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Issues » 2016/1 - ERIS Journal - Winter 2016 »

Besnik Fetahu

Challenges with Poverty and Unemployment: Comparison of Austria with Western Balkan Countries


Abstract:

Managing poverty and unemployment in the current political, social and economic situation is very challenging for Austria and especially for Western Balkan countries. Austria is among the modern welfare states in Europe while Western Balkan countries are in their EU integration process, with their poor welfare system are facing slow economic growth, political instability, high level of corruption and many social problems. Western Balkan countries are very well known for their wars in former Yugoslavia, Albanian rebellion in 1997 and the NATO intervention in Kosovo in 1999, but are less known for their social welfare system. In their process of transition, development and integration in the EU, many social problems appeared on the horizon with an increasing rate of unemployment and widespread poverty. Can Western Balkan countries achieve the level of the Austrian welfare system or can they follow the route of developing a sustainable welfare system as Austria has it? This article provides and analyses statistical data about unemployment and poverty for all Western Balkan countries compared with Austria. The overall purpose is to elaborate the welfare state in Western Balkan countries, as one region that surprisingly was not well studied.


Keywords:

welfare state, poverty, unemployment, labor market, social services




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