The workshop “Baltic States After the crisis? Transformation of Welfare Systems and Social Problems” was held on 24-25 of November 2016 in Vilnius, Lithuania. The aim of the workshop was to discuss welfare system reforms which have been implemented during the recent financial and economic crisis of 2008/2010 and post-crisis period, and major social problems in the three Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania). Another important aim of the workshop was to establish a Baltic social policy association, which would unite all researchers working on social policy issues in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, and others interested in social policy development in the three Baltic States.
As an outcome of the meeting, the workshop participants agreed to establish ESPAnet Baltics (angl. The Network for European Social Policy Analysis) - a regional network for social policy analysis. The network shares a goal of its mother-network ESPAnet Europe. It aims to facilitate exchange and co-operation among social policy analysts in the Baltics and to provide a forum and network of communication for the development of social policy analysis as a field of research and teaching. Similar networks are already established in Poland, Italy, Spain, etc.
The future plans of the ESPAnet Baltics are ambitious. First, there is a plan for publishing a book on the transformation of the welfare systems in the Baltic States after the crisis, based on the papers presented at the workshop. Second, is it planned to organize ESPAet Baltics workshops on an annual basis: the next one is planned to be held in Estonia in autumn 2017. Last, but not least, there is an official plan to host ESPAnet Europe conference in Vilnius, Lithuania, in 2018.
ESPAnet Baltics invites academics and researchers interested in the field of social policy analysis to join in a newly established voluntary network, there is no membership fee. To join, please send a request to: . All members will be connected to the email group for information exchange.
Together we can advance social policy research, education and political debate in the Baltics!
Chair of the ESPAnet Baltics: Jolanta Aidukaitė, Vilnius University
Board members of the ESPAnet Baltics:
Ave Roots, University of Tartu
Feliciana Rajevska, University of Latvia
Ilze Trapenciere, Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences
Jekaterina Navickė, Vilnius University
Mare Ainsaar, University of Tartu
Romas Lazutka, Vilnius University