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Let the coronavirus be the revival of a professionalised welfare state

The first rule of the Swedish coronavirus strategy was to protect the elderly. But we failed. The welfare state, once the pride of the Social Democratic government, has been weakened by decades of austerity and profit-oriented management logic. As a part of building the welfare state in the 1960s and 1970s, the Nordic countries professionalised […]

Gender inequality and the care economy: time for a change

The distribution of both paid and unpaid care work in society is probably the single, largest factor affecting economic inequalities between men and women. Because they provide the overwhelming amount of unpaid care, women have often been excluded from the economic, political and cultural life. And, while the professionalisation of the traditional care sector raises […]

The cross-border care labour market in Central Europe: a myth of an egalitarian and integrated Europe

The care crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has shed light on the everyday functioning of live-in care migration from Central and Eastern Europe. It presupposes the transnational lives of migrant care workers, but paradoxically also denies them at the same time. Germany and Austria are among the countries with the highest number of live-in […]

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(Re)building rural civic empowerment

Rural citizens must benefit, like any others, from equitable conditions to achieve their professional, social, and personal goals. This is a moral obligation to which we are obliged as a society. It is also an ethical and political imperative if we are genuinely engaged in accomplishing the European Pillar of Social Rights. A strong social Europe that is just, inclusive, and with plenty of opportunities along its green and digital transitions, cannot leave anyone behind.

Do more than belong: participate!

From the local to supranational scale, the Covid-19 crisis forced the world to face the question: who should oversee the solutions? Which authority, and on what ground? This question, and the change of paradigm it brought, is an opportunity to debate and reflect on the place of citizens in the decision-making process, especially in places far from power centres, such as rural areas. Examples of citizens’ participation in rural areas, from successful and less successful strategies to the place of the public sector at the local and European levels in community-led development, can show the way.