This report summarises the findings of the initial research stage of the WILCO project (work package 2), which identifies the governance structures and welfare traditions within which local welfare policies and initiatives take shape. Since much is already known from past research, we have focused our work on developments in the last five years, and specifically on the policy fields we have selected. This has laid the groundwork for the comparison of developments in local welfare systems. The research made an inventory of the key conditions that influence local welfare in the twenty cities to be studied at a later stage of our project.
The comparative summary presented here is based on national reports produced by the WILCO partners within the framework of WP2, also available through www.wilcoproject.eu. The national reports provide descriptions of general backgrounds of administrative structures and social policies in the ten participating European countries, as well as more detailed descriptions of the three fields of interest for WILCO: housing, employment and child care.