Report on the Future of European welfare states

As member of the High-Level Group of the European Commission, Professor Ebbinghaus contributed to the report on the Future of Social Protection and the Welfare State in the EU, which was launched on 7 Feburary 2023 in Brussels. The expert group, chaired by former European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Anna Diamantopoulou, looked at ways to reinforce social protection both at national and European levels to respond for instance to demographic change, the impact of new forms of work, and the digital and green transitions. Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit, and the ministers from Belgium, Sweden, and Spain as well as other policymakers and stakeholders attended the conference to discuss the policy implications of the report. Professsor Ebbinghaus explained the recommendations on social protection for all and its funding on a panel, highlighting the need to close access gaps for those with flexible jobs and performing non-standard work, while also extending funding for the welfare state with a broader, fairer mix of revenue sources.

Nomination as Karl Polanyi Visiting Professor

In January 2023, Prof. Bernhard Ebbinghaus will be the fourth Karl Polanyi Visiting Professor at the University of Vienna. As kick-off, he will hold a public lecture (in German) on welfare state resilience as a countermovement in economic crises.  He will hold a Graduate Seminar at the University of Vienna and a workshop at the Central European University (CEU), both dealing with crisis reactions and adjustments of welfare states in Europe in the field of labour market and social policy.

Welfare State Reform Project Book Published


Bernhard Ebbinghaus & Elias Naumann (eds.) Welfare State Reforms Seen from Below: Comparing Public Attitudes and Organized Interests in Britain and Germany. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018 (hard cover); Springer Online (e-book).

Studying the political economy of welfare state reform, this edited collection focuses on the role of public opinion and organized interests in respect to policy change. It highlights that welfare states are hard pressed to reform in order to cope with ongoing socio-economic and demographic challenges. While public opinion is commonly seen to oppose welfare cuts and organized interests such as trade unions have tended to defend acquired social rights, this book shows that there have been emergent tendencies in favour of reform. Welfare State Reforms Seen from Below analyses a wide range of social policies affecting healthcare, pensions and the labour market to demonstrate how social groups and interest organizations differ and interact in their approaches to reform. Comparing Britain and Germany, with its two very different welfare states, it provides a European perspective on the changing approaches to welfare.
PDF-Download of Introduction: Chapter 1 (Introduction)


More information on the project Welfare State Reforms from Below as part of the collaborative research centre (SFB 884) “Political Economy of Reform” at University of Mannheim: