyone is on board; health experts warn there are still too many unknowns about the effectiveness of the existing vaccines, while others worry about the ethical, social, and privacy implications.

With vaccine certificates becoming a potential ethical, technical and political minefield, the Commission and member state governments will have to think through all possible effects and outcomes: What are the benefits of having an EU vaccine certificate? What are the potential pitfalls? And what could be some of the unforeseen, downstream consequences in the long run?

In this episode, EPC analysts try to answer those questions, covering the health, social, freedom of movement and data privacy dimensions of the debate.

With contributions from Greek Minister of Digital Governance, Kyriakos Pierrakakis, and EPC policy analysts Simona Guagliardo, Alberto-Horst Neidhardt and Andreas Aktoudianakis; and Programme Assistant Helena Hahn.

With Rebecca Castermans , Alberto-Horst Neidhardt , Simona Guagliardo , Andreas Aktoudianakis , Helena Hahn



Associate Director and Head of the Social Europe and Well-being programme
EU politics (including The Netherlands); social policies and healthcare, the nexus between pharmaceutical policy and economic security, gender- and diversity issues and sustainability.
Senior Policy Analyst

Social Europe, economic governance, wellbeing economy, Recovery and Resilience Facility, the Just Transition, demographic change, the future of work

Policy Analyst
EU health and social policies
Policy Analyst
Labour rights, inequality, the digital economy,  economic governance,  international politics,  social protection and the welfare state
Programme Assistant
Social welfare, sustainable development, healthcare systems, inequality and social inclusion

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