Social Europe and Social Policy of the European Union

Project: Textbook “Social Europe and Social Policy of the European Union”

Coordinator: Elizaveta Matveeva, Candidate of History, senior lecturer at the Chair of World History and International Relations, Irkutsk State University

Tel.: +7-3952-241-974


Target audience: students of the Master’s degree programs on international studies and European studies, who have basic knowledge about history, EU institutions and activities

Textbook structure


Section 1. Genesis and evolution of the social security systems in Europe

1.1. Development of European welfare states: diversity of theoretical approaches

1.2. Background history of social protection in Europe

1.3. Trajectories of European welfare states’ development in late XIX - XX centuries

Section 2. Main concepts of social policy

2.1. “Welfare state” and “social policy” – relationship between the two concepts

2.2. Main models of existing social protection systems

Section 3. Economic foundations of social policy

3.1. Main principles of state budget formation

3.2. Funding of social policy: sources and mechanisms

Section 4. Social security models in Europe

4.1. Types of European welfare states

4.2. National models of social security

Section 5. Problems associated with social policy

5.1. From the “golden age” to crisis: deindustrialization, ageing population, migration, change in family structure and consequences of these processes for social security systems

5.2. Global economic crises: impact on social policy of the European states (1970-2011s)

Section 6. Evolution of the EEC/EU social policy from Rome to Lisbon

6.1. Legal foundations of the EU social policy

6.2. Areas of EU social policy

Section 7. Implementation and EU decision-making process in the field of social policy

7.1. EU institutions taking part in implementation of social policy

7.2. Decision-making in EU social policy

7.3. Budget and EU social expenses

Section 8. EU enlargement: impact on social policy

8.1. Enlargement, diversity of social protection models and deepening social disproportions in the European Union

8.2. EU role in postcommunist transformation of social protection systems in Central and Eastern Europe

8.3. Consequences of eastward enlargement for EU social policy

Section 9. EU social policy and that of member states

9.1. Economic and Monetary Union, euro and their impact on national social policy

9.2. National social security systems and the European model: common and specific features

9.3. Is there an EU social policy? Unfinished discussion