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Europe enlarged

Europe enlarged: A handbook of education, labour and welfare regimes in Central and Eastern Europe

Irena Kogan
Michael Gebel
Clemens Noelke
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  • Book Info
    Europe enlarged
    Book Description:

    The expansion of the European Union (EU) has put an end to the East-West division of Europe. At the same time it has increased the cultural heterogeneity, social disparities and economic imbalances within the EU, exemplified in the lower living standards and higher unemployment rates in some of the new member states. This important new reference work describes the education systems, labour markets and welfare production regimes in the 10 new Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) countries. In three comparative chapters, discussing each of these domains in turn, the editors provide a set of theory-driven, comprehensive and informative indicators that allow comparisons and rankings within the new EU member states. Ten country-specific chapters follow, each written by experts from those countries: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. These chapters provide detailed information on each country's education and training systems, labour market structure and regulations, and its provision of formal and informal welfare support. An important component of each country chapter is the explanation of the historical background and the specific national conditions for the institutional choices in the transitional years. The handbook provides policy makers with the tools to assess the institutional changes in CEE countries, and scholars with ways to apply the proposed indicators to their analytic research. It will be a vital resource that no major research library should be without.

    eISBN: 978-1-84742-358-0
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. List of tables and figures
    (pp. vi-xi)
  2. Acknowledgements
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
    Irena Kogan, Michael Gebel and Clemens Noelke
  3. Introduction
    (pp. 1-6)
    Walter Müller

    In May 2004, the European Union (EU) experienced the largest expansion in its history when it accepted 10 new member states, among them eight Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries. Two other CEE countries, Bulgaria and Romania, joined the enlarged EU in January 2007. The enlargement put an end to the painful division of the European continent and enhanced prospects of sharing Europe’s rich cultural heritage in peace. At the same time, enlargement has increased the cultural heterogeneity, social disparities and economic imbalances within the EU, exemplified, for instance, by the below-average living standards and above-average unemployment rates in some...

  4. ONE Education systems of Central and Eastern European countries
    (pp. 7-34)
    Irena Kogan

    Education is a crucial determinant of individual life chances and the main predictor of young people’s labour market outcomes. The individual endowment of education resources is certainly shaped by the institutional structure of education and training systems. The aim of this chapter is to discuss the main contours of the education systems in Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries and to shed light on the options offered within countries’ education systems that might have an impact on labour market entry chances.

    An education system has many dimensions and can be characterised by a great number of different indicators. This chapter...

  5. TWO Labour markets in Central and Eastern Europe
    (pp. 35-62)
    Michael Gebel

    This chapter aims to identify key labour market patterns in Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries that have emerged during the transition from state socialism to a market economy and integration into the European Union (EU). Labour market developments can be interpreted as the outcome of interactions between general economic developments and the evolution of specific labour market institutions (Riboud et al, 2002). Both aspects have changed dramatically over the past two decades. First, the transition from socialism to a market economy has induced substantial economic changes. Second, labour law and regulations on industrial relations have been adopted to promote...

  6. THREE Social protection, inequality and labour market risks in Central and Eastern Europe
    (pp. 63-96)
    Clemens Noelke

    Following the collapse of socialism, the countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) have undergone substantial changes (Elster et al, 1998; Kornai, 2006). They have adopted the institutions of capitalist democracies, while simultaneously developing the socio-political infrastructure to render capitalism and democracy functional. Additionally, they have had to come to terms with massive economic and demographic crises. Improving individual welfare has always been a central concern in this process for individuals as well as politicians, not least to mitigate the political costs of the transition crisis in the newly founded democracies. Nevertheless, initial hopes of rapid convergence to Western standards...

  7. FOUR Bulgaria
    (pp. 97-122)
    Dobrinka Kostova

    During Bulgaria’s political and economic transition, changes in its political institutions have been rapid and fundamental. However, Bulgaria’s socioeconomic systems have changed much more slowly mainly due to the inherited backward structures from pre-socialist and socialist times, the locational disadvantage of the country in terms of its distance to the core markets of Western Europe, general instability in the Balkans and discontinuities in the government’s process of privatisation and orientation to a market economy. As a whole, the socio-economic system can be characterised as developing towards diversification. The analyses of the education, labour and welfare systems in Bulgaria illustrate this...

  8. FIVE Czech Republic
    (pp. 123-150)
    Jana Straková

    Since 1989, several factors have increased the expected length of education in the Czech Republic. The traditional system of public schools was supplemented by private and denominational schools. Additionally, the proportion of students only attending secondary vocational schools decreased significantly, while the proportion of students attending secondary schools with matriculation examinations and then enrolling in tertiary education increased significantly. The education system, however, retained a strong relationship between a student’s education attainment and his/her socioeconomic background. After 1989, stratification of the education system became even more pronounced. The upper-secondary system retained its structure. However, in compulsory education long academic programmes...

  9. SIX Estonia
    (pp. 151-182)
    Ellu Saar and Kristina Lindemann

    For 50 years after the 1940 annexation by the former Soviet Union, Estonia was politically and economically integrated into the Communist Bloc. It was not until 1991 that the country regained its independence and returned to democracy and a market economy. In the subsequent decade-and-a-half, Estonia has experienced profound reforms in all areas of politics, economy and society. These reforms included trade liberalisation, large-scale privatisation, the introduction of thekroonas national currency and an overhaul of labour market regulations. The economic transition brought about a substantial decline in employment and activity rates, accompanied by a rapid increase in unemployment....

  10. SEVEN Hungary
    (pp. 183-212)
    Erzsébet Bukodi and Péter Róbert

    Over a relatively short period of time, Hungary has undergone substantial structural changes concerning its education system, labour market and welfare institutions. During the socialist era, Hungarian society was meritocratic in the sense that the qualification prerequisites for different jobs were well determined, and there was a strong link between education and occupational status. Since the regime transformation, the curriculum of the country’s education institutions has become more general and academically oriented. On the one hand, this could make the school-to-work transition more flexible, on the other hand, entrants to the labour market could face an increasing risk of a...

  11. EIGHT Latvia
    (pp. 213-240)
    Ilze Trapenciere

    After regaining independence in 1991, Latvia has undergone essential changes in its education system, labour market and welfare state development. Its political system has been relatively effective in providing comparatively stable government and the benefits of the democratisation process. However, Latvia’s existing ethnic, linguistic and regional diversity shows inequitable access to opportunities, as well as social, economic and political differentiation among its population. To some extent, these problems can be attributed to Latvia’s economic transition and the development process of its new political and economic system.

    The first section begins with a brief overview of the education system during socialism....

  12. NINE Lithuania
    (pp. 241-268)
    Meilute Taljunaite

    The processes of the labour market, such as economic restructuring, the growth of the private sector and the development of market relations, have a direct influence on employment and, consequently, on the education needs and opportunities of inhabitants. Continued privatisation and demonopolisation processes have bolstered Lithuania’s long-term economic development and the expectations of its market participants for a number of years. However, the process of privatisation is slowing down, as the number of large privatisation deals decreases.

    The functioning of the education system, as well as the implementation of the principle of accessibility to education and of equal opportunities in...

  13. TEN Poland
    (pp. 269-294)
    Anna Baranowska

    Over the past two decades, Poland has experienced pronounced economic and institutional changes. The transition to a market economy started in 1990 with radical and comprehensive reforms aimed at eliminating detailed state intervention in both labour and product markets (Balcerowicz, 1994). The reform strategy dealt not only with the type of measures, but also with their phasing – they were all launched simultaneously and proceeded at a high rate in what has been referred to as ‘shock therapy’. In the literature on typologies of reforms in the Central and Eastern European (CEE) region, Poland was identified as one of the ‘reform...

  14. ELEVEN Romania
    (pp. 295-322)
    Cristina Mocanu

    After the communist regime collapsed, the education system in Romania had to cope with several problems. The system was designed to provide skilled workers for an industrialised country, and, during the 1990s, the entire industry underwent a difficult and painful restructuring process. Moreover, every government after 1990 had a different vision of how the Romanian education system should be reformed to best cope with the new realities. Hence, a consistent reform approach could not be enforced, despite a growing need for education restructuring.

    The Romanian labour market suffered from the economic restructuring process. Unemployment rates were moderate, but participation rates...

  15. TWELVE Slovakia
    (pp. 323-352)
    Ján Košta and Rastislav Bednárik

    The political changes that took place in 1989 had far-reaching implications for Slovakian society, for whom the building of democratic institutions started from scratch. The smooth transition to democracy was most visibly confirmed when Slovakia, together with other transition economies, became a member of the European Union (EU). The democratic process in Slovakia also has implications for education, the labour market and the social system. These were all greatly influenced by the overall economic transformation of the country. Institutions and individuals had to adjust to previously unknown problems such as unemployment (Slovakia has the highest long-term unemployment rate in the...

  16. THIRTEEN Slovenia
    (pp. 353-378)
    Angela Ivančič

    At the time of the fall of the Iron Curtain, Slovenia was in a privileged position relative to the other members of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) as well as many other Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries. It was the wealthiest part of the SFRY and had more contact with Western markets (Silva-Jáuregeui, 2004). Slovenia, however, also inherited a large public debt burden and hyperinflation. Real output was already declining even before independence because of a crisis that engulfed the Yugoslav federation at the end of the 1980s. Transitional reforms therefore had already begun at the...