Social policy influencing in South East Europe

Project “Improving the provision of Social Service Delivery in South Eastern Europe through the empowerment of national and regional CSO networks” (Social services in SEE), implemented by Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund, e.V. Germany (ASB), in partnership with SOLIDAR , Local Initiative for Development Civil Society (LIR CD) from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Centre for Legal Aid and Regional Development (CLARD) from Kosovo, SOS Telephone for women and children victims of violence
(SOS Podgorica) from Montenegro, Organisation for Civil Initiatives (OGI) from Croatia, Educational centre Leskovac (EDC) from Serbia, Association of students and youth with disabilities (ASYD) from FYR of Macedonia and Social Organization for the Support of Youth – ARISIS (Albania) in period from December 2014 to December 2016. Project is financed by European Union in framework of Partnership Programmes for Civil Society Organisations.
More about bilten here.

About the IRIS network

Founded in 2012, the IRIS Network is a unique regional network that brings together CSOs, social service providers in SEE. The Network is based on vision of equal rights and opportunities for decent living for all. The network has been created to ensure social inclusion by supporting the environment for the provision of high quality services through support to national developmental social policies. Also, an important part of the Networks’ mission is to support
its national members in 7 countries and respective decision-makers in the creation of developmental policies, lobbing and advocacy focused on ensuring access to quality social services. Since 2014, the IRIS Network has seven national secretariats in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia, FYROM and Albania. More about IRIS here.

1. Comparative Analysis of the Role of Civil Society in Providing Social Welfare Services in the Western Balkans

Comparative Analysis of the Role of Civil Society in Providing Social Welfare Services in the Western Balkans
One of the first activities in the project was to develop a baseline study which will present legal and institutional framework for the provision of social welfare services by civil society organizations and their role in providing these services in the region of the Western Balkans.The study is based on desk-analysis and series of semi-structured interviews with the stakeholders from CSOs and public institutions from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Kosovo and Serbia.
VersionsEnglish,  Montenegrin,  Croatian,  Albanian,  Bosnian,  Serbian


2. SOLIDAR publication – European semester 2014: Ensure Social Progress

SOLIDAR publication – European semester 2014 Ensure Social Progressuntitled

The Annual Growth Survey 2014 shows that unemployment has reached unprecedented levels in the European Union, while inequalities are steadily growing. In order to achieve the Europe 2020 targets of a 75% employment rate, increasing the number of adults completing third level education to at least 40% and reducing the number of people living in poverty by 20 million, the EU has to step up efforts to promote of a high level of employment, guarantee adequate social protection, combat social exclusion, promote access to education and increase participation in lifelong learning.

European semester 2014: Ensure Social Progress.pdf


3. SOLIDAR publication – Promoting the social economy as a driver for inclusive growth and social progress

SOLIDAR publication – Promoting the social economy as a driver for inclusive growth and social progress

The social economy is an essential pillar of the European social model and its actors play an important role in maintaining social services and in overcoming economic and social crises; in recent years 3.5 million new jobs have been created in the social economy. The social economy accounts for 10-12% of the European economy and its actors constitute an important economic force, stimulating innovation by pointing out existing deficiencies and inconvenient truths. By their nature and by the work they do, they contribute to establishing a more cohesive, democratic and active society, and often with favorable working conditions.



4. SOLIDAR publication – Europe 2020: how to spur social progress for a more inclusive Europe?

SOLIDAR publication – Europe 2020 how to spur social progress for a more inclusive Europe

In 2010 – when the Europe 2020 Strategy was agreed – European economies were experiencing low growth and productivity. In many countries the situation steadily deteriorated, leading to a severe financial crisis. The immediate response of the EU was to focus on fiscal and financial consolidation through austerity plans which resulted in even more inequality for poor and vulnerable people.



5. Mapping social welfare services within the mandate of local governments in the Republic of Serbia

Mapping social welfare services within the mandate of local governments

Mapping Social Welfare Services, initiated by the Government of Serbia Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit and UNICEF Serbia in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Policy, was implemented between September 2012 and February 2013. The survey was carried out by the Centre for Liberal Democratic Studies (CLDS).




Analysis of the impact of public policies and factors affecting inactivity: Opportunities for raising activity and employment in Serbia.





This report has been prepared as part of the OECD LEED Programme “Boosting Social Entrepreneurship and Social Enterprise Creation”. A team comprising members of the OECD LEED Secretariat and an external expert visited Serbia in February/March 2012 for a study visit to examine the role, both actual and potential, of social entrepreneurship, and the support which could be given to social enterprise to boost its potential performance. This report is based significantly on the preliminary report prepared by the local experts, the available statistics and on material gathered from the study visit, as well as research conducted both prior to, and after, the study visit.



9. STUDY: Challenges of the new social policy – social inclusion in the EU and Serbia

STUDY Challenges of the new social policy – social inclusion in the EU and Serbia

The purpose of the Study is to present to the general public in Serbia in a relatively systematized way the knowledge regarding the social process in the EU, as well as to open a debate on the possible ways to improve the level of social integration in Serbia through political process. The Study was produced as a part of the project „Promotion of Social Inclusion Debate in Serbia“, supported by the EU’s Employment and Social Solidarity Programme PROGRESS (2007–2013) that was managed by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Employment, Social Aff airs and Equal Opportunities, and realized in the period from February 2009 to July 2010.