Leuven, Belgium, 18 February 2022 – The WeLaR research consortium was awarded almost €3 million to investigate the challenges that European welfare systems are facing from changes in the labour markets driven by demographic shifts, globalisation, digitalisation and climate change.
The consortium comprises 10 institutions from seven countries: Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven), the Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER), the Institute For Structural Research (IBS), the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (wiiw), the Centre for Social Innovation (ZSI), Università degli Studi di Perugia, Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), Aldgate Strategy Group, the Faculty of Economics and Business at the University of Belgrade and the European Social Observatory (OSE).
“Over the next 36 months we will analyse the impact of four megatrends, i.e. demographic shifts, globalisation, digitalisation and decarbonisation, on labour markets and welfare systems,” says project coordinator Karolien Lenaerts. “We want to improve our understanding of their effects, developing policy proposals that will foster economic growth and contribute to its fair distribution across society, generating opportunities for all.”
The research project, whose full title is “Welfare systems and labour market policies for economic and social resilience in Europe” will develop a new framework to study the effects of the four megatrends on the labour market and the welfare state. It will integrate analysis of their impacts on labour supply, demand and market matching, while accounting for the interactions among the four megatrends and the mediating role of institutions and policies. WeLaR will use a mix of quantitative and qualitative methods, as well as stakeholder engagement.
The planned output includes 24 research papers, four policy briefs and a Foresight report.
The WeLaR consortium’s proposal was one of 131 projects submitted to the Horizon Europe Research and Innovation Actions call: Inclusiveness in times of change (HORIZON-CL2-2021-TRANSFORMATIONS-01).