Social Policy in the EU and the role of the EU

In 2016 I temporarily replaced Frank Vandenbroucke at the University of Leuven to teach a course on Social Policy in the EU and the Role of the EU. I redesigned the course and taught it to the students of the MSc Sociology, the MSc European Politics and Policies, and the MSc Policy Economics. I introduced a group task of writing a position paper on the idea of a Framework Directive on Minimum Income, from the perspective of the various political fractions in the European Parliament, and at the end of the course I organised a debate with the students within the European Parliament itself, with support from Anne Van Lancker, former MEP, and author of a working paper on this topic for the European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN).

The course aims to (1) stimulate insight into diversity of social situation and social policies in the EU (in particular, employment, health care, pensions and social inclusion); (2) generate a more advanced knowledge and better understanding of the current role of the EU in the social domain; (3) stimulate critical reflection upon what role the EU should play in the social domain. The course alternated between concrete examples presented by leading experts that I invited, and lectures by myself.

  • Lecture 1: Manos Matsaganis (Athens University of Economics and Business): The political economy of the Eurozone crisis the cases of Portugal and Greece compared
  • Lecture 2: Overview of the course & introduction to social policy in Europe (ppt)
  • Lecture 3: Multi-level governance of social policy & the role of the EU (ppt)
  • Lecture 4: Rudi Van Dam (Chair of the Indicator Sub-Group of the European Commission’s Social Protection Committee): Social Monitoring in the European Semester
  • Lecture 5: Poverty and the final safety net in the European Union (ppt)
  • Lecture 6: Anne Van Lancker (former MEP): Making progress on EU social standards: an EU framework directive on adequate minimum income
  • Lecture 7: The EU and minimum income protection: Important elements of the policy conundrum (ppt)
  • Lecture 8: Bart Vanhercke (director European Social Observatory): Is the European Union the Trojan Horse of National Health Care Systems?
  • Lecture 9: Frank Vandenbroucke (University of Amsterdam): Employment Policy. Between Efficacy and Experimentation
  • Lecture 10: Ageing, pensions and retirement in the EU and the role of the EU (ppt)

Creative Commons License

The slides are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. They can be re-used, changed and shared for non-commercial use, as long as my original work is recognised and the revised work is made available under the same conditions.