EU Social Policy

Degree Program: Social Administration (4th semester – elective)

Teaching hours: 3 per week-5 ECTS

Course Tutor: Christoforos Skamnakis, Assistant Professor

Curriculum Vitae:




Subject and course description

The courseprovides an outline of the goals, means and mechanisms of the European Union with respect to social protection in the European space as a whole. Special emphasis will be given to the current state of social protection, through reference to current demographic questions, to changes in the structure and model of the family and new realities in the workplace: These are elements that give rise to new realities with respect to the wellbeing of society and individuals, while also pushing for changes, in particular with respect to social policy. These changes come as a result of domestic developments in European member states, but also because of broader changes, which are consequences of the process of globalization. These developments signify more needs for individuals and societies, but also for systems of social protection. The deregulation, privatization and marketization of social policy contribute to the creation of a web of consequences in the field of social safety. Meanwhile, the trajectory of European integration provides us with a framework, within which we may reflect on the possibilities of a joint approach to social problems at the EU level. The study of the modern EU policy environment at the level of social protection and the assessment of its role in social policy, complete the subject of the lesson.


Ι. European social space Key events and the framework of the creation and development of the “European Social Model”

ΙΙ. The wider environment Institutions and bodies outside of the European Union that have an impact on the design of its policy

ΙΙΙ. The modern reality of the European area The description and analysis of social and demographic elements in the European area in combination with social protectionpolicies
IV. The framework of social policy in the EU The basic definitions and axes of European Union intervention in the field of social protection

  1. National Strategic Reference Framework 2007-2013 An examination of the impact of social goals and resources in the field of social protection, and an emphasis on the strategic targets for Europe in 2020.

Course objectives:

Upon completing this course students will be able to:

  1. describe the axes of social policy in the EU as well as the corresponding financial tools available
  2. be in a position to describe basic concepts such as: supranational social policy, the European Social Model, Europeanization, systems of social protection
  3. possess the analytical tools required for critically engaging with the key concepts listed above

Assessment: Essay examination at the end of the semester (100%)

Brief essays to be submitted between lessons. Successful completion of essays corresponds to 20% of the final grade.


Standard in greek

  • Sakellaropoulos, Th. (Eds) (2010), The social policy of the European Union, Dionikos, Athens.
  • Venieris, D. (2012), European social policy and social rights, ed. Motivo.


  • Commission, (1991), REPORT ON THE SECOND EUROPEAN POVERTY PROGRAM 1985 – 1989, Brussels: Commission of the European Communities
  • Clarke, J. (2002), Changing Welfare, Changing States – new directions in social policy, London, Sag
  • Commission. 1998. “Social Action Program 1998-2000.” COM(98) 259.  Brussels: Commission of the European Communities
  • Council of the European Communities (1992) Council Recommendation on Common Criteria Concerning Sufficient Resources and Social Assistance in Social Protection Systems (92/441/EEC), Luxembourg: Official Journal, C441.
  • Cousins, M. (2005), European Welfare States, comparative perspectives, Sage, London.
  • Dennett, Jane; James, Edward; Room, Graham and Watson, Philippa. (1982), Europe against Poverty. The European Poverty Programme 1975-80, London: Bedford Square Press/NCVO.
  • Ekengren, M and Jacobson,K., (2000), “Explaining the Constitutionalization of EU Governance. The case of European Employment Cooperation”, Stockholm’s Center for Organizational Research, Score Rapport Serie 2000, 8, Sweden.
  • Esping-Andersen, G., Gallie, D., Hemerrijck, A. and Myles, J. (2002), Why we need a new welfare state, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή, (2010), Στρατηγική για έξυπνη, διατηρήσιμη και χωρίς αποκλεισμούς ανάπτυξη, COM(2010) 2020, Βρυξέλλες.
  • European Commission (1993) Growth, Competitiveness and Employment: The Challenges and Ways Forwarding to the 21st Century – White Paper (COM(93) 700), Brussels.
  • EU Commission, (1994), White Paper on social policy (COM(94) 333) , Brussels.
  • EU Commission, (1997), Modernising and Improving Social Protection in the European Union, Brussels.
  • EU Commission, (1999a), A Concerted Strategy for Modernising Social Protection, Communication from the Commission, COM(99)347 final, Brussels.
  • EU Commission, (2005), “Social Agenda, Communication from the Commission, COM (2005)33 final, Brussels.
  • EU Commission, (2010),Commission assesses Stability Programme of Greece; makes recommendations to correct the excessive budget deficit, improve competitiveness through structural reforms and provide reliable statistics,
  • EU Commission, (2010), Lisbon Strategy evaluation document, SEC(2010), 114.
  • Peter Taylor-Gooby, (2004), New Risks, New Welfare. The transformation of the European Welfare State, Oxford university Press, New York.
  • Petmesidou, M. (1996), “Social Protection in Greece: A Brief Glimpse of a Welfare State”, Social Policy and Administration, v.30, n.4, pp.324-347.
  • Pierson, C.(1996), The Modern State, Routledge, London.
  • Radaelli C. (2000), “Whither Europanization? Concept stretching and substantive change” , European Integration online Papers, vol.4, n.8.
  • Rein M., (1970), “Problems in the Definition and Measurement of Poverty”, in Townsend P. (ed.), The Concept of Poverty, Heinemann, Oxford, UK, pp. 46-63.
  • Room, G (2000), Trajectories of Social Exclusion: The Wider Context for the Thierd and First World” in Gordon D., Townsend P. (eds.), Breadline. The Measurment of Poverty, Bristol: The Polity Press.
  • Rowntree, S. B., (1901) Poverty, A Study of Town Life, Macmillan, London
  • Σακελλαρόπουλος, Θ. (2001), Υπερεθνικές Κοινωνικές Πολιτικές την Εποχή της Παγκοσμιοποίησης, Αθήνα, Κριτική.
  • Sakellaropoulos, T. Berghnam, J. (eds.) (2004), Connecting Welfare Diversity within the European Social Model, Luven, Intersentia.
  • Σακελλαρόπουλος, Θ. Οικονόμου, Χ. (2006), “Εθνικές Προτεραιότητες και Ευρωπαϊκές Προκλήσεις στη Μεταρρύθμιση του Συστήματος Κοινωνικής Προστασίας και Απασχόλησης στην Ελλάδα, 1980-2004” στο Ευρωπαϊκή Ολοκλήρωση και Ελλάδα. Οικονομία, Κοινωνία, Πολιτικές, Μαραβέγιας, Ν., Σακελλαρόπουλος, Θ., Αθήνα, Διόνικος.
  • Σωτηρόπουλος, Δ. (2007), Κράτος και Μεταρρύθμιση στη Σύγχρονη Νότια Ευρώπη: Ελλάδα, Ιταλία, Ισπανία, Πορτογαλία, Ποταμός, Αθήνα. 9Taylor-Gooby, P. (2006), “Greek Welfare Reform in a European Context”, in Petmesidou, M. and Mossialos, E, (eds.), Social Policy Developments in Greece, Ashgate.
  • Walker, A. (2005), “Which way for the European Social Model: minimum standarts or social quality?” in Andersen, J.G., Guillemard, A.M., Jensen, H and Pfau-Effinger, B., The Changing Face of Welfare, Bristol:The Polity Press.
  • Whelan, C. and Maître, Β. (2009), “Europeanization of inequality and European reference groups”, Journal of European Social Policy,Vol 19(2): 117–130.