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TransEuroWorkS, a new proactive welfare state for the future world of work


TransEuroWorkS is a new project, funded by the Horizon Europe programme, which is led by the University of Leiden. TransEuroWorkS aims, through a cutting-edge, multidisciplinary and multi-level research initiative, to provide different analyses and policy suggestions for the future of social protection and employment in Europe. It is an innovative, four-year project with a budget of 3,4 million euros.

TransEuroWorks has a consortium of ten partners in eight countries: University of Leiden, Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), University of Kent, University College Dublin, University of Geneva, University of Copenhagen, Central European Institute for Labour Studies (CELSI), University of Barcelona and Zabala Innovation.

The main objective of TransEuroWorkS is to try to understand and find policy solutions to the unprecedented structural changes that, over the last two decades, European countries have been facing due to digitalisation, automation, internationalisation of the workforce and, last but not least, the transition towards a green economy. Gender inequality, immigration, care work, reconciliation of work and family life, the energy and pandemic crisis, and the impact of decarbonisation and technologies on job creation and job losses are just some of the main challenges that are affecting the labour market and social protection.

A key role in this project is also played by the direct involvement of stakeholders whose support and knowledge will enrich this project and its impact.

These belong to institutions and organisations already engaged in these issues: Eurofound, COFACE – Families Europe, European Labour Authority, European Institute for Gender Equality, ETUI – Trade Union, CPB, The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and the European Centre for Social Welfare and Policy Research.

In order to improve the political sustainability of new and existing policies, TransEuroWorkS reacts to such concerns by offering new insights into political views on social protection systems.

The research is innovative because it combines existing understanding of these labour market changes with knowledge of sustainability, mobility and inclusiveness. From the perspective of workers, their families, employers, trade unions, governments and the European Union, the project analyses labour market developments. Our interaction techniques also highlight this multi-level approach.

The project takes into account heterogeneities in the workplace according to factors such as age, gender, nationality, qualifications, contractual relations, social class, disability and caregiving responsibilities. Taking integrated environmental, social and political sustainability considerations as the basis for research translates into results that better enable the co-production of policies, addressing these challenges in a pragmatic and holistic way.

In addition, TransEuroWorkS will co-design research tools with societal actors, engage in policy feedback loops with national and EU policy makers, co-produce innovations and solicit feedback from citizens. TransEuroWorkS is thus formulated to deliver research with the greatest potential societal impact to support Europe’s residents and a more cohesive, egalitarian, inclusive and green future.

Zabala Innovation’s work at TransEuroWorkS

Zabala Innovation will bring its expertise in communication and dissemination activities that will lead to policy initiatives at both national and EU level.  In addition, it joins the project in the area of Social Innovation to bring its expertise in designing the co-design workshops and maximising and measuring the impact generated by the project. In combination with the advisory board members, Zabala Innovation will provide access to a wide network of policy stakeholders who will participate in the co-production activities.

More specifically, Zabala will support and assist the other partners in developing and implementing a series of dissemination and communication activities aimed at showcasing the attractiveness of the results achieved and their impact towards a target audience of identified key stakeholders. Regarding the latter, it will design and implement a comprehensive strategy to increase their engagement and provide them with skills in co-creation methodologies.

In addition, Zabala Innovation, always in a perspective of close collaboration with stakeholders and policy makers when drafting policy recommendations and national reports, will hold validation workshops with stakeholders to ensure an open and collaborative approach to the design of social innovation. Researchers will ensure early and open sharing by drafting interim reports and mid-term research products in the form of working documents that will be systematically shared on a regular basis on the designated TransEuroWorkS online website.

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