region EuropeActivities

Report on an ICSW Expert meeting “Poverty in families – Approaches for social mobility in Germany, Austria and Switzerland”, November 16–17, 2017, Berlin:

The seminar was a joint event of ICSW Europe and it members in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. In all three countries – despite the fact, that there are comparatively rich countries -, it is essentially the social origin and the level of education of the parents that determine the level of later earnings potential and social inclusion of the children. For the school phase, the view of the experts was that it is important to avoid too early divergence in the educational pathways (particularly in Switzerland and Germany). In Switzerland, to improve the transition to vocational training after completing school consideration is currently being given to introducing a “right to training for all” which can then be implemented by a needs-appropriate case management. In addition to measures for overcoming barriers to education, the experts’ discussions focussed on expanding prevention offers, “docked” with regular establishments such as childcare services, (primary) schools or public healthcare offers. Last but not least, improving the income situation of families in poverty plays a role. This can be achieved through greater integration of women into employment (particularly in Austria) or via incentives to increase work intensity amongst women (Switzerland and Germany). In all three countries, work is underway to improve advance maintenance payment arrangements, in order to target improving the income situation of single parents.

English Report (800 Kb)

Bericht über ein ICSW-Expertentreffen „Armut von Familien – Ansätze für soziale Durchlässigkeit in Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz“, 16./17. November 2017, Berlin

German bericht (800 Kb)

ICSW Europe Application for Support

ICSW Europe supports specific activities organized by a national committee. These activities are focused on a specific theme related to the Work Program of ICSW Europe aims at deepening knowledge and creating ideas on how to work for changes. The activities can include participants and experts from several European countries.

The activity has a clear expected result, usually providing outputs in the form of a written report with conclusions and recommendations, a public statement and/or a position paper for ICSW Europe.

For additional details, read more here or download the application.

International Conference “Human Well-Being, Social Cohesion and Sustainable Development: The Quest for the Responses to Contemporary Challenges”, Moscow (Russian Federation) – May 18-19th, 2017

Convening the international conference entitled “Human Well-Being, Social Cohesion and Sustainable Development: The Quest for the Responses to Contemporary Challenges” has been for ICSW Europe the most significant event in 2017 so far. It took place in Moscow on May 18-19, 2017. Apart from ICSW Europe the co-organizers of the event were the Moscow City Government, the Moscow Department of Labour and the Social Protection of the Population, the Moscow Institute for the Additional Professional Education of Workers for Social Services ( IAPE of WSS) and the International School of Social Work.

The conference was conceived with a specific focus on the effectiveness of social work and social development in promoting environmental and community sustainability in the context of the preparations for the 2018 Joint World Conference on Social Work and Social Development in Dublin. Around 250 participants from 15 countries of Europe and Asia and more than 12 regions of the Russian Federation took part in the event.

Meeting Invitation: Human Rights, Citizenship & Social Protection - December 9th, 2015

Europa and Denmark is changing. International Council on Social Welfare Denmark will put a critical focus on the European view of humanity and human rights – and hereby invite you to the conference.

To find out more, download or view the flyer information here.

ICSW Europe International Workshop “Social Protection Floors – Regional and International Experiences”

Participants of the ICSW Europe international workshop in Tbilisi, Georgia, 30 October 2015, shared the Social Platform position on social situation in Europe. (Read more)

Workshop Presentations & Documents

ISCW Expert Meeting, Basel Switzerland, November 9-10, 2015

Social benefit – development, challenges, consequences
A Comparative Perspective: Austria, Germany and Switzerland

All proceedings will be in German, there will be no interpretation into English. All our members are very welcome to participate. Those who are interested in participation are kindly requested to contact Anita Berisha at SKOS (ICSW Switzerland): This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For more information, click here for the programme guide

European seminar “Migrants and social protection floors”

The ICSW European Seminar "Migrants and Social Protection Floors. Facilities and obstacles to access to different welfare state services in time of crisis" took place on April 23, 2015, at the Universidad Pontificia Comillas in Madrid, Spain. It was jointly organized by the University Institute of Migration Studies (IUEM) of the above university, the CEBS (Spanish Committee for Social Welfare - ICSW Spain) and the European Committee for Social Welfare (ICSW Europe), which provided the financial support.

For more about the seminar, read the June ICSW Global Newsletter

ENSACT missions statement

The members of the European Network for Social Action (ENSACT) have worked together since 2007 to promote the human rights based approach of social work, social work education and social policies, in line with the objectives of the global social agenda but with a view to producing practical solutions at the local and regional level. Read the full statement below.

Expert seminars

General Assembly 2012
General Assembly 2012 was held in Istanbul in connection with the ENSACT conference. Before General Assembly ICSW Europe had a capacity building seminar where the national members were giving voice to what they find as the most important activities. The General Assembly was deciding on how to go on with the work. As priorities, the meeting pointed at social protection all over Europe as the uniting headline. It includes activities to protect human and social rights and to strengthen the situation for elderly, poverty reduction, drop-outs from schools and social investments and social business.

Expert seminars 2013

During 2013, we have got reports and recommendations from seminars in the Nordic countries about working poor and drop-outs from school. An expert seminar was held in Bregenz, Germany, in November 2013 on Guardianship law in Germany, Switzerland and Austria.

Expert meetings - 2012

During 2012 there will be two expert meetings. Both are dealing with poverty. One is in Norway focusing Drop-outs from School. The other will be organized by the Danish national ICSW and the board of ICSW Europe with the theme Working Poor. Procedures for making expert seminars during 2013 will be decided on the General Assembly of ICSW Europe 7 July 2012.

Overview expert seminars 2011

During 2011 one expert seminar took place in Vienna, Austria 21-22 November on "The Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities. State of Implementation". Participants were experts from Austria, Germany and Switzerland. The report from the expert meeting is available in English and German.

European ENSACT Conference - April 2011

ICSW Europe and ENSACT organized a conference with the theme: "Social Action in Europe: Sustainable social Development and Economic Challenges". Speeches from keynote-speakers and information can be found at

Next ENSACT-conference will take place in Istanbul, Turkey 2013. Information and call for papers will be distributed in late autumn.

General Assembly ICSW Europe - April 2011

The General Assembly of ICSW Europe took place in Brussels 10 April 2011. ICSW Europe decided to continue its general work on equal opportunities focusing working poor, child poverty and elderly. The world conference in Stockholm in July 2012 was presented and ICSW members were invited to take part in the preparations with ideas on themes and workshops. Next General Assembly will be in Stockholm in July in connection to the world conference Social Work Social Development: Action and Impact.

For more information, please contact Bodil Eriksson: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Overview Expert Meetings 2010

Three international ICSW expert meetings took place in 2010, organized by national ICSW members and with experts from other countries. These were:
3 & 4 May 2010, Berlin, Germany - "Is care caught in a financial trap? Future models from a German, Austrian and Swiss point of view in comparison". German, Austrian and Swiss members of ICSW Europe organised an expert meeting in Berlin in May 2010 on future models for financing care. The report of this expert meeting is available in English and in German.

30 September & 1 October 2010, Switzerland - "Comparing Policies Against Poverty: Germany, Austria and Switzerland" (working language German). The report of this expert meeting is available in English and in German.

21 & 22 October 2010, Vilnius, Lithuania - "Social Economy and Poverty Reduction" (working language English) The report of this expert meeting is available in English.

Expert meeting - November 2009

The Swedish ICSW Committee hosted an expert meeting on Child Poverty in the Nordic countries on 20 & 21 November 2009. The report from the expert meeting can be found below.

The German ICSW member Deutscher Verein has developed a position paper commenting on the European Commission's Communication with regard to the Social Services of General Interest. This position paper can be found here - in German and in English.

In December 2007 ICSW Europe and the ICSW national committee in Spain together organised a seminar on Social Investment, with contributions from a wide range of experts from all over Europe. Their presentations can be found here.

The 2007 Regional conference on Equal Opportunities for Individuals, Groups and Nations took place in Vilnius, Lithuania. For the texts of the plenary presentations click here.

ICSW Europe response to the "Questionnaire EU Year 2010" of Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion.


Previous European Newsletters

Policy and other publications

The German ICSW National Committee analysed the German EU Presidency in the field of social policies and produced a position paper in which recommendations are made to the European Commission and future Presidencies. Download the full text of the position paper here.