Social Cohesion Research and Early Warning

The Department
Social Cohesion Development and Research  
Social Security
Access to Social Rights
Social Policy for Families and Children


Dialogue platform on ethical and solidarity-based initiatives for combating poverty and social exclusion
Awareness raising seminars
Methodological tool to develop co-responsibility for social cohesion
Annual Forums
Series Trends in social cohesion
Methodological Guides

Series of publications
Methodological Guide
on Social Cohesion Policy

To be published soon !

Methodological guide - Policy-making for transition from youth to active life

To order any of these books please visit the Bookshop online or contact


The series of publications Methodological Guide on Social Cohesion Policy aims to help in the assessment of co-responsibility work at local, regional, national and European level. Its main objectives are:

to serve as a reference framework that can become a common instrument for co-ordinating and steering the political choices of the various private and public players and social bodies at different territorial levels;
to help devise ways of accumulating knowledge that can be adapted to different contexts and facilitate the implementation, monitoring and assessment of social cohesion action plans;
to facilitate the social cohesion learning process.

Based on a global approach to social cohesion that looks not only at welfare in its various dimensions as an outcome, but also at how people interact to achieve this welfare and the values, feelings and bonds they share, the methodological guides propose a variable-geometry framework for analysing social cohesion in:
- different areas of life (employment - income - health - education - housing - nutrition - culture - information)
- vulnerable groups (migrants - minorities - children - elderly people - people with disabilities - women).


Living in dignity in the 21st century

In the early 21st century, poverty, impoverishment and inequalities are increasing across the European continent. These phenomena not only weaken the social cohesion of European societies, they also violate human rights, including social and civil and political rights, and question the functioning of democracy. How can people living in poverty make their voices heard in polarised societies, where more than 40% of assets and 25% of revenues are held by 10% of the population?
This guide is the result of two years of collective discussion held within the framework of the project "The human rights of people experiencing poverty”. It was prepared with the assistance of many individuals and organisations, including people living in poverty, researchers, associations and representatives of public authorities. As well as offering a critique of the current situation, analysing inequality and poverty through the prism of human rights, democracy and redistributive policies, the guide also invites the reader to explore the possibilities of a renewed strategy to fight poverty in order to restore a sense of social justice. It makes proposals that aim to overcome the stigmatisation and categorisation of people, opening pathways of learning to build well-being through sharing, avoiding waste and by enhancing public awareness around the principle of human dignity as a human right for all.


Constructing an inclusive institutional culture - Intercultural competences in cultural services

If we are to build an inclusive institutional culture within the increasingly pluralist societies of 21st century Europe, focussing solely on the development of skills and knowledge is not enough. There have to be changes in the way in which administrative authorities and the organisations providing services to the public view their role and in the action they take. While it is essential for migrants to learn the language of their host country, understanding the codes of conduct, standards, allegiances, rules and exceptions is perhaps an even greater challenge. This clearer understanding of the institutional fabric is an inevitable part of what is termed “integration” and also applies to minorities. Since this process does not occur unassisted, this guide puts forward a number of proposals to help acquire the institutional skills which are vital for understanding, dialogue, guidance, negotiation and conflict resolution, to name but a few. These are all aspects inherent in interaction processes and essential for respecting diversity. This guide is an indispensable tool for public and private operators, social workers, mediators and all other stakeholders aware of the need to incorporate these aspects into their exchanges, particularly when rights and human dignity are at stake. This will help nurture confidence in public institutions and avoid the development of fear or any other barrier which could lead to unequal access – or indeed no access – to social, health-care or other services. Through this work, the Council of Europe reminds us that in pluralist societies the most effective guarantee of successful integration and harmonious co-existence is social justice.

Contents  - Download via Issuu

Migrants and their descendants - Guide to policies for the well-being of all in pluralist societies

Migration to and within Europe has profoundly changed the life and image of the continent. This guide offers theoretical and practical tools for an innovative approach to a key political issue: how, along with our immigrant fellow-citizens, can we build a fair and plural society that ensures the well-being or all? By moving beyond rigid categories like "foreigner", "immigrant" and "illegal", and ambiguous concepts like "identity", "diversity , "immigration control and "integration", this guide suggests that policy makers, civil servants and citizens need to question their own vocabulary if they are to grasp the complexity and uniqueness or people's migration paths.

Perceiving migrants simply from the host country's point or view - the security, well-being and life-style of its nationals - has limitations. We cannot see people of foreign origin only as a threat or a resource to be exploited. If we see them as stereotypes, we are seeing only a mirror of European fears and contradictory aspirations. This guide helps readers decode and address the structural problems of our society, looking at the accusations made against migrants and the utilitarian view or the advantages that immigrants bring to host societies. In publishing this guide, the Council or Europe is seeking to initiate an in-depth debate on the migration issue, which is so high on the European political agenda.

Contents  - Download

Involving citizens and communities in securing societal progress for the well-being of all

A largely predominant idea over the last sixty years has been that creating material affluence is essential to secure citizens’ well-being and fundamental rights.  Such an approach, based on an increase in quantitative wealth, comprises an implicit link between growth, individual well-being and collective well-being.  This prospect of constant improvement presupposes an undertaking by the state and the business sector to ensure that the benefits of growth are fairly redistributed.  In consequence, states, as guarantors of collective well-being, were committed to bringing about gross domestic product (GDP) growth. Today, globalisation has destroyed the ethical link between growth and national well-being.  A “negative” perception of GDP has taken hold as a result of problems of pollution, destruction of the environment, growing inequalities between social groups and, above all, the realisation that growth alone brings neither a democratisation of material well-being nor a “positive” vision of the future. In the midst of a crisis of confidence, when the traditional reference points are being called into question, this guide, published as a follow-up to the Methodological Guide for the concerted development of social cohesion indicators (2005), addresses the concept of societal progress for the well-being of all, based on the premise that it must be defined and developed with and by citizens and human communities.  It focuses on the shift from the idea of well-being to that of the well-being of all, and the interactions between personal and collective well-being, in order to create a shared vision of the future and a capacity to act together, based on deliberation, the development of measurement tools, dialogue and consultation, while bearing in mind both present and future generations. This guide prompts us to address the idea of progress in order to make it controllable and give it a more human dimension. In this way, the Council of Europe is contributing to the current debate on progress and well-being from its own perspective, which is to renew and reinforce democratic processes and citizens’ ability to play a part in decisions on the challenges facing society.

Contents  - Download

Rethinking consumer behaviour for the well-being of all - Reflections on individual consumer responsibility (2009)

This guide invites the reader to think about consumption as one factor in the difficult task of building cohesive, sustainable societies based on the principle of universal well-being. The Council of Europe hopes that this reassessment will prompt people to question their choices as consumers: taking account of human rights, decent working conditions, the sustainable use of resources and our legacy to future generations. Surely consumption should be a responsible, socially committed act. An eclectic mix of academic articles, examples and illustrations makes this guide an unusual, informative work which can be readily used as the basis for discussions on this pressing social issue. This book, inspired by a contribution from the European Inter-Network of Ethical and Solidarity-Based Initiatives (IRIS), is intended as a 'prototype': readers are free to adapt its contents to their own circumstances, to add relevant examples and to bring the ideas presented to life.

Contents  - Download

Guide to new approaches to policies for young people from lower-income neighbourhoods

Complete version of the Guide

To order the book



Content of the publication

Part I - Rethinking policies on young people from lower-income neighbourhoods
Part II - Analysing and moving beyond the stereotypes
Part III - Descriptions and references of the indicators

Concerted development of social cohesion indicators 

  Complete version of the Guide

Important notice:
The Online version of the CD-ROM is no more available due to technical issues. Please contact us for more details.

To order the book

  English version
  Russian version

Content of the publication

Part I - Defining social cohesion (concept and strategies)
Part II - Knowing about social cohesion (sources, areas, groups, functions)
Part III - Developing tools (questions, indicators)
Part IV - Measuring social cohesion.
A Cd-Rom insert covers the different sheets of questions and indicators suggested for each level of assessment of social cohesion and each policy, linking them to three additional types of information.
Part V - Developing a framework for action